I’ve always wanted to be the kind of person who doesn’t give a shit.
You know the type, right? She just does stuff. She’s spontaneous. She eats when she’s hungry. Exercises when she wants to. Works when she feels like it. She’s wild, carefree, confident… and usually broke. Because you know what? This whole thing doesn’t actually work. It’s alluring as hell, but it doesn’t work. At least not for me. I need structure. I need to know what I have to do and plan for it. I need (god forbid): a routine.
Because if I decide to be like a female James Dean version of myself, you know what happens?
Nothing. I get nothing done. I wake up when I feel like it, decide to go fix myself something to eat and 4 hours later I will have started half a dozen new things, and wonder why the hell am I googling Dancing with the Stars' tribute to Patrick Swayze. True story.
As fun as my Sharon Stone version sounds like (I’m sure even Sharon Stone has a routine - she can’t be that good looking and not have a routine), I need to automate my days. I need to know that I wake up at a certain time everyday and write, first thing in the morning. I need to know that I exercise, come hell or high water. I need to know that I paint everyday, right after I exercise. I need to know that I paint everyday. I need to know that I don’t need to wait for inspiration, I don’t need to wait for a muse to come whisper in my ear. I don’t paint when I feel like it. I just paint everyday. Because if I don’t, you know what happens? I won’t paint at all. Or I might make two paintings a year and be really mad at myself for that. I might create some crazy expectations of what my paintings should be like. And then be really disappointed. So I paint everyday. Rain or shine.
This is not to sound like a robot (although robots are kind of fun). I still have enough wiggle room for the unexpected, but what I’m talking about here is making myself a priority.
And once I did that, I stopped reacting to other people’s agenda and took on a more proactive role in my own life.
I became reliable. I know that I can count on myself. And that helps to keep myself accountable.
I know that totally goes against the whole artist myth. Artists are supposed to be the exact opposite. They’re supposed to be fun and wild. They’re supposed to drink wine and suffer… for the sake of art. They’re supposed to create great things. Things that are ahead of their time. They’re supposed to be mysterious and misunderstood. Sorry to burst that bubble, but those stereotypes only really exist to keep us small. They exist to limit you to what you’re “supposed to be like”. And they go hand in hand with the whole “starving artist” mentality.
But the thing about making yourself a priority is that it’s scary.
It’s scary to take on the reigns. It’s scary to go pro. It’s scary to say to the world that what you do matters, that you believe in it enough to actually do it. And plan for it, everyday.
|"But the truth is: you won’t have time to get scared, if you don’t make time|
And it’s not about doing this one big thing perfectly. It’s about doing it, period. Just doing it. It’s showing up everyday and doing the work. Little by little. Because that big accomplishment of yours? Was probably made of a bunch of small little things. It was you perfecting your skill. It was falling flat on your face and starting over again… and again. It was about discovering new angles, new approaches. And building up confidence along the way. It was about consistency. And you can’t really have that if you don’t make yourself a priority.
You can still have time to be wild and free. Miss “crazy wild thing” can still have shotgun, but you’re the one who’s driving the show. Make time for yourself. Because what you do matters. Show the world that what you do matters enough for you to actually do it. And do the work… everyday.