write me a letter

Several weeks ago, I heard from a Make It Mighty Ugly reader named Hannah who’s started a daily photography project. In one of her first blog posts about it, she included a photo of a note she found on her morning run. We had a short exchange about that note, and imagine my surprise and delight to find it tucked into the letter she sent me (sending me a letter is the final exercise in the book). It’s the kind of thing that invites imaginary scenarios. Did it fall out of the sender’s pocket? Did the recipient roll their eyes and discard it? The first bit is in quotation marks – is it a quote from something, or is the writer just not super into proper punctuation? Is this sort of thing a daily ritual for the couple, or a super meaningful one-off love note?

Anyway, in addition to a pair of earrings she made (thank you so much, Hannah!) she included some of her creative fears in her letter, and she gave me her blessing to write about them. As someone who struggles to make sense of internal contradictions, I totally relate:

“I hate to fail, so I quit sometimes right after I begin. I hate ends, I’ve realized. I hate having to buy more shampoo or folding laundry. It’s that final completion! That’s my ugly! However, the pleasure of all tasks done is relaxing. Somehow I do get a rush out of procrastination. If I always have something left to do, I’ll always have something to do.”

Do you ever feel uncomfortable finishing a project, because then you’ll have nothing to do? I’ve always felt so excited about beginning something new, this is something I’ve never really struggled with. But I sure do understand the struggle of enjoying opposite things, like when Hannah dreads completing tasks yet also enjoys the relaxation of having done them all. I love both order and mess, spontaneity and solid planning.

What about you? Do you experience a tension between two extremes you enjoy? Do you dread finishing a project? How do you strike a balance?

We all have creative demons to battle. If you’re a small businessperson of any sort, join me for Embrace the Ugly: How to Break Through What’s Holding You Back in Business we’ll work through that one nasty thing that’s holding you back.

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The note must be a quote as I found it online – unfortunately without telling where it is from. A movie? (That would be my guess. Movie or book or both). it’s very sweet though. And with regard to your question: when it comes to knitting (or crochet) I love to begin something new and for the same reason I love to finish a project – to be able to start another :) However, in “real life” I prefer sameness, continuity … No endings please.


Finishing things is scary because that’s when you can be told that it’s not perfect. If you never finish something, it can never be deemed wrong – it remains a work in progress, eternally exempt from judgement. Unfortunately, most things in life eventually have to be completed, so procrastination becomes the only alternative. If you do the thing at the last minute, you at least have an excuse – “Sure, it’s not perfect, but that’s because I did it all at the last minute. It would have been better if I’d put more time into it”. (One does not share the fact that the need for last minute completion was entirely your own fault). If you get lucky and do well on your project, it becomes a sick sort of reassurance of your methods – “I did it all in two days, and look how good it is! I guess it doesn’t matter if I put off the next thing too…”. Its all a dangerous cycle, not one that’s easy to dig yourself out of.


This makes sense to me! I just thought I was lazy. Very enlightening!


I completely relate. COMPLETELY.

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