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Thoughts: How Do You Pick a Project?

Thoughts: How Do You Pick a Project?

Nina

April 26th, 2018

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If you’re anything like me, you probably have an epic list of projects that you want to work on. But how you do know which one to work on first? If I’m being totally honest, I don’t think there’s any one right way to go. I end up going with whatever feels right in the moment. But there are a few considerations which I also like to take into account before I pour all my valuable time into any project, which might also help you organize your own list.


I’m sure this one seems like the most obvious – but honestly I have never really let this consideration stop me. I just completed a series talking about ways to make video on a budget, and I sincerely believe that if you really want to make a project that you can make it happen with whatever skills, gear, and time that you can get together.

But of course, there are always going to be some things which will be out of reach for whatever reason – be it personal, financial, or otherwise. For me personally, these kinds of projects are something to build up to. I’ll keep working on them when I have the ability, I just don’t put my full attention on them. But, they’re definitely still worth developing because there _will_ be a day when an opportunity presents itself, and when that day comes I want to be ready for it!


The way I see it, this consideration actually has two parts to it. Firstly, there is so much creative content out there, that it’s important to stay fresh. For example, if you’re an indie musician, I don’t recommend making a music video for a song that’s already been released over a year ago. That’s not to say that your art can’t be evergreen, but focus on what your ultimate goal is. Continuing with the music example, if your focus is music, then you should be focused on creating new music, and not spending too much effort on trying to promote old music after a certain period of time. People’s attention spans are short – they want to see what you’re going to do next, not what you’ve already done.

The second part of this is more abstract, but think about if the world is ready for whatever project you’re thinking of doing. For example, if you’re a filmmaker, your passion project might be about a topic which no one is interested in buying – yet. In this case, certainly don’t give up on it, but know that you might have a harder time marketing it, or getting people to listen to it or watch it when the general mentality is focused somewhere else.

Similarly, there’s also the terrible situation of trying to do a project which relies on ideas or themes which might be already oversaturated in society or no longer trendy. Again, don’t give up on these ideas, but be prepared to either shelve them for when they _do_ come back into fashion, or be prepared to do the extra work to really put a completely different and unique spin on them. As discouraging as this may be, don’t worry too much because the world moves in cycles and everything eventually comes back into fashion in some way.


Sometimes, a project enters your head and you just have to get it out. Everything else seems unimportant and no matter how hard you try, you just can’t focus on anything except for that one thing. In those cases, I just run with it. I get it out, I get it organized, and take it as far as I can. There’s no better motivator than inspiration, and inspiration can sometimes be elusive, so as far as I’m concerned when it hits you, you gotta embrace it. There will always be time to go back and consider the other points if it comes down to it.

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