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.
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.