i paint i write

Live boldly, laugh and make art

Don’t die with your stories and your paintings still inside of you

When we die we leave behind; the milk in the refrigerator that expires in three days, our dirty laundry, the bed we slept in, our hair brush, the people we love and the stories we have told.

Don't die with your stories and your paintings still inside of you


Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone
― Pablo Picasso

I know. I know. It is hard to find time to write. It is hard to find time to sit down and draw. You have so many demands on your time. Your children may be young and they need you to change their diapers and grind up their peas. Or your children may be older and you have to help them with their algebra. Or maybe your children don’t live at home anymore, but you have to  knit them a sweater because it is cold where they live.

It is so easy to say, “When the children leave home then I will start writing.” Or, “After I wash all the windows in the house, and sweep up all the dog hair, then I will write that story.”

I keep using the seven litter boxes in my house as an excuse not to write or paint. Today I had to take a four-hour nap.

Go ahead, make a mistake

Do you only want to write your story if you can write it perfectly? Do you only want to paint a cow if your cow looks exactly like the cow in the field?

I hate making mistakes. I want everyone to like me and I want everyone to like what I create. But I have come to realize that is impossible. If I go to any book on Amazon, I will find negative reviews. The Hunger Games, The War of Art, and even Harry Potter. 

Go ahead, make a mistake. Write an imperfect sentence, spell a word wrong. Paint your cow that looks like a dog. Then go back and edit, make corrections. Keep learning.

The mistakes I’ve made are dead to me. But I can’t take back the things I never did.
― Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

May we die with dog hair on our carpets, dirty dishes in the sink, laundry in the hamper, our stories told, and our paintings painted.

Die with no regrets

When I lay dying may my only regret be not cleaning the seven litter boxes twice a day.

It’s your life.

Write your stories.

Paint your paintings.


What is keeping you from writing your stories, painting your paintings? As always I love to hear from you.

About Pamela Hodges

I write slice of life stories to help you know you are loved, valuable and worthy just as you are. I am a writer, an artist, and a cleaner of seven litter boxes. I live in Pennsylvania with one husband, four cats, one dog and two birds.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

Feature Box

Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • DA Schuhow

    Ah, the whisper to write/tell my story just won’t go away!! Everywhere I go, whisper whisper whisper………….

  • Krithika Rangarajan

    Dearest Pamela

    I don’t have the proper words to describe my respect for you, so I am just going to give you my warmest hug and say ‘Thank you’!

    Your daily doses of inspiration and insight twist the corners of my mouth into a smile even when I don’t feel like curving my lips! #HUGSSSSS


    • Ah, Kitto,
      You are so kind to encourage me.
      Seth Godin recommended to write every day. I will try and find the blog post where he suggested it. It has helped me get my other writing done. When I don’t write here, I don’t write anywhere.
      Hello to Oreo.

  • Once again, Pamela, you are speaking to my heart and circumstances. I’ve been on a needful blogging break during Lent and it’s been all too easy to feel my writing days (just like elusive health and energy) may not return or that those books I’m working on may not be completed. Having been too unwell over several months to interact with groups of other writers has meant a dip in confidence and a feeling of greater vulnerability. Despite which, God is teaching me to rest in Him and His equipping above all things.
    Getting older doesn’t help either, does it? We sense the ticking clock and watch sand slide down the hourglass. And yet.. as these words say:”It’s your life. Write your stories. Paint your paintings.” Amen, friend! I think I need to take you at your word. Now where did I put those paintbrushes? xox 🙂

    • Hello Joy,
      Yes, please. Please take me at my word.
      I pray you feel better. Hopefully your break at Lent will leave you rested and confident, not tired and sad.
      Lean into Jesus, and let your beautiful poetry out again.
      I believe in you Joy.

      • Thank you, Pamela. Your encouragement means a lot to me! 🙂 xo

  • My day job consumes most of my time. Running a police department. I have to rise early and leverage time on Saturdays to create. I do it because the muse is always whispering in my ear.

    • Hello John,
      Being a police chief would take up a good deal of your day. Thankfully you listen to your muse on Saturdays as you share your writing and your painting. A world without John Patrick Weiss’s art would be a gray place indeed.

  • Every time (which seems often) that I “believe” writing is over for me, your posts beckon me to read; then, all of a sudden, I’m a writer, again! How about that!

    • Oh Shelley,
      I always and forever will think of you as a writer. Even if you decide to knit coverings for t-pots for the rest of your life, I will always think of you as a writer.

      All it took is for me to read one of your stories. I still remember the story about the little girl who was handicapped that you helped during a sports day at school.
      Yes, How about that. 🙂
      I guess that saying holds true, we are what we think we are.
      But, I am not a cat, even if I think I am. So there are limits.

  • Abiola Olaleye

    You inspire me, always and I don’t think I am ever going to get a finer gauntlet. It’s high time I stopped carrying my stories around…in my heart.

    Presently mourning the death of a dear colleague who died on Saturday morning…his wife died giving birth to their second child 2 years ago and now he’s gone too leaving behind two children under 4yrs…aged parents…possessions…and unfulfilled dreams.

    Pretty devastating…please say a prayer for his children who are now left without parents, his loved ones grieving his untimely demise, and also for me and my company.

    • Oh Abiola,
      I was just thinking about you the other day, and wondered how you are.
      This is such sad news, the death of your friend, the young children left without parents, and unfulfilled dreams.
      I am praying for the children, his loved ones, and for you and your company.
      This is so sad.

      • Abiola Olaleye

        Thank you, Pamela. That’s comforting.
        I do get to read every of your wonderful post in my box…

  • Kourosh

    Hi Pamela Thanks For Your Writing

  • Shari

    Pamela, I have spent the last six weeks coordinating my Dad’s move to Memory Care. He has not died, but his dementia is progressing quickly. Fortunately, he took the time early in retirement to write his story and paint his pictures. I have copies of both and feel fortunate to have them. This whole experience has changed me and has opened my eyes to how I want to live the rest of my life. Thank you for urging us to do so.

    • Hello Shari,
      I am so sorry your father has dementia. And, I am so thankful you have his stories and his pictures. May the time you have with him be special as you remember what he has forgotten.
      Some times it takes a tragedy to make us see how we spend our own lives.