Beating Procrastination: The point of greatest resistance

The blinds are up! Yes, finally I’ve completed the project on my procrastination list that I was most reluctant to work on.

Finished Roman Blinds

However the blinds aren’t the only thing on my procrastination list that I’ve finished. I’ve also finished the knitted slippers from my pile of UFOs. As I victoriously crossed them off my list, I reflected on why they had taken so long…

The slippers were intended to be a Christmas present for my daughter. I started knitting them a couple of weeks before Christmas 2012 from some wool left over from knitting coats for homeless dogs. Once I got going, I realised the top front and back leg were lined and absolutely huge. Recognising I didn’t have time to finish them in all the pre-Christmas pandemonium, I abandoned them.

Knitted Slippers

The half-knitted slippers remained skulking in my knitting basket until summer 2013, when I had a long car journey to go on and they were the only knitting simple enough to be worked on in the car.

A couple of long car journeys and the knitting was finished. But instead of sewing them up, I put the slippers back in my knitting basket. And there they stayed for over a year.

It was only my mission to complete all my UFOs that finally made me face up to finishing them.

Sewing Up Knitted Slippers

When I finished, I  realised I had left them incomplete for so long, because I looooooove knitting, but hate sewing up – I had also been questioning the final result, and that also put me off completing them, but I was questioning that for a long time while I was knitting and it didn’t stop me then.

My realisation made me think,

Sewing up is a real point of resistance to me finishing, just like writing a one page synopsis for a book is something I struggle with far more than writing a whole book.

Finished Slippers

This got me to wondering about points of resistance in other creative projects. Do all creative endeavours involve a task we like least; a point of greatest resistance that particular to the creative medium we’re working in? Furthermore, if I’m aware I’m resistant to a certain part of a process, I can coach myself to steam on through, rather than allowing myself to slope off and work on something else.

I’m certainly going to address this in my knitting and my writing . I’m also going to keep an eye out for what I’m shying away from as I work through other creative projects.

Do you have points of greatest resistance in your creative processes?

11 thoughts on “Beating Procrastination: The point of greatest resistance

  1. I’m working on a ufo today. Your posts are very thought provoking. I honestly have been avoiding finishing this for so long because it requires extra concentration. So far I’ve written a list of tasks and am planning to tackle them in manageable chunks. There us a sense of relief when a ufo gets completed and I’m looking forward to feeling it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hope the work on the UFO went well. I agree there is a definite sense of relief when they are finished. I think there’s probably a few reasons projects that need extra concentration get left, so they are more likely to get ignored. Well done on writing the list.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think most creative projects include an element of resistance, usually its just the smallest finishing off.

    I made a dress for NYE and only had the hem to complete it, four weeks later I was completing the hem a couple of hours before we were due to leave for the dance! I surmised that maybe I work better to deadlines.

    My creative process often means that not everything goes to completion, sometimes I am experimenting – for example I saw the most beautiful art deco diver – I wanted to create a free motion embroidery with it. While I drew in a whole beach I got so far with the diver then stopped. I am not sure what to do with it next, so it sits there waiting. I will leave it on the studio wall, enjoying it, loving the shading, it delights me- one day I will add it to a beach towel or suddenly it will be just the right thing for something else.

    For me my creativity is a bit like a giving birth process, the pregnancy can be months or even years – but then I enjoy the making. Sometimes the project comes out completely differently from what I imagined, which is fabulous.

    There needs to be balance, too many UFO’s can be overwhelming – I found my main cause was the internet, magazines and charity shops. I would buy something because I wanted to change it as a project, but the stuff began piling up. Now I think about it, do I actually want the end product or is it just seeing an idea through – most of the time I’ll pass.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, creativity is fluid, projects turn into things we didn’t think they would at the outset and we can’t be creative to time limits. It’s easy to feel we ‘ought’ to finish something when it really doesn’t matter if we don’t or if we don’t finish it for a while. It really is just the ‘clutter’ that keeps nagging that I want to eradicate, one way or another. Interesting point you make about it often being the end part we leave. Off the top of my head I’d agree, but I’m going to watch myself carefully to see if that really is the case.

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  3. I hate anything involving hand sewing, including sewing up knitting. This week I finally fixed a leaky beanbag. It took all of 5 minutes (handsewing the hole shut). It had been lurking in corners of the house for months.

    I often find I have a Just Starting Project buzz and a Nearly Finished Project Buzz and if the first ends too long before the second starts, that’s when I enter some kind of no mans land and get bored and abandon the project.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL! I’ve been there with the beanbag – months of getting annoyed about all those little polystyrene balls I kept finding, but only a few to minutes needed to sew it up. What a great way to put it ‘Just Starting Buzz’ and ‘Nearly finished Project Buzz’ with the potential no mans land in the middle. Love it!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: UFO Wars – 50 Shades of Green | The Creativity Cauldron

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