17/01/15 - Guest Post: Excuses, Excuses, Excuses

It's with some reluctancy that I'm writing for you, the blogging community. You see the problem is - wait for it - I'm not one of you. I understand the merit and importance of the documentation and review of say; arts, politics and (let's just put it out there) the more trivial elements of life. Yet I had never considered publicising my own voice in such a way. Aside from the worry of topic, content and tone - what could I, a twenty-something telecom salesman from Manchester really contribute to an already bombarded platform? I figured with a New Year truly underway, a shared resolution would be a start.

"I'm too busy", "I'm too tired" and "After a hard days work I come home and I simply don't have the motivation to do anything": I'd say those are my three biggest excuses which, to be blunt, I've been telling myself for the best part of my adult life. You see, it's much easier to admit defeat and place the blame on something which appears to be beyond control than work out a way to make it, well, work. When people ask me what I like to do in my free time I tell them that I like to make music, take photos (putting my Creative Lens Media degree into at least some use!) and, to those a little closer to me, I tell them I like to write. However last year, I barely set aside the time to do the things that I really love.

So my New Year's resolution is simple. It's to stop making excuses. To put that into action, I've been setting aside at least fifteen minutes a day to sit down (away from any distractions) and get the hell on with it. Yes, I know it's hardly a groundbreaking idea but this is me cementing my aspiration at least in a digital sense, and as readers of this blog you are witness to this vow.

I've been successfully running with this set intention since the beginning of the year, although I will admit that there have been times where I genuinely have been too busy, tired and unmotivated...but that's life. On those occasions I don't let myself get away with it and have worked out a system whereby the time can be made up. Say I miss one day's fifteen minutes; that would make for thirty the next day. Sometimes I've let it roll on for a few days, but I can proudly say I've been making the time up regardless of its accumulation. On the flip side of that, days when I've spent over fifteen minutes working do not give me a free pass for the following day. That would be too easy.

So why am I telling you this? Well, if you're like me and want to spend your life, or at least your free time, creating something (dare I say 'art') that will move, question and/or inspire others, why not adopt this system if you've yet to have one in place? Without it, I certainly wouldn't have written this blog and already I'm setting my sights on writing a short story each month and writing a song every two. By the end of the year I should have at least twelve short stories and six songs to my name, and why shouldn't I!? I've given myself the time to. 

Happy New Year,


I want to thank Shaun for sharing his thoughts with my little corner of the Internet!

Hopefully some of you will adopt the fifteen minute rule to help you be creative in 2015, and feel free to let myself and Shaun know how it's going!

He can found @shauncarr__ and through his band, @julyornever

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