"No wonder you're late. Why, this watch is exactly two days slow." - The Mad Hatter, from Alice In Wonderland
People tell me they would love to be an artist. But they always make excuses: there isn't enough time or money, there's no guarantee of being able to make a living. I wonder why they don't apply the same analysis to everything else they do. They have time for a regular job, even if they hate it; they manage to drag themselves to it when they're under-paid, undervalued, exhausted and sick. Why is it such a big step to sacrifice this grind for something that will provide a deal more spiritual, emotional and social satisfaction? There's no guarantee that you will make a lot of money, that's true. But that's no different to an ordinary McJob. And in the economic new order to which we're all subjected, a steady job (and the equal opportunity to succeed in it) is a myth.People invest a lot of time and money to study – and qualify for – well-paying, high status careers in business, law, medicine and the sciences. They accept that there's a narrow window of opportunity through which they have to squeeze if they're to succeed. Even if they're highly qualified, this success will depend, in part, on luck, making the right connections, and how much drive and self-belief they can muster. They will be measured constantly and if found wanting, discarded in favour of a better equipped competitor.One of the most difficult things for most of us to accept is that as soon as a moment has passed, it's gone forever. Putting off something – or procrastinating about it – is a vain attempt to stop time. Every day brings a whole new set of demands and priorities. Which is why those who really want to be artists have to start right now. If they put it off, the chance might be gone forever.