Monday, September 09, 2013

Why We Don't Finish

“For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, This man began to build and was not able to finish.” - Luke 14:28-30

“It is far easier to start something than it is to finish it.” - Amelia Earhart

So how many personal creative projects do YOU have up on the blocks right now? My total is a dozen or so personal projects I have outlined, planned, or actually am halfway through. I’d like to say I am working on them every day, but that would not be true.

What is so hard about finishing?

Is it because you are lazy?

Probably not. In our busy lives it’s just hard to make time for everything. Plus, whether we are happy or not in our day gigs, sometimes the creative thing you have started demands more money or time than you have. Or maybe you can’t do it alone, and just don’t know what steps to take next.

Is it because the creative project is no good?

Again, this is not the best excuse either. I feel art is just as important to the person who creates it as it is to the person who sees or hears it. It’s all subjective of course, but I sometimes feel even if no one ever experiences the songs, stories, or other ideas I have – it’s okay. I enjoyed them. They were therapeutic and enjoyable for ME. Of course when I finish something I can actually show someone and get their reaction, it's AWESOME! But that only happens if I finish.

Is it because you are not talented enough?

I personally don’t believe that talent has much to do with ministry, or art for that matter. People have loved crap for years, and they continue to do so (see Andy Warhol, Lady Gaga, 50 Shades of Gray, etc). But especially when we are creating art AND ministry, that’s a very personal thing that God made you for, so your unique voice or style may be exactly what the project needs.

In a recent book I was reading, the author revealed what I feel is the true nature of why we may not finish:

We don’t want to be finished.

“The cartoonist Tom Gould says he stays away from the computer until he’s done most of the thinking for his strips, because once the computer is involved, “things are on an inevitable path to being finished. Whereas in my sketchbook the possibilities are endless.” – Austin Leon, Steal Like An Artist

When we put something down in its final form, the end is nigh. The thing is made. When the CDs are manufactured and you open it to play it - THAT is the final mix.

Apparently, this is an age-old problem.

“To finish a work? To finish a picture? What nonsense! To finish it means to be through with it, to kill it, to rid it of its soul, to give it its final blow the coup de grace for the painter as well as for the picture.” - Pablo Picasso

For many artists I work with, there’s another reason they don’t finish.

You love the creative process.

Sure you do. It’s all fun and games writing songs, hearing them played by amazing players, coming to sexy studios and recording, and doing fancy photoshoots. But once the mix, master, and design are done and at the duplicator, then you have to think about the REAL work: selling it.

Being a salesman is not for many of us, and it’s completely opposite of the relaxing, soul-enriching, God-blessed process of creation. So sometimes we hang on to the creative process, because then we don’t have to think about the hard part: getting people to see or hear our art.

But it’s important we do finish, so that we can do what we say God made us for, and that is to minister through our art.

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” - 2 Timothy 4:7

Have a great week!

Eric Copeland knows a thing or two about finishing projects, and is happy to announce the finish of a BIG ONE. “We Are Creative Soul” is a 15-artist compilation and celebration in honor of 15 years as Creative Soul Records.

To find out more about this comprehensive and amazing project, check out

Need help finishing your music ministry project that has been sitting around gathering dust? Check out, we help artists like yourself every day to finish!

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About the Author

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Eric Copeland is an author, producer, keyboardist, songwriter, and president of Creative Soul Companies. What is Creative Soul? Our main goals are to inform, encourage, and assist Christian creative folks in ministry, no matter where they are in their journey. Thanks for reading! Find out more about us at