Not finishing a project doesn’t make you a failure

by | Jan 22, 2017 | Advice, Thoughts | 0 comments

All too commonly I’ve seen statuses along the lines of “looks like I’m staying up for the next three nights in order to finish this cosplay in time for xxx”, and “material or food: the cosplayers dilemma”, and I’m amazed that people can take such an unhealthy attitude to something that they’re doing as a hobby (I’m leaving aside the people that actually make a living from creating costume here, as that’s a whole different situation and only applies to a very rare few).

Here’s the thing. Failing to finish a project, whether for a convention or at all, doesn’t make you a failure. Opting to sleep and look after your health rather than burnout over a few nights before a convention doesn’t mean that you’ll be negatively judged by people; it’s sensible. Opting to buy essential life items like food, and ensuring your bills are paid as a precedence to going out and buying material and craft supplies doesn’t mean you’re being unsuccessful in your hobby, it means you’re acting like an adult. These things don’t make your a failure.

You do not owe anyone a complete project. I’m going to repeat that.

You do not owe anyone a complete project.

Maybe some people were looking forward to seeing your finished cosplay. You’re not letting them down by delaying it by one convention or a few weeks / months. You’re not making it for them.
Perhaps you had a photoshoot planned with a photographer that you’ll have to miss. No big deal. Rescheduling is typically easy enough and anyone worth your time would understand that these things happen and that looking after yourself first is more important.

Also, sometimes motivation gets lost along the way. I have a number of part-finished costumes hung up in my dressing room which I lost motivation to complete along the way, and which may or may not get finished at some point. My choosing not to spend time doing something I’m not motivated to work on doesn’t make me a failure. It simply means that I’m choosing to spend my limited free time on projects that interest me rather than finishing something because “I feel like I have to”. This is not failing.

End of the day, sometimes you have to ask yourself is that if something is detrimental to your general well-being, is it really worth it? Likely the answer is no. Never feel like you owe anyone a completed project; work at your own pace and finish things when you’re ready to finish them, take time off when you feel you need to, and I’m sure you’ll maintain enjoyment of this (or any) hobby for a much longer time.

Andy Valentine

Andy Valentine

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