Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Things You Didn't Do

Last week I made an observation about the overall progress of songwriters in this month's FAWM challenge. With the month one-third over, 80% of participants still hadn't posted their first song. Now the month is two-thirds over, and that number is creeping downward, but only slightly: the proportion of no-shows has dropped to about 78%.

FAWM's participants are all people who recently and voluntarily took on the challenge of writing 14 songs this month. You'd expect some proportion of procrastinators, the overcommitted (who don't realistically have the time for this extra activity), and the disorganized (who, for example, lose the domain name or lose their password) — but it's sobering to see that the non-starter faction is such a large majority.

It makes me wonder what the world would be like if just a few percent more creative people followed through on the things that they said they were going to do, or got started on the things that they secretly know they should do. It makes me wonder just how many people wimp out on the very things that they were born to do, who find some excuse or other to back away from their true life's work.

There's no one in the world who can hold you accountable for the things that you didn't do. Until you actually go ahead and do them, no one even knows that those things are on the threshold of possibility.

It's all up to you, the artist, to find the courage, the discipline, and the resources to bring your secrets to life. If you can't manage it, it's okay — apparently Just Not Doing It is the overwhelming choice of people with a creative calling. But if a few percent more of us could find the way to follow a few more of our visions, the world would be a noticeably richer place.

1 comment:

napedog said...

I really enjoyed reading that post. That's exactly what I am doing. Procrastination is my default mode, and I need to revamp my M.O. Right now!!