5 Traps That Stop You From Finishing A Creative Project

Avoid these common pitfalls that stop most people from bringing their dream project– whether it’s a book, film, or podcast– to life.

Creativity is a driving force with the power to bring change– but even professional artists sometimes struggle to reach their potential. However, most creatives have unlocked a process to deal with creativity blocks that trip them up. 

But what happens when you try to get a creative project off the ground and nothing happens? 

What if you’ve been dying to tell a story that’s locked inside you but don’t know how? 

How do you turn an idea into a real, tangible thing that sparks change?

While generating brilliant ideas isn’t easy, it’s also not an impossible task that only a select, uber-talented few are capable of doing. That’s because creativity isn’t a skill– it’s a mindset. A mindset you can access right now.

But, the real secret to completing your book, film or art exhibition isn’t in brainstorming a fresh idea– it’s bringing that idea to life. That’s the hard part. That’s why most people never see their dream project made real– they don’t know how to transform their ideas into a finished work of art.

To help you go from thinker to doer, it’s crucial to understand the 5 traps that stop you from telling your story and putting it out in the world.  Once you see these traps coming, you’ll build an empowering mindset that unleashes your creativity and a process to fully complete the project of your dreams– and ignite change your way.

1 Toss Your Pesky Blind Spots


It doesn’t matter what type of creative project you’re pursuing, the first step is uncovering and smashing through internal limitations. But, it sounds easier than it is. They’re called blind spots for a reason– you can’t see them tripping you up.

However, all blind spots manifest as excuses that hold you back. And these internal limitations take all kinds of different forms. They’re sneaky!

Maybe you’re afraid of being rejected. Maybe you worry that your ideas aren’t good enough. Or as soon as you start a project, you get distracted or procrastinate. All of these niggling habits are blind spots that stop us from pushing forward and completing the project. It’s self-sabotage that keeps you comfortable where you are right now, instead of wading out in unknown waters.

Although you might dream about leading a global movement to save sea turtles, your subconscious mind is stopping you from achieving your goals. What if you fail? What if you succeed? What’ll change? Who will you become? Who will you leave behind? These are all fears that lurk in the dark corners of your mind– and they manifest as silly excuses that stop you from realising your creative dreams.

2 Stomp All Over “No”


Creativity is all about redefining what’s possible. But, out of habit or fear, it’s easy to adopt a perspective that narrows our view. We cling to the same old thoughts and ideas. We think we have to follow what everyone else does because “it works.” However, this trap stops you from tapping an authentic creative process and limits your potential.

By letting go of “no,” anything becomes possible. You can dare to be different. You can set your creative expression free and be who you really are. You can finally turn your fun, loud, cheeky, provocative ideas into real-life things— things that inspire and motivate. Things that bring a new perspective to the world around us. 

To do that, stop and reconsider your assumptions. Instead of thinking “I have to write my film script this way,” try thinking “how can I do this differently?” or “why do other people do it this way? Is it necessary?” By opening up your perspective, you’ll start to connect with your own creative process and create something entirely YOU.

If you have trouble with this, take a page from improv theater where actors always say, “Yes, and…” when they’re playing off one another. When one person presents an idea, you have a responsibility to accept it– and add something to keep the performance going. Performers riff back and forth, driving the scene forward as the audience comes along for the ride. If everyone just said “No” all the time, the scene would stall into a boring mess.

Your creative process is similar. When you have an idea, give it a chance to live, breathe, and grow. Even if the concept doesn’t work out, the process of working through different versions and shifting perspectives will turn your project into something spectacular.

3 Embrace 50 Shades Of Gray (Really.)


People love options. Choosing between clearly-defined options is safe. It’s easy to manage. Everyday, as we navigate the world, we’re continually making choices– often without realising it. The same thing happens when we try to complete a creative project.

The world isn’t purely black and white. The creative process isn’t a choice between predetermined options. When we think this way, we shut down the potential for true creativity. Sometimes, your creative genius is found in shades of gray.

While creativity can be seen as an explosion of colour, what happens when it becomes a sea of gray? Without color or texture, gray becomes endless possibility. It can be shaped and sculpted into anything, with any colour imaginable to make it pop. By letting go of options, you’ll start to make connections that light up your creativity. And that’s when it’s time to capture your ideas, decide which one to pursue and take action.

4 Make An Action Plan And Put Your Nose To The Grindstone


For many people, this is the trap that stops them from completing their project. Full of amazing ideas, it’s nearly impossible to decide on just one. However, after widening your scope and opening your creative process, it’s time to narrow it down.

Your ideas serve no one, not even yourself, until you can bring just one into action. And the best way to do that is with a plan of attack.

There are 2 different methods to do this so your project gets off the ground. You can start from the beginning and consider the first smallest step you can take. Or you can begin at the end– where your idea is a total success and work backwards from there. 

Whichever you choose, the key is fleshing out every step that leads you from start to finish (or end to beginning), without missing a beat. Take daily actions to fulfill those steps, and hold yourself accountable with dates to complete them.

5 Staying Accountable Until The End


Creativity is all about being irresponsible. It’s about thinking big and redefining possibilities. 

However, the flipside is the secret to getting your project done. Without responsibility and accountability, your ideas will never materialize. Taking creative action and following the steps you’ve outlined are the only route to making your creative dreams real. This is how your podcast becomes listed on iTunes. This is how your book gets published. This is how you’ll start a program for at-risk youth.

But this trap is the most dangerous for a good reason– it’s extremely difficult to stay accountable to yourself– especially with blind spots and self-destructive thoughts sabotaging your progress.

That’s why mentorship is so important. Having someone who keeps you accountable to your goals is one of the most effective ways to make your dream project happen. A creative mentor and coach knows the road you’re travelling and can give you clear-cut directions to the finish. They’ve made mistakes and will stop you from making the same ones.

Plus, you’ll have someone who can see your blind spots when you can’t– and help you flip your mindset for success (whatever that looks like to you).

As a Creative Producer and Mentor, I’ve produced and managed hundreds of projects in film and tv. I’ve helped my husband publish his first book which we’re turning into a movie. And I’ve worked with professional artists globally who are passionate to create change with their work. Many who work with my clients as mentors.

And now I’m hoping to help you– whether you’ve created tons of projects or never tried. If you want to bring your story or dream project to life, we can make it happen together. 

Ready to see your story come alive and spark change? 

Schedule a FREE Creativity Session here where we’ll discuss your vision, story and goals. 

The world is waiting.

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