Procrastination, my biggest fear

Work in progress, started this morning, 12x12" oil on canvas

Work in progress, started this morning, 12×12″ oil on canvas

I have always been a procrastinator. I’ve always blamed perfectionism. In truth, it’s fear. Fear of failure? Fear of success? I wish I knew, probably a bit of both. I have overcome a lot of fear in the 26 years I’ve been working as an artist. It’s still there. Clinging on for dear life. I’m aware of it, it’s always been there. Mocking me, telling me I’m not good enough to overcome it. Some days, I feel really brave. It’s easy to feel brave sitting here in my studio. I have WORK to do! I NEED to paint, right? I NEED to write another blog post, right? I NEED to work on updating my Etsy shop or my website, right? Of course I do, but I use these excuses as reasons not to get out in the world and share my art. I use these excuses to save myself from rejection. Nobody likes rejection. It’s not easy to hear NO when you are putting your heart and soul out there.

That all said, I have come to the point in my life where I have to either overcome my fear or give up trying. I’m starting to see why there are fewer and fewer artist peers as I get older. It’s not easy to keep getting back up after a rejection or a perceived failure. Truth is, it’s the ONLY way to succeed. Keep getting back up, dusting myself off and try again, and again. I have to talk myself into it some days. Today has been one of those days. I came into the studio this morning excited and ready to GO! As the day wears on, the energy wanes. I have a whole list of excuses by now. I have so many other things I COULD be doing right now.

I once read a book called “Art and Fear”. I highly recommend it. In fact, I think it’s time for a re-read. Time to get motivated and get out there!

2 responses to “Procrastination, my biggest fear

  1. You hit it on the head! I procrastinate all the time. Used to make my managers really nervous! Now it make my husband nervous. I have my first big solo show March 1. Twenty-five pieces! Guess how many are finished and ready to frame? Six. I know I can paint fast but … this is a big deal for me and I am terrified. Don’t feel good enough. Work isn’t good enough. What if nothing sells? (A very real possibility.) A fellow artist just keeps reminding me to remember why I paint. To get into shows? To make money? No, because I love it and have to do it. So today I am starting a new schedule. Get up, get coffee, do computer work, and then paint at least six hours today. And next week I start teaching again. Class is almost full so I better get on that too. I think part of me needs the pressure to get things done. Thanks for sharing Paula. You always have such wise words. Did you know you are wise? You are. And Happy Grandma-ing! Becki

    • I KNOW I work better under pressure! You are very kind, I’m not so sure how wise I am, but thank you! Congrats on the show, you can do it! Your art IS good enough! I look forward to seeing the new work!

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