Things I learn from my children – finishing creative projects

It’s Children in Need Day today and my nine-year-old daughter has gone all out with spots. As spotty as she can be – she found a spotty book to take in and made a spotty bookmark, she painted her face with multi-coloured spots and Sharpie’d spots onto her water bottle.

Whenever she’s inspired by a project, she gets excited and gets stuck in with all the details. Ideas start to form in her head and she has a grand vision that she’s not always able to execute. This is when she gets anxious and stressed that it’s not going to go as planned. But she always figures a way out, a middle ground that she’s happy with and starts working. Once she’s started, she’s away and more ideas come to her in the process.

I realised recently, when working on a university project with deadlines, that my creative projects have often stopped at the point when I realise what’s on the page is not what was in my head. Often it doesn’t match up to the perfection and brilliance of the ideas in my head. Watching my daughter, noticing how she works and that our patterns are similar has inspired me to keep going. Having a tangible deadline gives me a target to work with; I am coaxing myself into doing what I can in the time available. This way, I will hopefully end up with a creative writing project that’s finished. And that’s an achievement in itself.

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