Came across a shot of my desk 10+ years ago at the coworking space where I started out. I was “working on a documentary” that I never ended up making. There are a lot of these projects in my cabinets. I’m interested in not feeling guilty about this kind of thing anymore.
I was never actually interested in doing most of the projects. To be more clear, I was very interested in some small aspect—usually in love with the idea of the project. But I never considered that 91-94% of the project I had neither the skills nor the inclination to pursue.
If I had forced myself to follow through on even one of most of these projects, it may have meant ruin for me. Truly. But as one after the other has found its way into the dusty failfile over the years, I’ve just built up substantial guilt, shame, disgust with myself.
One thing I realize now is that I should have been doing smaller things. Every idea I ever come up with seems to appear fully-formed at massive scale. The smallest ideas are feature-length films, often period films. Those are the small ones.
So yeah, I often say “I haven’t done anything I said I wanted to do.” That’s true when viewed narrowly. The great thing that has come into my life in the past years in the idea of doing little things, which I now do daily, and they give me great satisfaction.
If I’m totally honest, I still have a subtle obsession, a glimmer of hope, that all those old things may come back to help me create something someday. But my true intention is to settle for making peace with them all as they are.
Those were all the little things I made back then, and I made a lot of them. I just never showed them to anyone. And I never finished what they were pointing toward. And of course I didn’t.