1. Art is rarely original. In fact, never. There, the pressure's off. We have so much pressure to perform, to 'amaze the whole room' to be stunning the first time. But really, there are only seven stories, the 'pros' failed the first hundred times, and your genius won't come to light if you don't give it a chance.
2. Keep the 'OMG, I'm a year older' birthday thought in the front of your mind.
Yes, you will be a year older in a year, and every year that goes past will be a reminder that you have or haven't done the things you want with your life. This can be counteracted by starting now.
3. If you want to sing, do it every day.
If you love drawing, painting, clowning around, catching fish, looking after small children, inventing moisturiser, emptying dustbins, find a way to do it every day. Even for 10 minutes. It may not mean a career move, but it will give your heart something to beat about.
4. Surround yourself with those who've gone before you.
If you have neglected doing the things you love, and going back or forward to those joys seem like a colossal task, whether it's being prevented by time, money or confusion, look at those people who have trod the path before you. Those who teach you time management techniques, stepping out in fear, or small business advice. Seek out your fellow lovers.
5. When you're resistant to doing what you love, identify the problem. Then go to your passion loving friends who can advise or reassure. The first hundred times might not be any good. But keep at it and you may create something amazing.
6. You're definitely not going to be the best if you don't start now.
Who knows - you could be the exception. I remember reading that Matthew Bourne became a choreographer aged 24, with a distinct lack of dance experience. You may not be a dance critic, but I'm betting you've glimpsed his version of Swan Lake, shown on TV every Christmas. It's not too late until you're dead. [sorry, morbid]
7. However much you do for other people, make sure you prioritise sometime for you.
Otherwise you are not living, you are a doormat. This goes for people who have demanding jobs, elderly parents, and screaming children. How much more excited will they be to see you are exhilarated having spent 30 minutes on your latest sketch?
8. Don't hide your knitted jumpers in a corner.
If you have a deep down love, bring it to the world's 'Show and Tell' in your own time, but give yourself a deadline and keep to it ruthlessly. Commitment is valued, not least by your own sense of self.
So Start. Now. Email me with all your worries, fears and pains. And then forget it all and go.
Selina Barker (@SelinaBarker) was on a teleclass call I was on last night, and she said this:
"Committment to me is like the fire that burns through all of those fears and all of those you have. Well over a year ago, I used to look at pictures of the West Coast of Scotland, and I was thinking - OMG - that is the kind of place I want to explore, and where I want to be. And before this call, I went down to the beach and was thinking about the message I wanted to give. And suddenly I'm like 'Wow, I'm not looking at this picture anymore, I'm IN it. and the reason I'm in it was because I committed and I wouldn't budge'. And I was so proud of myself, because I honoured that commitment."