I'm wondering at this moment, as I hang up a painted saw blade to be spray varnished...if one of the mysterious reasons I sometimes procrastinate might be the heightened exhilaration of finally getting a thing accomplished! I mean, would it be feeling this great if I hadn't been "pregnant with it" for so long?
The time it took me to complete this commission—a Kansas Flint Hills landscape on both sides of a two-man saw—was embarrassingly long. Lucky for me, the client was very gracious and not in a hurry. But I kept asking myself, "Why?" Why are most jobs in and out the door of my studio very quickly, while a few, like this one, just hang around like they own the place? Was it because I stubbornly insisted it needed to be done in oil instead of acrylic paints (extended drying time between sessions)? Was it because I'd never painted something quite like this, and was afraid I wouldn't execute it well? Or did that old saw just happen to like the view from his window seat home and never want to leave?
I may never know all the hidden causes for my procrastination hang-up. This website took me three years from idea to execution, and it still needs loads of tweaking. But in all honesty, I'm glad I didn't rush it, because using Weebly made the process way easier—and I didn't know about Weebly three years ago. I've had time to build a larger body of work, too. Besides, I wasn't supposed to be focusing on a website; I was supposed to be making the most of the SEEDS mentoring program, teaching art, etc. It wasn't the right time for this. I was in the Legitimate Procrastination phase.
Don't laugh. I truly believe in the Legitimate Procrastination phase. Don't you? I honor it as an essential part of any creative endeavor. Deadlines are great motivators, but ideas that are unduly rushed turn out like half-baked cinnamon rolls: gooey, and not in the good way.
If you get irritated with yourself over the habit of procrastination, work on it the best you can, but don't kick yourself black and blue over it. Unless it's seriously sabotaging your productivity, I don't think you should get hung up on it. ;-)
I'm not new to music, or writing, or art. But I am new to this. To putting it all up in one place, up for sale, up on the online marketplace—where literally anyone in the world could stumble upon it and suddenly know me. Hear my voice. Look at my pictures. Read my writing. See my soul through the holes in my everyday clothes.
I don't think of myself as a shy person. It was a long time ago when I used to hide behind my mom's dress at church (so long ago that all women wore dresses to church). But now I kinda feel that way again. Now that I finally found the courage to hit PUBLISH and set this thing loose.
I don't suppose it'll feel like this for long. I'll get into the rhythm and soon it will seem natural to be tossing words and music and pictures out to a silent, invisible crowd. But until then, please do me a favor and remember the kind words of the great food critic, Anton Ego..."The new needs friends."