A Letter of Apology To All My Abandoned Creative Projects

Aug 30, 2016

Creative Writing Life Lessons Feelings
typewriter writing I’m sorry

Photo by kalhh

Dear Abandoned Creative Projects:

I’m sorry. There is so much more I want to say but it must begin with this. With an apology. You do not deserve to be abandoned, left to rot in a folder or thrown into the trash. That should not be your fate. I have no one else to blame for this but my own inconsistency, my lack of commitment, my distracted mind, and my loss of interest. You came, innocently, into the sphere of my creative work, asking only to be manifested into form, embodied from a mere idea into a skeleton of a thing. I adorned some of you with skin and bones, but others I left cemented as concepts, never shaping them into anything more. You never demanded my attention, you simply yearned to be brought to life. I’m sorry for all the ways I failed you.

To the blog I started four years ago that saw the light of day only to be thrust back into the dark vortex of cyberspace after I stopped posting and stopped paying for my domain — I’m sorry.

To the magazine pictures I cut out that sit idle in a drawer, awaiting the day they will finally make it onto a vision board or other art journaling project — I’m sorry. Your time will come, I promise.

To the Facebook page I started with such enthusiasm, wanting to spread inspiration and positivity, only to abandon for no apparent reason — I’m sorry.

To the creative Meetup group I organized and ran for a year, only to hand it over to someone else after it no longer inspired me to run it — I’m sorry.

To every single poem I started but never finished, the ones I tossed into the trash in frustration after only a few lines, and the ones I loved but couldn’t find closure for — I’m sorry.

To the podcast I wanted to start but never did, only getting as far as the title and giving up after finding out someone else had a podcast with the same name — I’m sorry.

To the children’s book I started writing because of my love for them, attending monthly meetings with a supportive group that gave me feedback, only to stop going when I got stuck in my story — I’m sorry.

I have faith that many of you will find another soul to manifest through. You will find other hands to mold you into existence. Your fate does not end with me, and this gives me hope. Hope that my abandonment will never kill off your spirit, which lives on despite my best efforts at unintended destruction.

I want you to know that I have not forgotten you. Perhaps pieces of you will still show up in my future work.

I have to believe that each of you planted a seed in the trajectory of my creative path. And no seed is ever wasted.

This is a letter of apology, but it is also a letter of gratitude. Each of you kept me going, kept me coming back and trying once more to create something, anything. And for that I am grateful. Thank you for giving me an opportunity to learn about myself. For isn’t that what all creative work ultimately is — a lesson in self? In what we’re capable of? What we’re not willing to live without?

Thank you for steering me in the direction I needed to go.

Thank you for giving me the space to be afraid, to run, to leave you because you were too overwhelming.

And thank you for letting me experiment with you and venture into unknown territory.

I have a feeling you don’t hold grudges, and are quick to forgive. And for this, too, I am grateful.

There must be a place you all gather — the land of the abandoned projects. What a glorious place this must be… full of possibility and dormant magic, potential lurking from behind every corner. I can see you there exchanging stories of your creators, our small-mindedness, our arrogance. Do you laugh at our struggle to produce something of creative value? Or do you sympathize with it, I wonder.

Above all else, I hope you don’t lose faith in me. Though I have abandoned you, I will not abandon the path, this creative journey I’m on. This much I promise you. It is too much a part of me now. 

If you have taught me anything, it is this — the creative pursuit is fraught with doubt, fear, resistance, and failure. But it is equally full of courage, authenticity, truth, and joy.

The question is not how many projects have I abandoned, have we abandoned; the question is what is it that calls us to try again? To attempt creating something from nothing, again? It is this elusiveness I honor in the creative quest. I stand on giant piles of abandoned projects from ages past by artists I will never meet in person. I am not alone. For every project we abandon, another someplace finds its home.

I hope you all find the home you belong to.

With love,