Time Won’t Give Me Time: The Go-To Excuse We All Use


How often do you work on Art? Everyday? A few times a week? Maybe once a week? Or is it more like once a month? Or maybe “when I get time”.

I was talking recently to a friend who has been having a hard time working on art. He, like many, has a day job and a family. He hasn’t been able to create any new work in years. It’s definitely tough when your “regular life” takes up so much of your time and your “art life” suffers.

But why is that so? I know in some cases there are many people out there who do literally work from the time they get up until they fall exhausted into bed–but I suspect they aren’t quite so worried about their lack of artistic time. The people I’m asking about are those people in-between, who have a lot of responsibilities, but in fact do have some time, but generally don’t feel able to devote any of it to art–why aren’t you fighting harder to do some?

The first reaction for most would be to state how unfair the question is. Children, jobs, family duties take up the bulk of their time–the remainder of their time is there for them to relax and lower their stress level.

In many ways that’s my point–why isn’t doing art a way to fight the stress? And more importantly, if now isn’t the time to work on art, when will the time come? It’s always easy to look to the future, but at some point, the future arrives, and we all seem to be able to find some reason why we again need to look toward the future.

The important thing is to ask yourself why you can’t do things now. Is it fear of failure? Is your life too stressful to do art because there are things about your life that you don’t like, but are afraid to change? Are you simply not “hungry enough” anymore to work on your art? Look, once you get to a certain amount of wealth it’s easy to lose the hunger for art–in many cases art has tied to it the notion of fame and fortune, so if you suddenly are too comfortable with your day job, you can get “lazy”.

So, now you need to ask yourself the real question: why am I not working on art? Only you can answer the question, but unless you are literally being worked to death, you must either accept you don’t want to work on it, or decide to start work on things now, even a small amount, to move forward. Can you really not afford to do 15 minutes of art a day? Just a small amount of writing, even a diary entry, or pencil sketch, or working on some chords?

It’s your decision, but make one, don’t just let time go by until there’s no time left–and time isn’t very generous with the bonuses.


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