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Mental Snapshots in Set Development?



Changes in perceptions and attitude and the effects on our sets.

Have you ever wished that you could take a set that you?ve put a lot of work into and compare what it looks like today to what it looked like a month or two ago? Wouldn?t it be nice to look at where you were and where you are and just consider what you?ve done and how you feel about it? I?ve been feeling that way lately about my signature set.

I know I?ve been stuck on discussing this set for quite a while now, but as far as collecting goes, this set has been my world for 2 months. My perception of it and my feelings on it have changed quite a bit in that time. When I started it around August of ?08 I had such a grand concept of what it would be. The only problem was that it was a concept and it was too big too early. By the end of last year I had become considerably disillusioned with it. I was not making the progress I thought I would and it became clear that the project would take far longer and be far more expensive than I?d ever dreamed. The more open format of the signature set became a source of frustration. I almost felt like I had too many options. I had too many things I wanted to do but wasn?t sure how. By December and January I looked at the set some days and felt angry at myself. I felt I?d turned the project into an abject failure. I was considering simply deleting the set and writing it off as a horrid idea. I?d go back to just building a set of American Eagles, so I thought.

Things finally started to turn around for me in January when I decided to go ahead and finish the Australian lunar dollars set. I have so few ?complete? sets and I was so close on that one. When I got the coins I also added them to the signature set just like I?d always planned, mostly out of habit, and it felt good! It was nice to see new coins go into that set, to see it grow. For the first time in a while I was finally able to feel good about the set again, but I still had a problem. The set was barely even a shell of what I wanted it to be. I?m not talking just about lack of coins. It completely lacked the descriptions, comments, and other ?fluff? that I felt it needed to really shine and I wasn?t even sure what direction to take it in. So I decided to go looking for help. The choice was pretty obvious; I sent Jackson a message. I don?t know if he picked up on it at the time, but looking at his set and swapping a few messages with him finally put me back on the right track to build the set the way it needed to be built; the way it deserved to be built. It occurs to me now that I?d never really embraced the project. I?d never fully committed myself to it or allowed myself to become fully invested in it. I finally understood that I had to stop feeling bad about what the set wasn?t and work hard to make it into something. It would never stop being a disappointment unless I finally committed to it.

For just over 2 months now, I think I?ve worked on and tweaked the set in at least minor ways on almost a daily basis. I?ve certainly looked at it and thought about what I needed to do and how every day. Even when I?m working in the computer lab I keep a browser window open to the registry, just in case I need a break. I think if I could see what the set looked like in late January I?d barely recognize it. If I wouldn?t have imagined in late January what this set would look like today. The commentaries and descriptions have been completely re-worked or removed. I?m still working on doing the write-ups for some of them. The set has nearly doubled in just over 2 months. It had 22 coins in late January. It now has 32 coins with 5 more in for grading, 2 more in the mail, and I may win auctions for 4 more on Friday.

The set is finally showing a bit of what I had always hoped it would be. I know I?ve discussed this at great length the last 2 months and I sure there are more than a few out there that are tired of hearing about it. All the same, I feel the need to talk about it and the need to share this work because for perhaps the first time I look at this set and I?m true proud of it.

For a long time I?ve actually been more involved in and more interested in the journals than in the signature set. Had never been able to resolve how I wanted to structure the set in my mind. But, interestingly enough, when I started writing about and discussing the set, it finally started to form in my head in a way I?d never been able to get it to before. It?s as if the act of discussing the ideas allowed me to have them. So, this seemingly ceaseless train of journal entries that drone on and on with the same theme have been quite purposeful and extremely productive. I hope there are those of you out there that can still stand to read my babble and like hearing about my grandest project.


I always like to end these things with a picture for "eye candy" so here's the sellers image of a 1989 that arrived at my permanent address today. I'll have to make my own picture later when I'm home again. It's not a huge or close-up image but you get the idea.




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