cheers! i'm really sorry to bother you, but recently i've been struggling a lot with motivation. i start projects but never finish them, and abandon them when they get difficult. it could be related to depression and all that, but i was wondering if you had any advice on how to stay motivated and finish a project? thank you so much for your time!
That’s something I used to struggle with a lot as well. Last year I threw away more then I finished due to lack of interests, my ability to problem solve, or overall frustration with the project.
My major problem was that I didn’t love or feel passionate about the things I was working on. I was making cosplays or fashion projects which I liked the idea of but didn’t like making. Sewing them wasn’t something I enjoyed at all, which made finding the motivation to finish them impossible. These days I only focus on projects I really love and my finish to abandon ratio is a lot better!
I’d highly suggest taking a step back and trying to figure out why you are abandoning them, if it’s because you don’t like the projects maybe you should try making something completely different.
I really think motivation is about dealing with the problems that block it, and here are some things that help me:
-Work on multiple projects at once. If you can, have some variety between these projects. If you get frustrated with one you can always take a “break” and work on a different one for a while.
-Make a list of what you have to do, crossing things off is oddly satisfying..
-Focus on a single part of the project at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed. Sometimes i’ll start a project and get really discouraged because there is so much to do. I find focusing on single steps, then congratulating myself when I accomplish them a lot more rewarding. Sometimes these steps are making a pair of sleeves, beading a bodice, or drafting a pattern.
-Don’t ignore problems!! Don’t procrastinate because things aren’t working out!!
For working through a project that has you stumped sometimes you need to sit down and write down everything that’s wrong. Then tackle the problems head on or think about solutions. I did this the other day with a costume and feel so much better about it today.
- If you run into something you don’t know how to fix try the internet. I recall being upset for weeks over a sleeve pattern I couldn’t perfect, then I googled it and two minutes later I had a solution. I finished the costume a few days later.
I don’t usually take part in Throwback Thursday’s but all the talk of Legend of Korra being canceled (which really, really sucks) reminded me of the Sky Bison PJ set I made last year…and the matching Winged Lemur hoodie for my dog.
This project is really different then anything I’ve done before, but I enjoyed it a lot. One of the first times I made something and everything seemed to go the way I wanted - what a confidence boost! Also the first original design I completed.
I’d like to do something similar with the character Toothless - maybe someday if I see black minky on sale!
I bought a lot of beads and things for a future project, some ribbon for lacing, thread colors I was running out of, and fabric i need for upcoming projects. I also picked up some more flowers for my special floral dress.
It was weird buying stuff again. I haven’t bought fabric in two and a half months because I put myself on a fabric ban. I kind of took advantage of a Fabric.com sale, then spent all my birthday money on fabric in NYC, and followed that up with a trip to Joanns.
The end result was increasing my material collection by nearly a hundred yards. Which was crazy, so I decided not to buy anything until I used up fifty yards of fabric.
The fabric ban is kind of lifted - i’ve used up fifty yards, but i’m still going to focus on making projects from materials I have.