False Starts and Being a Quitter

You may or may not know this about me, but I’m the kind of person who leaps into new projects faster than I can type. When I get some new idea that really excites me, I’m the kind of person who starts trying to do that thing NOW, or as soon as physically possible. Maybe this is not completely true in all aspects of my life (I’m not the type who meets someone and gets married in Vegas two days later—my husband and I dated for 6 years before we got married), but it is totally true for me with creative projects—art, writing, blogging, etc.

This personality trait has two significant manifestations: one: I have little trouble starting new projects—I just jump right in, two: I have a lot of false starts—I start things, then realize once I’m a little ways in that it’s not the right way.

This makes me a quitter. I quit projects, and jobs, and classes and whole new life plans. This is often considered a negative thing in our society—if you quit, it means you have no staying power, no follow-through, right? That’s somewhat true, but I have tons of staying power when it comes to the right things—oh, say: this blog, or my art shop, or college. When something’s right, it’s right, and I won’t give it up . . . until it starts to feel wrong.

This whole discussion of false starts and quitting brings me to my little announcement for today: after just about three weeks in action, I’ve decided to discontinue my shiny new second blog The Possibility Path. I’m taking it down because even though it sounded like a good direction, I have come to know that it is, in fact, not the right direction for me right now. How do I know? Well, for the past two weeks, I’ve been trying to force myself to go back over there and write some more posts, but it just feels like drudgery. And anytime something feels like drudgery, I know I’m going the wrong way. This is especially eye-opening because I love blogging, and I love writing about work and life, so I really know something’s off if I’m having to try and convince myself to do these things. Also, I have been blogging here at Blue Bicicletta for just about three years, and I’ve never ever had to force myself to come write a blog post—even more proof that’s something’s wrong.

I will be leaving the blog up through the end of this weekend, so if you would like to go over and revisit anything I wrote there, do it now! I would still like to put the information out there in some way, but I think the main issue is that I would like to create more of an online resource, instead of regular posts. So, I’ll let you know when I figure out how I will share the info.

I would like to say a few more things about false starts and quitting. If you’re like me, and you often find yourself trying new things and then finding out they’re not right—go easy on yourself—this could just be the way you work. And who said being a quitter is a bad thing? It can set you free. The main thing is understanding why you’re quitting—is it because something’s not right? Or is it because you’re afraid to put yourself out there? That is the question, and it can be a hard one to answer.

For me, when something’s just wrong, I feel completely unexcited about it—I have no spark. I think and think about why I’m not doing it, and I can’t come up with any good reason except that there’s just no inspiration there. The idea of doing it starts to become very much like being shackled to the thing (like Martha Beck describes in her book Steering by Starlight), and the idea of quitting feels like setting myself free.

When it’s the right thing but I’m just being stalled by fear, I can feel a spark—I have a longing to do the thing—I feel excited to see what the final product would look like, but I just feel all of these worries about what it won’t be in my head. I’ve learned that with this second case, if I just start working, my excitement will come to the forefront, and before I know it I’ll be on my way.

How about you? How do you know when it’s the right time to quit?


5 Responses to “False Starts and Being a Quitter”

  1. 1 Emma September 24, 2010 at 10:20 am

    I am the exact same way and I love your take on it!

    When you are this way, you can learn to still jump right into things but keep in mind that you are trying the new plan out. So, maybe we don’t take on a responsibility that someone else will really depend on right away. We’re trying it out and if it clicks, we’ll be dedicated and passionate. Nope! Not such a bad thing at all. :)

  2. 2 Jenny September 24, 2010 at 10:55 am

    I offer you as much congratulations on stopping your site as I did for starting it. Way to go in being truthful to yourself, Nicole! It’s so easy to get caught in stories about quitting something we start, but you are a shining example of doing exactly what you know you’re meant to do: quit!

    For me personally, I’m a mix of diving right in and waiting until it’s perfect. I usually tend toward the latter. So my challenge is to know when it’s time to jump in, even though it’s scary.

  3. 3 antiphonsgarden September 26, 2010 at 1:05 am

    I tend to sleep a night about it, breath out calmly and walk one step after the next…or not!I tend to take myself with me into “my spontaneity”.A am probably more the kind of person who reflects a while about the pro and contras of jumping into a new game.Sometimes a bit procrastinating, for sure, but once I go for it, I go a long way for it, up to the last drop I can milk out of it,I even tend to clean after everybody is gone, I like to end things with enough time too.My vision of possibilities is less into another new action and another one-the linear view, but more in experimenting into the bright spectrum of the one after the other, I engaged into.But I know how to drop a fruitless situation too after a while.Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages.

  4. 4 Era October 15, 2010 at 8:00 am

    I agree that sometimes quitting something can be the most freeing experience. This goes for small things too, like cancelling meetings or deciding not to do the laundry tonight.

    As soon as I quit something, I can tell if it was a good decision or not. Usually I feel as though a huge weight has lifted off my brain, and that’s when I know that I had over-extended myself and it was a good think to cancel or quit that activity. And when I quit something just because I was too afraid to do it (or, as is often the case with small things, too lazy), then I don’t get that feeling and it’s obvious. My body is very good at telling my brain what’s up.

  1. 1 A New Direction « blue bicicletta Trackback on November 6, 2010 at 9:06 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Hello there! My name is Nicole K. Docimo, and I am an artist and writer from the U.S.A. but currently residing in Zurich, Switzerand. Thank you for visiting my blog!

Some Thoughts

"Be thirsty for the ultimate water,
and then be ready for what will
come pouring from the spring."

{from "Joy at Sudden Disappointment"
translated by C. Barks.}

~This Work ~

Unless otherwise noted, all images and writings on this blog were created by me, Nicole K. Docimo aka Blue Bicicletta. If you would like to share anything you see here for inspirational purposes online, I just ask that you kindly let folks know where you found it. If you are wanting to share/reproduce any of my work in any other way, or have any questions about how you will be sharing the work in relation to copyright, please contact me directly at nkdocimo {at} gmail {dot} com. Thanks!

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 346 other followers



%d bloggers like this: