The Dark Side Of The Moon is popularly considered to be Pink Floyd’s best album. In a collection of stand-out songs, one that rises that little bit higher is ‘Time’. It includes the following lyrics:
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.
It’s a haunting, brilliant song. It is also completely true. You chip way at projects without any real confidence or intent, and suddenly the best part of a decade has disappeared with nothing to show for it.
There is plenty of writing on the subject of creativity that will tell you to Go. Start. Whatever it is you want to do: Do It. There is never a better time than Now.
And they’re right, so you should follow that advice. The trouble is, you probably won’t. Lack of confidence will make you think, I’ll start tomorrow. The trouble is, there is always a tomorrow and so you’ll never start. You’ll miss the starting gun.
Starting at the sound of the gun is the most important thing. It doesn’t matter if you don’t run quite as fast as everyone else. It’s all about being in the game.
Up until last December, I’d spent seven years making false starts or missing the gun. Trust me when I say that the time went very quickly. When your art does not feel important – when you keep saying you’ll start tomorrow, or next week – the days and the months and the years skip by without any concern for your confidence or the work you could/should be doing.
Conversely, when you do finally get in the game, it will probably feel like you can’t run as fast as you’d like. But the simple act of doing is doing enough. Remember the times when you produced nothing, and realise that producing even a little something every day is an improvement on that.
And then think what you might achieve with a decade of doing, compared to a decade of regretting.
Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time.
Plans that either come to naught, or half a page of scribbled lines.
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way.