New Project: Completing Previous Project

I decided to break down the actions needed to complete the how to article into smaller, easier pieces and create a fresh project to complete these pieces.

Making things “as simple as possible but no simpler” seems to be something I need a lot of practice with. I continue to learn that what I think I can accomplish is a lot more than what I do in reality.

I also think there’s wisdom in limiting the number of hours I have each day to do what I see as productive, creative work. 5-6 hours is really good. 4 hours is more realistic. Not only is some time spent on admin work but there’s time driving, doing errands, and dealing with unexpected crisises like bringing my Mac in for repair and using my iPad as my makeshift computer for work.

I created a new Structural Tension chart on Google docs. Once I have a working computer I’ll upload the new chart as well as images of my latest Daily Creations.

11.30.16 Project Status Update


Yesterday, when I sat down, pen in hand to edit the how to article I’ve been working on since late October, I found myself rewriting paragraphs and in one instance, deleting out an entire page.

When edits are this extensive, there’s a larger underlying issue—often structural in nature. In this case, I realized that my How-to article was actually several separate how-to articles. Not only did I have multiple articles, the articles had different audiences: some technical and some general.

For example, one audience to whom I was writing were people looking for good gift ideas. Another audience were crafters. And another were people who wanted to do something using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.

I now understand why I’ve felt so much resistance finishing my article.


So I’ve been thinking about how to move forward and here’s what I decided:

  1. I’m going to proof read what I’ve written and break the article into separate blog posts so it’s easier to navigate. Then I’m going to publish what I’ve written knowing it’s a mashup that may not work for any one group of readers.
  2. I’ve made notes of my ideas on how I can rework different parts of the article as future possibilities.
  3. I’m going to call this project complete and move on to other things I want to do.

I considered several other possibilities but at this point completion is what feels best. There are projects that feel more compelling and I generally like to go where I feel the most energy.

Although completion feels best, it still doesn’t feel great. I feel like the guy in the picture here who has tried fixing his computer, has removed lots of pieces, and isn’t sure how to put it back together again. Rather than replace the pieces he’s just throwing the pieces back, and putting on the lid, and calling it “done.” That’s how I feel about this project.

I’ll be writing a Creator Moment of Truth post as well and will probably have more insights on what I’ve learned.

10.24.16 Update

Today I added the article’s draft version. Now the article is really taking shape as I combine the text and images.

I’m glad I added a few days to the timeline because:

  • Now that the draft is in WordPress I’ve see it needs more editing. What looks fine  using a desktop application may not look fine online.
  • The article will be one long post and I found a WordPress plugin that makes it easy to add links to areas within a post (so a reader can jump to a specific section in the article without having to scroll and scroll).

I’ll be using an hour a day this week to snazz up the format and copy edit.

Project Status Reviews Creative Process Style

The project plan for my goal, creating a “How to” lesson is different because in addition to using steps and due dates, I’m constantly keeping an eye on Structural Tension: the difference between what is desired and today’s reality in relationship to my goal.

An example of a Structural Tension chart used for my ‘How-to Lesson” project is here.

If the goal shifts or current reality shifts so does structural tension and structural tension is what creates the forward energy to realize the goal.

For example, I realized I shifted my goal without being conscious that I was doing so. I added the criteria “professional-looking layout” to the final desired product. When I upped the criteria of “what is a satisfactory end result” I added an additional five business days because now I felt compelled to look at what other companies were doing.

Usually I would stay stuck on my mistake and what that says about me. The Creative Process encourages us to

  • acknowledge the mistake and it’s consequences
  • adjust the structural tension chart accordingly (in this case dates)
  • consider what we’ve learned
  • and get back to work

The Creative Process also uses a more formal review called the “Creator Moment of Truth” (or Manager Moment of Truth) which I’ll be doing when this project is completed.