How do you stay motivated until the end?

Oh, boy. That’s a loaded question. *tries to figure out how to begin answering this question*

Motivation, for me, comes in many forms:

  • Deadlines
  • Wanting a particular project done and over with
  • Pending projects
  • Reaching the end and not noticed

Let’s start with the deadlines. More often than not, I’m asking my client for a deadline. This allows me to figure out my time budget, where and when I can fit their particular project in, and figure out if I’m going to need to pick up supplies. Because I consider myself a slacker, if I don’t give myself some kind of deadline the project may not get started or finished. Granted, I’m usually working on something. That doesn’t always mean I’m working on what I should. Most deadlines I’ve set for myself have a “cushion” of time built in. I’ve learned that I have to allow for Life to happen. I’m one of those people that seems to work better under a little bit of pressure. I know this, and allow for it.

Ahhh… wanting a particular project done and over with. I’ve had projects that have fought me all the way. Knowing the battle will be done, once the project is finished, is one heck of a motivator. When something is fighting me that  much, I’m going to work even harder to have a finished piece I’d be satisfied with. It’s a rare thing when a project beats me. It’s happened, just not often.

Right now, I’m committed to working on several art quilts. I have a rough calendar of when I want each piece done by. The rough calendar has a “All of these have to be completed by __________________” deadline. This allows for me to shuffle and move things around, as I see fit. Some pieces aren’t going to take as much time as I’ve budgeted for, whereas others will – most likely – take even more. There are a lot of factors involved with setting all of these up.

Ever reach the end of something and not notice? Yep, it happens to me. Usually about the time I’m trying to figure out some other hurdle get through. When I’m working on a “kit” (Kit = materials and pattern are together and waiting for assembly), I rarely notice anything beyond the step I’m working on. I trust the pattern, I trust the materials, and the rest is just going through the motions to finish the piece. I’ve been surprised to realize I’d finished the pattern/project without noticing.

The last motivator, that’s not on the above list, is being excited to watch a particular piece develop. The thrill of working on something that does challenge me, pushes me to be more creative? Finishing it is almost anti-climatic. I’ll have learned new things, possibly developed a new technique. Just thinking about that kind of “rush” makes my fingers twitchy to get started again.

When it all boils down, you have to find your own motivation for working on/finishing anything. I work best with a calendar and a little bit of self-induced pressure.