I have a difficult time finishing writing and art projects early. I like to use all the time I have. If there’s no deadline, I might not ever consider something done. Even if I submit or publish a piece, I rarely acknowledge it as complete. Maybe that’s because I work forward not backward. My technique and process are less practical and pragmatic and more investigatory and contemplative.
I’ve worked this understanding into some of my art. When I decide on a format or structure, I can better identify when a piece is done. This is part of why I like surrealist games, found texts, and art/writing series (like Affect, my Lines to Shapes portraits, and the Affection drawings). The structure helps me understand what done looks like or limits the options. Like the rules of meter and rhyme in some poetry.
Even when I have this understanding, I often work past done. Like right now, I probably don’t need to write this third paragraph or the very sentence. It’s hard to let go. When I start letting go, cutting out sentences or layers, and get in a zone, I then have a difficult time letting go of letting go. It becomes easy, and then I cut too much.
Maybe I procrastinate because I have a hard time saying goodbye. As soon as I get to the “done” of a piece, that’s normally when the piece is getting better and when I decide I want to spend more time with it. I start to enjoy the something that has come from nothing.
This is a romanticized view of procrastination. Potentially aggrandizing writers block or motivation deficit. And this is when I go back and cut everything. But I won’t this time.
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