no more excuses

I’m halfway through my 30 day challenge. If you missed the original post, you can read it here. It’s been a really interesting journey so far. I’m learning a lot about myself, and the barriers to creativity and productivity that were preventing me from being the artist I want to be are starting to crumble, day by day.

Before I started the challenge, it seemed SO hard to get to work. I hadn’t really thought about the reasons… there was always just some kind of invisible force working against me. When I thought about it, I realized that I must be making actual excuses, even if they were subconscious. You can’t fix the problem if you don’t know what you’re up against, so I took out a piece of paper, and I made a note of the ‘reasons not to make beads’ during the first week of the challenge.

Day 1: My arm hurts.
Day 2: I feel tired and achy.
Day 3: I had a busy day and I should probably be cleaning the house instead.
Day 4: I don’t feel like it.
Day 5: It’s too late in the day.
Day 6: I’m out of propane!
Day 7: My neck hurts.

When I looked at the excuses I was making, in writing, I couldn’t believe how pathetic they sounded. I’m a little embarrassed to share them with you, actually. THIS was what was keeping me from expressing myself, from doing something I love to do? I felt so silly. And I was so mad at myself. All those wasted hours.

After the first week, something interesting started to happen. I realized that the excuses were becoming fewer and fewer, and the work was just happening. The mental anguish was kind of slipping away. It just seemed normal that I was going to get to the torch at some point during the day, even if it was at 10 PM, even if I was tired, even if I didn’t feel like it.

Once I made the commitment to working every day (except the weekends!), and I pressed on, no matter what the ‘excuse of the day’ happened to be, I started to feel like I was doing something important. Something worthwhile. Every day was a gift to myself, and practicing self-discipline, as hard as it’s been, has been invaluable. I feel better about  my work, I feel better about myself, and most importantly, I’m having FUN. And isn’t that what it’s all about?

What excuses are preventing you from following your passions?


4 thoughts on “no more excuses

  1. Julie! Besides the fact that I’m obsessed with your beads and the fact that you can and do make tiny lovely works of art that are little pockets of joy in my day, your 30 day creative challenge has been so inspiring for me! You have reminded me that there is some little voice inside me that wants to create things besides happy days for my kids- things that are just about expressing who I am in any given moment. You made me think about taking the time to listen to that voice again, and that if the results are not great, really it’s FINE.
    So, thank-you- and thank-you for the list of lame-o excuses- it sounds a lot like my list!

    • 🙂 Don’t you think it’s funny that one person’s list of lame-o excuses can be another person’s inspiration? I love that some people just have this need to create… I guess not everyone does, but I can’t imagine life without bringing happy things into the world (though kids are the ultimate happy thing!!). Hooray for the little voice.

  2. Hello Julie!
    I greatly appreciate the courage it took to share your excuses with the world. They are remarkably similar to mine — except for the one about propane 😉 — and I don’t know if I could have been so publicly or even privately honest. I am ashamed of my MANY wasted hours. Your journey has been a wake-up call for me and I am inspired by your discoveries and accomplishments.

    Underlying my excuses is a bigger deterrent to creating and I believe that is self-criticism. But focusing on overcoming the day-to-day excuses should pretty much take care of the big bad one with enough time. So I thank you for lighting the way for us with your propane torch! Here’s to the 2nd half of your challenge!

    • Oh, did I forget to mention self-doubt… worry… feelings of inadequacy? Let’s just add that to the list for EVERY DAY. I’m so excited to hear where your inspiration leads you!!!!!

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