This morning, I was on a (severely disrupted – thanks Southern Rail) train back home after a couple of weeks away. I’ll admit, I’ve been lax in my meditative practice, and my creative output: it’s tricky to keep the plates spinning. I’ve not even started revising for my final exams yet. As I watched the countryside whizz by, I felt that familiar sense of overwhelming chaos rearing it’s ugly head. I couldn’t even organise my thoughts about all the things I had to do.
I took a few deep breaths, pulled out my trusty lined pad and started writing down exactly the things I needed to get done and how I was going to do them.
One of the most pressing tasks is drawing a storyboard for a short film with an impeding deadline. I gave myself the list of familiar excuses about why it could wait until tomorrow: I was tired, I needed to clean the house, I was low on groceries, perhaps revision should begin today… It goes on.
“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”
I said no to those excuses. We must say no to them every single day. Cut off their oxygen, burn them to the ground. Enact a scorched earth policy. Yield no ground. Every time you do, you get weaker, and you lose the chance to do the work you could be doing; the stuff that matters.
Today I sat down and got through it. I can go to bed this evening and rest easy with the knowledge that something that barely even existed in my brain has been drawn from the ether by force of will and discipline, and now it’s here. It can be improved on, tweaked, or even completely restarted. But it’s further along the road to ‘done-ness’.
That’s a good feeling. That’s my crack.
So fuck your excuses and fuck my excuses. Everyone’s got them, and not a one of them matters. Play the victim all you want; it won’t get the work done.