Big projects have them. Usually what keeps me motivated is the process – I like making things, all sorts of things and that has extended to my new project: making patterns (especially because it’s new to me and I’m all lit up with learning).
I had hoped to finish the paper mache ship pattern in the Adirondacks over the holiday weekend. Planned on it really – no distractions, great light, plenty of room etc. but I’m back in thick, hot NYC summer and I‘ve still got a long way to go. Often, if something is taking me a very long time it’s because I’m lingering in the process – I don’t want it to end. In this case a lot of the fun designy stuff (like the cover) is done. And the project has gotten bigger:
I had made the executive decision to keep it small and manageable – just one ship – one small, pretty ship and I was nearly done with that.
But then I reversed that executive decision and decided to make it a collection – 3 vessels. The original small ship, a little boat and a large ship (similar to “The Gulnare” one of my favorites) – a big billowy full sailed affair. And the large ship pattern had to be designed pretty much from scratch – I didn’t have a reliable large ship template. That’s a lot of designing, and a lot of step photos and instructions, editing, testing etc. A lot.
This morning I woke up feeling daunted by the hugeness of the task and frustrated about not being where I hoped I would. I re- read a post from James Clear that I keep a quote from pinned to my wall:
It’s great advice. Great, simple advice that I still need to be reminded of often. The size of the project has changed and it requires a new strategy to finish. Rather than pushing hard towards a completion date or relying on my enjoyment of the work to motivate me I’ve got it on my schedule everyday – 3 hours - first thing in the morning: photographing, compiling, testing and editing.
I can’t wait for you to try the ship patterns and I know that focusing on the schedule rather than that goal is the most reliable way to get there. If something, some goal has been eluding you I recommend trying the approach.