Finding your inner artist, day 22: About wasting too much time

Today’s quote:

How we spend our days is how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour and with that one, is what we are doing. ~ Annie Dillard

One of the main culprits that holds many artists back (in my opinion) is the lack of a structured day.

We don’t have “office hours” as such (stupid question: Why?). We often work when we feel like it, and we often don’t when we don’t.

If I discovered one thing over the years it’s that successful artists have structured days. They don’t waste time with watching TV when they could be working on their art and their business. They know their biorhythm pretty well, and they don’t necessarily work against it: If they know they are most creative in the late evening, nothing prevents them from sleeping until noon and working into the small hours. You can work the back- or night-shift, that’s not the point.

It is a very common thing for many artists I know however to postpone work on both their art and their business when something else (more enjoyable) comes up. Oh, the best friend just popped round for a coffee, work can wait. Oh, the weather is so nice, I take the day off. Oh, I’d rather watch a movie just now, sod it…

I am not saying that we shouldn’t grant ourselves time off, and I am also not saying that spontaneity doesn’t go a long way, especially in the creative business.

If you constantly spend your days idling, waiting for inspiration to strike or others to discover you, something isn’t right however. So the next time you find yourself browsing Facebook instead of working the hours you put in your diary, remember Dillard’s quote: It’s what you’re doing.

How you spend your day is how you spend your life…

© Petra Raspel 2013

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