Finish What You Start

Very often, I get about halfway through something I am making and decide I absolutely loathe it. Usually at that point, I put the offending object on my bench in disgust and walk away from it for a while. It is uncanny how often I get just to the point of frustration or fear or boredom and I stop working. But this year, I am determined to go forward when that happens, even though I want to stop. Because everything I have read and seen and understood about creativity in recent weeks tells me that this is the thing to do. When every fiber of your being is telling you to stop, you must keep at it and finish. It is very difficult to do, but you must.

Because, creativity can only happen if you show up for work.

So, I have 4 half finished objects on my bench now at various stages of stall. There is a pendant I like, but there is one problem area in the reticulation I am in a quandary over, and I am not sure how to proceed with it. The next piece I am a little ticked over, because I snapped the cabochon I was polishing for it about 2 seconds before I was ready to drop it in the setting and I could kick myself for fussing over it, because now I have to cut another stone, and none of the material I have is quite as nice as the original. Then, there is that textured copper piece with the surface folds, but I haven’t really resolved the way I want to drill and attach the stone to that one in a way I am pleased with. And last, but certainly not least, is the ring I fabricated to showcase some glass beads I made myself, but I want to replicate the design in a different metal. And, I hate to do it again, but I know I won’t wear it unless I make it in silver.

Of course, it is so easy to avoid those things I have to finish, but this time I am determined not to. Even though paperwork, and cleaning and laundry, the garden and cooking and all those other things are there to divert my attention, I will not abandon those four projects. I can’t. Because I will let myself down if I do, and I refuse to let myself down, even if I end up sitting at my bench all day tomorrow staring at them like a child in a dark dining room in front of a cold plate of brussels sprouts their mother is forcing them to eat. I will finish them if it kills me. Because my reward may not be a piece of finished jewelry I like, but it will be something way more important. Belief in myself. And, in my world, that is a far greater reward than any finished object that I like or don’t like.


About Helen Driggs

Metalsmith, Teaching Artist, Writer, Maker of things. Former Senior Editor of Lapidary Jewelry Artist Magazine View all posts by Helen Driggs

5 responses to “Finish What You Start

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