PONDERINGS on procrastination

Dithering, delaying, stalling, temporizing, vacillation, dilly-dallying, shilly-shallying, kicking the can down the road.

Do you procrastinate? It’s one of my worst time-wasters. Why do I let it happen? Each of the above words is a synonym for it and I think they are quite instructive.
Dithering – shall I do this or shall I do that? Shall I get into the studio and work or shall I go for a walk while the sun is out? Oh, how I love to dither!
Think of the all the reasons for choosing either option
– a walk is good for my physical health, it would stimulate my creativity, I need the exercise;
– working in the studio helps lighten my mood so it’s good for my mental health, just playing with colour stimulates my creativity and produces work that others like as well as I do, I need to finish another painting for…
And so I dither, delaying until the opportunity to do either diminishes or is gone. Oh well, there’s always tomorrow!
Tomorrow I go into the studio. Is procrastinating over? Not at all! How can I paint until I’ve swept the floor, cleaned the windows, emptied the rubbish, tidied a shelf. There are so many things to stall the creative drive.

So, why do I let it happen?
Am I temporizing, stalling to gain time for my brain to decide what I want to paint?
Am I putting off painting because I’m not sure I can do it?
Maybe it’s those inner voices – ‘you’re not really an artist, you can’t paint like so-and-so therefore you must not be any good, you haven’t sold anything for ages so you’re wasting time’, and on and on. Perhaps they’re to blame, the gremlins that try to persuade me they know me better than I know myself.

But hang on, they are myself! I can control them – if I have the stamina and determination to thwart their destructive influence. Of course this suggests that procrastinating, dilly-dallying, could be symptoms of something more serious – a lack of self-confidence, low self-esteem.

But there are things I know that my gremlins don’t.
I know I can paint, that I have the skills necessary to compose and produce a work of art .
I know my paintings have value to others. As one client said, ‘Those are delicious!’ before he bought two of them.
I know that not getting on with things is a sign of depression setting in.
I also know that painting raises my spirits, lifts my depression and makes the day better.
Why would I not want to do it? Indeed, why am I shilly-shallying with this blog post when I could be mixing blues for the next step on my canvas? 😀 .
Now is the moment to stop kicking that can and kick myself into the studio.
No deferring it until tomorrow. Let’s go!

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