However painful it may be, or however slow you find the process, keep moving forward.

Just do it already.  Keep digging those ditches.

No matter where I turn I hear this message over, and over again.  It seems that every podcast, every interview, every book, and every conversation I enter leads me to the same idea. 

Make Better Art

I first heard this phrase while listening to a recording by Seth Godin.  He was referencing an important point that writer Neil Gaiman in an effort to inspire people. 

Make better Art

Do it already.

Seth Godin insists that we all ship our work.  Plain and simple. 

Everyone is a creator.  Everyone can create art.  Everyone has the duty to share their art with the world.

No matter how much we wrestle with ourselves and think we are almost ready, we should always share our creation with everyone.  We should ship our work no matter how we feel about the oncoming criticism, and the little daggers that will inevitably fly in the night.  We need to ship our work, despite feeling unworthy.  We need to ship, despite our thoughts of failure or being a fraud. 

Don’t be afraid of failure.  Don’t be afraid of what people will say.  Don’t over think it.  Don’t dance with your feelings.  Just make art.  Kiss it, and ship it.

Nike is right.

Not the goddess of course, although she is probably right too.  I mean the shoe company that tirelessly promotes the idea of just do it

I am a full-time English teacher.  There is not a lot of time in a day to write or pursue my other passion for photography.  No matter.  I write when I can.  I book photo sessions when I can.  I wake up.  I dig my ditch.  I go to sleep.

I will be honest and admit that I am not where I want to be.  I am not a published author or speaker and I am not a proud owner of a beautiful commercial studio in downtown Cobourg.  What I am however, is someone that I’ve always wanted to become.  I am living the life I’ve always envied in others.  I now dance with my dreams.

Shipping is important.

This Ten Minas blog is a prime example.  In one sense, it seems counter intuitive, because I could use the time it takes to write this, and work on my book instead.  I seem to have my priorities all wrong, but in my heart, it all feels right somehow.

Every morning when I sit down to write, I accomplish something.  I write about something that appears before me, or imagine something others are struggling with and might want to read about.  Within an hour, and a quick glance over which cannot be properly called editing, I copy and paste, and ship. 

I made a commitment to myself that I will ship anything I write, no matter what state it is in, and no matter how I feel about it.  I made a promise that I will make Better Art.

If my thoughts today are not so good, perhaps tomorrow’s will be a little better.  Perhaps in a year, when I look back at all my thoughts, a few will volunteer and have a chance to be rewritten, and it might just be the beginning of something greater.

I have no idea where this is all going.  I don’t even know if anyone besides the five or six gracious souls who really like me, even read my posts.  That is not the point.  The point is that I insist on digging ditches.  I insist on making art.  I want to make better art, as I grow stronger and more confident in my struggle.  I insist on shipping it.  They are still just small little pockets, but I hope they will lead my work to larger, deeper pockets.

This post is now complete.

For better or for worse, I have made some art. 

It is time to ship.

Thank you for reading. 

Now go and do the same.