How do you decide when to throw out a creative project instead of finishing it? Is there ever a right time to quit? Every artist will face this eventually. Most of the time the hardest thing an artist can do is sit down and do the work. It’s easy to quit, but it’s a small, everyday act of bravery to pick up the tools each day.
Sooner or later though, there will be a project that must be set down. Not every project should be completed. But what’s the difference between the projects that deserve the grind, and those that don’t? You may not have enough skill for the task, yet. Maybe the premise is not very interesting after all. Or maybe, someone else did it much, much better.
Many artists face their fears each day by creating. There is no true art that does not come from the soul, and publishing or releasing anything is an act of vulnerability that can be terrifying.
So, the next time you are faced with the question of continuing on or not, be honest: Do you really believe in this? Is there a purpose in your work that you believe in? If so, keep going. If not, quit! And then make something you believe in instead.
Last week I faced this very dilemma, and wrote about it in the latest issue of my newsletter, The Narrative.