Creating 2015—Day 118: My Completion Trap

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Creating 2015—Day 118:   My Completion Trap

Have you ever read The Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov?  Olga, the oldest sister, hates her gig as a high school teacher and is only sustained by her dream of returning to Moscow.  Masha, the middle sister, is the unhappily married pragmatist who doesn’t think they have a snowball’s chance in hell of ever getting back to Moscow—she’s who I played in my college acting class.  Irina, the youngest and most naïve sister, is obsessed with finding true love and happiness in Moscow.  She begs her sister Olga:   “Let’s go to Moscow! I implore you, let’s go! There’s nothing better than Moscow on earth!”  Moscow, Moscow, Moscow!  If we could only get to Moscow, is the incessant, desperate sentiment.  They are trapped by Moscow, unable to get there or let it go.

Completion has become my Moscow.  I talk of nothing but completion.  How I can’t wait to get there.  How wonderful it will be when I finally reach it.  How happy it will make me when I arrive.  Yet, just like the three sisters I never seem to get to fucking Moscow!  I feel utterly and completely trapped by my desire for completion.  It has become my psychological booby trap.  Why?  I’m not 100% sure but I think it’s because I’ve been focusing on getting into a festival, selling, and/or getting distribution when the reality is neither of my films are actually done.  And I don’t mean done in the sense they don’t have distribution and aren’t out in the world for people to see yet.  Neither one of them are creatively complete.  And I’ve suspected that but didn’t want to acknowledge or accept it for the last four months.  I have the festival rejections piling up to prove my suspicions.  Collusions’ score sucks—or at least the last time I heard it, it did.  And High School 9-1-1 needs another editing pass to tighten and polish it so we can reach the sweet spot for the viewer.  So close yet so far away.  Deep sigh.

I am very guilty of getting my carts before my horses.  Always have been.  I am a big picture thinker.   A big dreamer.  My head likes to be in the clouds.  So I can easily get ahead of myself.  And although I am the queen of playing it cool, acting like I’m either above it all or I don’t give a shit, the truth is I’m not cool.  I’m not above it.  I do give a shit.  And, just like the three sisters, I desperately want to get to Moscow and I can’t let it go.  But unlike the three sisters, I refuse to give up until I am standing in Red Square.

Until tomorrow, create from what you have…traps.

Kelli Joan Bennett is a filmmaker, actress, writer, entrepreneur, advocate for creative thinking and Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Think Outside The Box Inside The Box Media.


  1. You’re not alone, Kelli! We all have a “Moscow”.

    • Exactly what I needed. 🙂 Thank you so much, my sweet sister! You are amazing. I may not get to Moscow in the next couple of weeks but I will be getting to MO very soon. Can’t wait to see you. Love you!

  2. How do you define completion? Maybe in order to not feel like you’re failing all the time, you can reframe your idea of completion. Dale Carnegie used what he called “day tight compartments” in terms of time management, but it strikes me that the same thing can be done under the theme of completion. Breaking down the big project into manageable time frames and then down further into daily projects, and then when you check off that time frame you get a V in the completion column!

    Just a thought… I find myself in this came camp so I can relate! Bravo for being so honest. 🙂

    • Thank you, Cindy! A good thought, as always. 🙂 I define something a completion or officially completed when there is no longer anything on my to-do list for it. In regards to my creative projects, the final completion is them being available and distributed to their broadest possible audience. Then and only then will I have reached Moscow and be able to put a check-mark in their completion column. 😉 But, I’ll do my best to better appreciate each smaller “to-do” on my list I get done and celebrate it as a mini-completion for more of that invaluable sense of success we all need to keep going! 🙂

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