Raise your hand if you’ve ever started a personal project (or 2 or 3) and never finished it ✋
✋ My hand is raised high! Don't get me wrong, I don't think that's necessarily bad. Not all projects are destined to be finished.
What's particularly troubling about the fact that you have more dead projects than finished ones is that you started off so excited.
No boss = you can do whatever you want!!
That's the dream, anyway. But with no boss, there's also no deadline, no one to get on your ass about getting this project out the door yesterday!
Create accountability for your personal projects
For my latest project, 36 Days of Lettering Animatio (re-titled Animated Alphabet for reasons explained later), I got you to be my accountability. I made my project public from the beginning. By posting this project in installments whenever I got a new letter finished (and sending project files), I had natural accountability and the further I got, the more exciting it was to reach the end.
Public accountability can look different of course. It can be you posting behind the scenes process shots, giving updates on where you're at, or even announcing when you're going to have it done.
Pushing through is worth it
I've heard it called the dip, the hump, the wall. Whatever you call it, you'll get to a point with your personal projects where you don't want to continue. You'll doubt yourself.
"This is so dumb", you'll tell yourself. But that's just fear talking. Push through. It's worth it!
"I almost quit half way through on every film I've made."
Finishing the projects you start is hugely important. FINISH YOUR PROJECTS.
"Don't set out to create a masterpiece." - Kirsten's Dad.
- Take the pressure off yourself
- Quit being so serious
- Give yourself permission to be imperfect
Don’t be afraid to modify your project/goals
This is your project. Change them so you can finish them. Change them so they are more awesome. Just don't change them so you're working on them forever and never have to hit publish!
I originally called my project 36 Days of Lettering Animatio because I was going to animate a-z and 0-9. But I've modified that and I'm just including a-z. I've gotten so much out of the project and I'm ready to move on. It's a solid group of animatio that I'm proud of. So I'm calling it done!
Cut it in half
Next time you start a new project, follow this sage advice.
- Start with an idea.
- Cut that idea in half.
- Cut it in half again.
- This is your project.
To see the full Animated Alphabet series in all of it's GIF glory, head over here.
🚨 For the next couple of weeks, you can download all of the After Effects files for this project! On February 15th, the full free download will be going away. Sign up below to get the files and the Lettering Animation Guide 👍