When is a project done?

When is a project done? Like really done. Done, done. It's a problem that every writer, artist, and creator struggles with.

An idea strikes from an orthogonal angle. You flesh it out, explore its possibilities, get to work. Eventually the fuzzy front end slides into focus and you grind through the messy middle until you reach the glorious, long-awaited end.

Except that—like any obnoxious inspirational poster will tell you—the end is really just a new beginning. Edits. Notes. Revisions. Feedback. Refinements. Real artists ship, but where exactly do you finally call a halt? You can't stop until you've made the project the best it can be, but what if the changes you're making threaten what makes it great in the first place?

When is a project done? When you glare at it, and it glares back—proud, unafraid, demanding to face the world on its own terms.

Complement with how to overcome the post-launch blues, why creativity is a form of leadership, and how to earn an audience for creative work.

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Eliot Peper is the author of Breach, Borderless, Bandwidth, Cumulus, True Blue, Neon Fever Dream, and the Uncommon Series. His writing has appeared in the Verge, Tor.comHarvard Business Review, VICE, OneZero, TechCrunch, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, and he has given talks at Google, Comic Con, Future in Review, and SXSW.

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