Sunday, 5th February 2023
When you start a creative project but don’t finish, the experience drags you down. Worst of all is when you never decisively abandon a project, instead allowing it to fade into forgetfulness. The fades add up; they become a gloomy haze that whispers, you’re not the kind of person who DOES things.
When you start and finish, by contrast — and it can be a project of any scope: a 24-hour comic, a one-page short story, truly anything — it is powerful fuel that goes straight back into the tank. When a project is finished, it exits the realm of “this is gonna be great” and becomes instead something you (and perhaps others) can actually evaluate. Even if that evaluation is disastrous, it is also, I will insist, thrilling and productive. A project finished is the pump of a piston, preparing the engine for the next one.
The 21st century is being delayed: We’re stuck with corporations building these incredible artifacts and then staring at them and realizing the questions they encode are too vast and unwieldy to be worth the risk of tackling. The future is here – and it’s locked up in a datacenter, experimented with by small groups of people who are aware of their own power and fear to exercise it. What strange times we are in.