I have a ton of unfinished projects as well as one project that's been going on for over 10 years. I too would like to hear from others who suffer from this and have been able to work around it.
I think my biggest issue is that a new idea takes over. Also if it's not something that I'm really into, I will quit before I even get started really. The biggest thing, that allows me to continue, is to really be passionate about the current project. Think about it all the time.
The same goes for me. I have story boards full of films about gladiatorial battles, sci-fi civil war films, shorts, etc. I jump a lot around. Unfortunately, no one seems to have any advice for this thread.
This site moves much slower than others Count Croc. Give it time. People are busy animating and creating puppets!
I don't really consider something I've storyboarded as an unfinished project. It's the ones I actually make a lot of stuff for, but don't finish, that I feel bad about.
I used to be good at finishing projects - mind you, actually being employed to make props, or films, does tend to make you focus and get it done. You don't wonder why are you even doing this, you know why, a program needs it. But with my own stuff, I've had trouble for a while now. I think it is mostly because I started in the wrong place, I could visualise the setting and maybe some characters but didn't actually have a story. With one, composer Brett McCoy posted a piece of music here for anyone to make some animation to, it had a nice Arabian Nights vibe, so I got into making buildings and props and carpets and background characters, thinking the story would come while I worked. Only, it didn't. I think I am more of a visual artist than a storyteller. If I had the story, I could rely on myself to find a way to make the things it needed to tell the story, but not so much the other way around. Then, with that going nowhere, I started on a Poe project, and did eventually work out where I was going with it, but couldn't manage to write the dialog that was needed so it sounded right to me. It's 60% shot, and all the puppets and sets made, but the shots with dialog need to be written and then I need voice actors to do them before I can animate them.
What I have finished is every job I've taken on for someone else, because they are counting on me, and there is a deadline. And I've done a few little mini-films which were more manageable, they didn't take long.
So for me, the lessons are:
Do the writing first. Or whatever is most difficult for you, then the bits you enjoy will be easier to stick to. Getting stuck halfway because you've just come to the part you were avoiding really saps the energy.
Work on something small and manageable. A short film. Maybe it can be expanded into something bigger, but start with a small part where you can have something finished that stands on its own, without it spanning decades.
A deadline can help, even if it is for yourself.
Don't worry if you have a lot more ideas than you will ever get to - be glad you have ideas. Some will morph into other ideas, or combine with something else you hadn't thought of at the time, or maybe in hindsight you will see that they weren't quite right and it's a good thing you didn't jump into doing them.
For things you have started on, and the props are crowding your work space, but somehow you can't move forward - if someone has the answer, I'd be glad to hear it!
Thanks for the advice Nick! I think the underlying issue is being a student saps my mental energy and I just want to relax and play video games when I'm done with school. I have been thinking about doing some Bluworm style shorts, or perhaps even a series of something. I'm fairly new to this, so I think I still need to find my style. I also would love to find my unfinishable project so to speak. If you are familiar with Phil Tippett, he has a project that he has been working on for 20 something years called Mad God. (If you don't know what I'm talking about go on YouTube and check it out. I find it really fascinating.) I would just love to be able to constantly work at something and be able to implement whatever I wanted to. However, I think I just need to find my style. Thanks so much for the advice!
Man, all artists are a mess! I feel your pain. With me, if I take any sort of break from the project, it's more than likely doomed. As long as I'm working and staying engaged it gets done. If I decide to take a couple days off to relax, getting back into the groove becomes difficult. I've got a comic I've been working on for YEARS! Was making progress and got burned out after 10 pages. Now I'm lucky if I produce a page every 3 months. Luckily, it's not a paid gig.
Nick brings up a good point about letting people down. At work, I have no trouble finishing projects. I'm getting paid, reputation on the line, people around keeping you motivated.
Maybe having a co-conspirator would help. Another person involved to bounce ideas off of, to work out problems and share the load.
I had issues with my account. Set up a new one..
Is anyone interested in keeping a creative working diary on here ??
I just started following AMB Animation Academy channel on YouTube .. he's got some really good vids on motivation psychology for animators.. Croc you should check him out.. it's helped me alot..