What are you willing to give up? – Skinny Artist

What are you willing to give up?

Time for change?

Every year about this time I have this absurd tradition of sitting down and coming up with a small list of New Year’s resolutions for myself.  Fortunately this is a fairly easy exercise because I find myself making the same exact resolutions each and every year.  Not only that, but I somehow still manage to surprise myself when all of these good intentions begin to fall apart a few weeks later.

A failed experiment (again)

Each year I convince myself that this will be the year that I finally stop using the treadmill for an over-priced clothes rack and actually start running on it again.  This will be the year that I’ll practice my guitar often enough that my calluses won’t disappear and my fingers won’t bleed for a week every time I get “inspired”.  And this will be the year that I’ll finally get myself organized so I won’t have to spend so many nights lying awake wondering what the hell I did all day.

If history is any guide, this will also be the year that none of these things actually happen.

Let’s face it, it’s possible to really want to do something but still not be willing to do what it takes to make it happen. After all, if I wasn’t willing to do make any of these things happen a month ago, what makes me think that January is going to be any different? For whatever reason, I seem to be unwilling to do what it takes in order to make these changes in my life.

Sometimes I hear people talking about how “lucky” a particular actor, writer, or musician is and how that could have easily been them if they could get that one lucky break. . . this of course is complete load of crap.

Now I’m not going to sit here and tell you that luck doesn’t play any role at all in their success.  However as the writer E.B.White once said, the most successful people are “prepared to be lucky”.  Yes, unexpected things do happen and sometimes all of the pieces suddenly appear to fall into place, but realistically this doesn’t happen unless you have put in the work ahead of time. . .

How Gwyneth Paltrow learned to play the guitar

I was reminded of this fact a few weeks ago when I was reading that scholarly journal of the arts “Entertainment Weekly“.  In this particular issue they had a series where they talked about several different actors and actresses and how they had prepared for their upcoming roles.  One of the articles was about how Gwyneth Paltrow learned to play the guitar and sing for her movie Country Strong.  Apparently she had never even picked up a guitar before when she had agreed to do this role.

So what did she do?

Well she hired a guitar teacher and she began practicing. . . a lot. And it wasn’t exactly easy.  In fact in her own words she said,

“I played all the time, and my hands were bleeding and cramping.  It sucked.  I cried, like, five times at various points over four months.  It’s really f—ing hard.  It’s much harder than it looks.”

All this preparation paid off and as ‘luck’ would have it, she not only made the movie, but she was also invited later to perform live at the Country Music Awards and guest star on a little show called Glee.  Now of course Gwyneth Paltrow was already a famous actress before any of this happened, but no one including herself, had any idea that she could sing and play guitar as well as she did.

In other words, all of this preparation created some very unexpected opportunities for her (i.e. luck) that has taken her career to a whole new level.  I’m sure that they could have hired a guitar playing stand-in for this particular movie, but Gwyneth decided to do the real work, even though she could have never predicted where it would lead.


Why Mark Wahlberg trained 4 years for one movie

Mark Wahlberg is an actor who may be best remembered to those of us who grew up in the 80’s as the abs behind Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch.  What most people don’t realize, however, is that Mark is also a serious actor who began training over four years ago to portray real-life boxer Micky Ward in his latest movie “The Fighter”.  Keep in mind that because he still possessed his legendary abs, Mark could have easily trained for this role as a boxer in a couple months and been done with it, but in his own words he said, “I wanted to look like a world-class boxer, not just like some actor who can box pretty good.

So what did he do?

Mark built a boxing ring in his home.  While he was working on other projects he would take his boxing trainers along with him.  According to Mark,

“We’d train 8-10 hours a day. Micky and Dicky [the real life brothers on which the movie is based] lived at my house, and we would start the day at six in the morning, running eight miles to church and back.  We’d have breakfast and then start training.”

Mark Wahlberg could have taken the easy way out and played the part of a boxer, instead he became one.

So what are you willing to give up in to achieve your goals?

What you have to understand is that none of this is really that unusual.  I could probably give you at least a dozen more examples of actors, writers, musicians, and yes–even visual artists who went far above and beyond what was expected of them often for no other reason than it was what they felt they needed to do in order to achieve their goals.

One of the reasons I started writing articles for this site was that I really wanted to become a better writer.  I knew that in order to do that, I had to start writing a lot, which unfortunately is something that’s easy to avoid when no one else is watching.  As this site continued to grow, I began to feel some positive peer pressure to keep writing and publishing new posts regularly. Not that you can probably tell by actually reading this stuff, but writing these articles week after week has helped me become a better writer. Although I’m still nowhere near where I hope to be someday as a writer, I at least feel like I’m heading in the right direction.


What are you willing to do in order to become a better artist?

Are you willing to do what it takes to become a full-time-making-money kind of artist/writer/musician?  In order for that to happen, you’re going to have to find the motivation and the self-discipline to put in the work when nobody else is looking.  Not only that, but you’re going to have to keep doing it day after day even though you’re probably not going to see any immediate results.

This might mean that you’ll have get up early or go to bed late.  This might mean that you’ll have to be a parent, work a day job, or do the laundry during the day and then create your art or write your novel at 2:00 in the morning.  This might mean that you’ll have to turn off the television, put down the book, or log off Twitter or Facebook once in awhile in order to get done what you need to do.

People are doing extraordinary things everyday to create their art.


What about you?

  • What do you want to accomplish this year as an artist/writer/musician/photographer?
  • What are you willing to give up this year to create your art and achieve these goals?
  • What have you done so far today to become a better artist/writer/musician/photographer?

Tell us about your creative New Year’s Resolutions. . .

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About the Author

Drew is a writer, teacher, and head custodian of the Skinny Artist creative community. You can also find him online at OutmatchFitness.com where he writes about fitness, nutrition, and his continuing battle with father time.

Thank you for writing this. I was looking at my list of goals for 2010 and became frustrated because I had failed to do most of them. I have a lot of excuses, but the real reason is I didn’t want it bad of enough to do the work I needed to do. I am inspired by your story and the stories you shared.
I want to finish my book of floral photographs this year and I am willing to give up trying to make everyone like me. I want to take back my time and do what is important to me to make this happen. Thanks again!


    Thanks Dianne for sharing your goals with us. I think part of my problem is that I usually make way too many goals for myself each year and then end up throwing in the proverbial towel on all of them out of frustration.

    Actually, it’s pretty much the same with my daily to-do list. I tend to make this crazy long list of things to do and then get mad at myself for not getting through it by the end of the day. Now it doesn’t help that I’m easily distracted by Twitter and various shiny objects along the way, but I’m trying to limit my daily to-do list this year to two or three things I really (really) want to get done that day. So far it has seemed to help, but then again, we’re only on day 4. . .

    Let us know when your book is finished and we’ll celebrate together! Also for what it’s worth, we still like you even if you’re not trying to be likable anymore ;)

I think I just had a test of endurance right here! I had a comment that took more than 2 seconds (but less than too many minutes…) to write that just went down the drain when I attempted to reply. Something about cookies and security and somehow that’s why it wasn’t able to post my reply – harumph!

Reply Attempt # 2…hmm…wait, it’s almost like this is a real-life short illustration of what goal-keeping (or you might call it resolution-keeping if it’s January) perseverance is like…whoa.

Okay Drew, is it a sign of a guilty conscience that I felt like you were talking right to me in the last paragraph?! You know, the paragraph that named off some possible art-production avoidance activities that just happened to include Twitter, Facebook, TV-watching, book-reading, and, oh…deciding to re-learn French? That’s NOT a sign of a guilty conscience? Whew – thank goodness. I didn’t think so…hee hee.

You were exactly right, at least in my case, about how making that mind change (something like, I’m gonna make art this year or die trying!) but then also planting that mind change in a creative-rich, encouraging environment is the key. Reading about your own writing struggles and seeing where the Skinny Artist site is now (whew!) has been encouraging for so many artists out there – thanks. :)

Now I’m off to put my shiny new work habits back to work in the studio. Happy 2011!


    Sorry about your commenting issues, however, I really wanted to test your resolve here to see what you were willing to do to not only create your art, but also what you were willing to do to leave a comment as well. In the end, it looks like you managed to break through our high-tech comment security system, so you clearly passed the test ;)

    I think you’re exactly right when you say that it’s as much about a “mind change” as it is about changing our habits. I know that at least for me, I tend to find those shiny distracting objects when I’m busy avoiding something else (usually boring edits) so being able to change your perspective on the whole thing is incredibly important, which is where creating your “creative-rich, encouraging environment” comes into play.

    Shine on!

Thank you for the inspiring words.


    Thanks Cameron, I really appreciate your kind words and continued support :)

It’s always hardest to actually MAKE the change. Easier to talk about it than actually do it… I’ve decided to honour my own creative process this year and trust myself and my judgement, rather than allow others to influence my life. That’s a huge step for me and quite enough for one year :) Oh look! There’s something shiny! Must go check it out……… xoxox


    You’re right Marg, it’s A LOT easier to talk about doing these things than it is to actually make the change (trust me I know!) After all, change is not only often uncomfortable, but it’s a good deal of hard work as well. There’s always some degree of comfort in the familiar even if we know it’s not what’s necessarily “good” for us (just ask this half-empty bag of Cheetos sitting beside me)

    Learning to trust yourself and your artistic judgment is huge and finding that level of confidence is a life-long process that is often filled with potholes of doubts and countless shiny objects along the way. As long as you continue moving forward, however, you cannot fail. . .

It may not be that important exactly what you are willing to give up or do. The answer may actually be in the question. Just asking myself that question with sufficient seriousness and attention is enough to raise my pulse, indication probably, that it’s coming up against some resistance. Now *there’s a word : resistance. There are times, in creating, when everything is resistance including the 30 metres separating me from my easel.

The question is how am I going to overcome or dodge or tame the resistance, and how much am I willing to put into it?

If I can ask the question with enough conviction, I will already be moving.


    I really love your idea Peter of asking the right questions.

    As a writer it seems that I am always fumbling to find just the right words to describe what I am trying to say. I would imagine that it’s similar to a painter searching for just that right shade of blue, or the musician searching for that one perfect note or musical phrase. It seems that we spend so much of our time searching for that one perfect color, tone, or technique to describe what we are picturing in our mind.

    Resistance to me is that lingering sense of doubt that is constantly playing in the back of my mind. What if this isn’t good enough? What if I’m running out of ideas? What if. . . It goes on and on and I won’t bore you with all the details.

    So how do we break through this resistance? Well for me, it’s usually a matter of getting off my tail feathers and getting started even if I’m just going through the motions at first. I figure that even if I end up throwing out the first twenty pages, I can’t get to that one good idea on page twenty-one until I put in the work and screw up the first twenty ;) — So I type, and type, and then I type some more. . .

Happy New Year Drew.
Don’t like the expression ‘give up’…
I prefer : letting go like letting go of the fears holding you back, stopping you to believe in yourself , etc…and replacing them by perseverance and courage.
Let’s make great art in 2011..starting from now.


    I completely agree with you Annick that we need to change our mindset from a position of “sacrifice” and “giving up” to a more positive perspective of heading toward what we want. When I was putting this article together, I was picturing giving up distractions and focusing on what’s most important, but you’re right when I go back and reread it from a different perspective, it makes it sound more of a sacrifice–that feeling of losing more than you stand to gain. Letting go is probably the better choice of words :)

    I do think “courage” is a really big word for us creative types. Not only do we have to have the courage to try, but we have to have the courage to risk failure as well. We have to have the courage to create something meaningful to us, but also have the courage to let it go when we are finished. We have to have the courage to stand out from the crowd, while still having the courage to connect with others. . . .

    To great art and great friends!

Greta Olivas

I have been doing just that the last few years. It’s hard work, but I am determined to be a better artist and photographer. It’s funny, because people comment “when do you get everything done?” or “How do you do it all?”, but it’s not watching tv and going to sleep very late (which is when I am most creative anyway). I am so glad you posted this article, it makes me feel like I am moving in the right direction, even if it seems like a very slow process.


    Thank you so much Greta for your kind words :)

    I kind of worry sometimes about these type of articles coming off sounding like a nagging parent. . .
    “Eat your vegetables!”
    “Go do your art!”
    “Don’t track mud in the house! ”

    I certainly hope it doesn’t feel that way, but honestly these are the kind of problems I deal with everyday (oooo shiny object) so a lot of time I use these articles as a way to kind of talk some of these issues out, first with myself, and then with all of you. It’s kind of like therapy without all of the expense or electrical shock treatments.

    It really sounds like you have found your groove and are really making progress towards your goals of becoming a better artist and photographer. Keep going and be sure to keep in touch along the way!

I think it’s true, you do have to give things up in order to achieve , and if you are the kind of person who obsessively pursues things then other things get left behind, sometimes the very important things that don’t necessarily figure on goal lists.
I think it is healthy to have a balance.
We don’t really know what drives people, or how much choice they have about their lives, or what they have given up to get there. If we could see the complete picture, it might be obvious that those choices wouldn’t be acceptable to us.
Life is much richer than a listable set of achievements.
Maybe skinny artist could mean geting there as efficiently as possible, without losing those things which make us who we are.


    Hi Kate! First of all, let me say that “Pineapple Chunks” is an awesome name for the Pineapple Pictures blog. So kudos to you and Michael — Keep up the good work!

    I think you’re right, everyone does need to find their ideal balance between pursuing their dreams while still taking the time to enjoy life along the way. I can’t really speak for anyone else, but I’ve never really had that artistic “bucket list” where I’m going to feel disappointed if I’m not able to check everything off of it before I die. For me, it’s all about progress and moving forward.

    It’s not so much about becoming great, as it is about sucking less than I did six months ago. I think sometimes when we start setting concrete objective goals for ourselves (i.e. selling 25,000 copies of my first book), we can fall into that trap of self-loathing when we end up only selling 2,500 copies. Instead of looking at it from a perspective of having gone from 0 to 2,500, all we see is that we fell short of some arbitrary goal that we made up somewhere along the way.

    My problem has always been maintaining this forward progress and focus without getting distracted along the way (squirrel!)

    Thanks again Kate for sharing your thoughts with us :)


      It has been recently brought to my attention that my “Squirrel” reference in the previous comment was completely lost on many of you. So in the interest of completeness and animated hilarity, I would encourage you to watch the following. . . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxoWHeoYU3g

Maryann Nomann

Really thought provoking article Drew. Happy New year as well! I had been giving serious thought to my resolutions for this year. I wanted to actually commit myself to some things that I was actually going to carry through with and have been seeking internally what I was willing to GIVE to achieve that.
I felt that in order to be successful I had to put myself in a spiritual successful direction. So I decided to give myself things instead of give up.
I am very passionate about having my Art sought after because I have passionately created it and decided that this is the year that I would start to give myself the permission the time and the dedication to do it. I want to be recognized for my effort of love and to do that I need to create the best possible work that I can.
I have decided that my art will be better and my attitude will be better and the end resulting sales and creating a group of people who want to collect my work by giving myself the dedication of time and patience for quality production. I won’t then be hurriedly trying to throw something together at the last possible moment. I have committed myself to a certain number of GOOD Art shows and intend to have only the best of myself at those shows and by giving to myself I plan to succeed.
I hope we all meet our goals, steps in the right direction are steps in the right direction.


    Great comment Maryann, I wish you all the luck on achieving these goals and more this year!

    I still seem to have mixed feelings on this whole New Year’s resolutions thing. On one hand, I know it’s a bit ridiculous to expect that something I was obviously too lazy to do in December is suddenly going to get done in January. On the other hand, I do think that the beginning of the new year is the perfect time to sit down and reflect on where you are heading and what you’re hoping to accomplish over the next year.

    Too often, I think we just automatically drag last year’s resolutions into this year, only to discover to later discover that it’s really not that important to us anymore. I don’t know, is sitting down and coming up with some goals different than making New Year’s resolutions?

I like the concept of positive peer pressure Drew! I do feel that you are helping us to build an online community that is both positive and encouraging. I’m totally giving in to the excitement of New Years goal making and going for it – though I’m taking it one step at a time. Setting goals that are a stretch yet achievable, and making movement towards those goals, is deeply satisfying. Wishing everyone a creative and gratifying 2011 :)


    I’m with you Rebecca, I think positive peer pressure is one of those things that can really help an artist out of a creative block or even a creative rut simply by finding a way to get them moving in the right direction.

    I think perhaps Mr. Newton was right when he said (paraphrasing here) “An artist at rest tends to stay at rest, while an artist in motion will remain in motion.” As I mentioned above in Greta’s response, however, there is a fine line between encouraging someone to get off their butt and do something, and coming off as an obnoxious nagging parent. I’ll let you decide where I happen to fall on that particular spectrum ;)

    I do wish you all the best on achieving your goals this year Rebecca. It sounds like you are off to a fantastic start!

Great article! It is so absolutely true, hard work pays off. Oh, 2011! I kind of have high expectations for 2011. (So, in a nut shell of course.) Near the end of 2010 I ran into several circumstances that have me feeling overwhelmed and drained. I came into the new year with the double whammy of a cold and a flu. I sat in my state of fogginess and thought about 2011. I am coming off Mat leave and heading back to work in a few months. I am pumped for this, but at that time I felt a wreck. That is when, for the first time in years actually (hey, let’s not set ourselves up for disappointment every year, ha ha!), I decided to make a resolution. My resolution, or vow as I call it, is of simplicity. The house had fallen apart, projects had piled up, I forgot friends birthdays and I knew I just was at a breaking point. So, I vowed to have no commitments for three months and live simply ( Maybe the calm before the storm? Ha ha). I bought a couple of bins and cleaned the house, donating all kinds of stuff I hadn’t used or was sick of dusting, whilst taking moments to just breath and sit, and going at it again. It has only been two weeks and I am so impressed! I feel rejuvenated, clear minded and focused. I realized that when I allow myself space, on many levels, then I have room to be. I can’t wait to see where the next couple of months take me. Hope I can keep it up!


    Thanks Laura for your kind words, it’s always great to hear some positive feedback even for a crusty battle-scarred writer such as myself. I have to admit, however, that I don’t often hear the words “rejuvenated, clear minded, and focused” with the words “maternity leave” in the same paragraph — So kudos to you! I hope this means that you’ll be able to spend some more time with us here now that you’ve freed up your schedule ;)

    I think we should all join you in your vow of simplicity this year. As my wife will surely tell you, I’m more than willing to let the house go and have unfinished projects pile up, so I figure I’m already halfway there. Is there some sort of vow paper I need to sign or. . .

    By the way, I love the design of your site! Beautiful clean layout and the fading picture links are really a nice touch. Congratulations to you and your web designers!

      Thanks Drew! I have a confession… I have been following your articles for a couple months before signing up. I’ve been meaning to reply, but throw that in with the mess of 2010… and well… I am here now :)

      Another confession, my web designer and her husband were the ones to introduce me to your site, I saw a link to something you had written on his facebook page and it was powerful enough to make me really want to come back. Doing as much mindless blog surfing and internet exploring I do, it is refreshing to come to a place like this that makes sense and speaks truth. Funny stuff!

      No papers needed for this vow- I just had to actually want it. I *had* to decide what is important and what is fluff. After the birth of both my daughters, it seemed to send me into a whirlwind of self discovery each time. Perhaps it was because taking care of a baby forces one to put careers and projects on the back burner, thus creating natural space in itself. Good times!

      Words and stories are so powerful, I’m looking forward to more things you have to say. It sounds like you are on an awesome journey and your are dragging all of us with you- thanks!

Kathleen Carrier

I have enjoyed your article. It spoke to me, again. I can look back at years of lists and goals for the new year. There all pretty much the same. They pertain to all the things that I know I need and want to do to make my art happen foe me. The end of last year I put into place a social network. Now the goal for me this year is to do what I need to do with it and walk away. Going to my studio and getting lost there the same way that i do in front of a computer screen.
I have started a project Called the Kat Project 101. because for me I have learned that if I have a piece always working that I keep the momentum going. I am working towards a solo show with this and compiling it all in a book. Now I have spoken my plans out loud and that is the biggest help for me. letting people know what I plan to do makes me accountable for my actions. Thank you again for the wonderful piece and all the great comments that went with it.


    Thank you Kathleen for stopping by and sharing your goals with us! Good for you for getting your social network together to support you as you move Kat Project 101 forward (I hope we’re included on that list!).

    You’re right when you say that momentum is such a huge part of staying on track. Even if you can just do something small everyday to keep reminding yourself that your art is a priority in your life. That’s one of the reasons I think that informal groups like #draw365 on Twitter are so valuable. They help you to focus and keep that creative momentum moving. With our thoughts we begin to create our world and eventually it becomes our reality.

    Don’t worry about the results, just keep creating!

Hi there Drew.

Guess it’s kind of apropos that I finally set aside some time to revisit this post, as I’d been meaning to comment. It’s been a long time since I’ve done resolutions just because it’s a new year; the struggle to accomplish things is more on a daily, rather than annual, basis.

The last sentence of your post is really what drives it home for me ~ “People are doing extraordinary things everyday to create their art.” Not only are they going the extra mile to create it, they are doing the extraordinary to sell it or simply get it out in public.

One of my biggest hurdles has always been face-to-face interactions, simply having the balls ~oops, can I say that on here~ to talk about my art. So everytime I’m encountered by weak knees & butterflies in my stomach, the Nike logo flashes through my mind and I just do it. No overthinking…no what if…no what will the other person say/not say…because you know what, somewhere out there is someone who isn’t shy or nervous about talking to people about their art, and that someone just found a new contact or maybe even made a sale. So, this year I will continue letting go of the fear and shyness, and work towards having more of an unabashed, bold attitude when it comes to interest in my art.

As always, thanks for bringing up great topics that bring about open & honest discussions.

~ S L Donaldson


    It’s always great to hear from you D.B. and I’m glad to hear that you’ve made the resolution to stop by and comment more on this site . . . at least that’s the way I’m reading it ;)

    People really are doing extraordinary things in order to create their art. I never realized that myself for a long time. I always wondered where the hell all these people are getting the time to sit down and write those novels or paint that ten part series. It wasn’t until I started reading some biographies of my mentors/idols that I realized they didn’t really have any more time to sit around to write than the rest of us.

    Stephen King was a high school teacher during the day and wrote his first novel in the middle of the night after he graded papers and put his kids to bed. Stieg Larsson worked as a journalist during the day and wrote the Millennium Trilogy (i.e. The Girl Who Sold All Those Books) at night. In fact, he completed the entire trilogy before he even attempted to get them published. Of course in a cruel twist of fate, he died suddenly and never even got to see his books in print. This series has now sold over 27 million copies worldwide.

    So what exactly are we supposed to get out of all of this? These writers didn’t necessarily have the time to write either, but they made the time because it was a priority in their life. That’s when I began to realize that being a writer was more than about the love of reading and the desire to write — It was about sitting down and actually putting some words on the page. It’s not about the “liking” or the “wanting” it’s all about the “doing”.

    Now putting that long-winded rant aside for a moment, I did want to wish you well on breaking out of your social shell and allowing the world to see what an incredible artist you really are. I’ll also let you know that there isn’t anyone out there who isn’t at least a little self-conscious about their art and their role as an artist/writer/etc.. I don’t care how long you’ve been at it, we’re all filled with these little self-doubting demons that never allow us to feel comfortable with who we are and what we’re doing. The only difference is that the pros find a way to push through that discomfort and do it anyway.

    “I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single think that I wanted to do.” ~Georgia O’Keeffe

    Be bold. Be proud. Be ballsy!

Wow, how did I miss this post?
You hit the nail on the head here for many I’m sure, but me included. I used to wallow wishing I didn’t have to work the other job. Even willing to bargain, just work the other job less. (It’s not so bad really, I like doing it, but just not so much that it limits my paint time.)
Time to throw all the excuses out and make it real. Thanks Drew.

    PS: I have a quote from somewhere taped to my bedroom bureau similar to one of your closing questions: “Would I want to be known for the work I’m doing today?”


      I love that quote Tracy, although before I can decide if “I want to be known for the work I’m doing today”, I probably have to actually do some work first. . . there’s always a catch isn’t there ;)

      The thing that’s so dangerous about this particular excuse of not having enough time time, is the fact that it conveniently provides you with an excuse that seems to be out of your control. Over the years I have amassed quite a collection of perfectly reasonable excuses for my personal lack of production. In fact, I’ve become such good friends with them that I’ve divided them into to distinct camps: the “Assoonas” and the “IfOnlys”

      “As soon as my life settles down. . . ”
      “As soon as the kids start school. . .”
      “As soon as I can cut down my hours. . . ”
      “As soon as I can save up some money. . ”
      “As soon as my work starts selling. . . ”

      “If only I didn’t have to deal with these family responsibilities. . . ”
      “If only I didn’t have to work that other job. . ”
      “If only I had done that differently. . . ”
      “If only I could have sold that book/painting/print. . .”
      “If only I had been born independently wealthy and could do whatever the hell I want whenever I wanted.”

      The problem is that as soon as we start to buy into these excuses/reasons, we’re no longer responsible for our lack of effort. After all, it’s not my fault that. . . .

        Well said! Sounds like we’ve been smoking the same pipe.
        Off I go to take some responsibility!

Excellent post! I’m new to the site and so I’m slowly going through your past articles and this one really hits the nail on the head and something one of my illustration teachers, Barron Storey said to my class about 15 years ago. It resonated with me so much that I actually have it posted on my studio wall so I see it everyday and everyday it reminds me that nothing worth having is easy.

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