You’re working on your personal project—whether it’s research, or a book, or a class, or a piece of art, or what-have-you—but it’s only getting done in stages. You’re doing your best to get it finished in-between your day job, spending time with your family, studying for school, and so on.
Maybe along the way you get sick, or have a bout of depression, or have to take care of a loved one. Maybe along the way you have to put the project temporarily aside while you focus more on that day job. Life happens.
When these inevitable delays happen, it’s tempting to feel discouraged. It’s tempting to blame yourself. It’s tempting to feel like you haven’t been “serious” enough about the project. It’s tempting to feel like you’re not getting any younger and life is passing you by.
But your project will get finished when it gets finished. That’s it. It will get finished when it gets finished. It might take a year, it might take two years, it might take 5 years. Some people have taken as long as ten or more years. It takes as long as it takes.
The key is to keep going back to it. To take it step-by-step. To understand that even if you only read one chapter or drew a few sketches in the past week, at least you’ve moved the needle just that much more towards your goal.
So you have no reason to feel guilt, or self-hatred, or panic, or anything. Just keep working on your project, bit-by-bit. Step-by-step. It will get done. I’ve gotten projects done this way, and others I know have done the same thing.
It’s such a cliche: “the journey is more important than the destination.” But it’s really true. This journey that you’re on, it’s the thing that molds you, strengthens you, sometimes maddens you, but ultimately transforms you into a stronger and truer version of yourself.
And so: stick with it. It will get finished when it gets finished.