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Have you always fancied being creative but never quite got around to it? Maybe you’ve always wanted to be a writer or an artist or a sculptor even. Something like that. But things just keep getting in the way. Life happens right?
Well, I’ll tell you what I think you need – and that’s a memento mori.
A memento mori is a reminder that one day we will die.
I know it doesn’t sound very jolly, but our mortality is an important thing to consider now and then. A skull’s a common symbol for this, and some people use something like a calendar as a visible reminder.
On a day-to-day basis, we can feel completely consumed by the mundane. The drudgery gets in the way of the things we really want to do. Maybe you want to write or paint or sculpt, or learn an instrument or write a song, something like that.
Maybe you feel like you just can’t find a moment. Or the world just wants you to shut up! Or maybe you feel you’re too old and, you know, time’s running out.
But even though we know this, how do we find a time to be creative?
We don’t actually have to do that much.
Just 10 minutes a day. Five even. It doesn’t even have to be every day. Just do something most days and you’ll still make progress. One page of a novel every day and you’ll soon and 50 pages, 100 pages. Practice that musical instrument for 10 minutes every day and you’ll feel your mastery grow. One line of a poem every day and you’ll soon have the Iliad or Paradise Lost.
But we can still see barriers, right? So what are we gonna do?
If you want to write morning pages, but your mornings are rushed, lay out your notebook and pen before you go to bed and it’ll be there waiting for you when you get up in the morning. If you want to paint, leave all your stuff laid out. If you want to do some kind of sport, have all your gear laid out ready to go, so it’s as convenient as possible.
Now I know this is all easy to say, and you might be thinking “that’s just not gonna work for me, Martin!”, but we are really good at making up excuses not to do things.
Especially hard things.
So what I would say is – just start.
Do little bits every day and you’ll maintain the momentum.
Be consistent, and if you can get over the first five minutes – they say the first five minutes of doing something like that is the hardest – get over the first five minutes and I guarantee you’ll see progress.