I finished the ‘The War of Art’ by Steven Pressfield and I’m filled with enthusiasm and a very much needed kick in the ass. I’m typically the one that everyone says how disciplined I am and wish they could have the motivation I have to sit down and write. Well, guess what. I too struggle at times to get myself to the page, but as I’ve said before, once I get here, watch out I’m ready to write and will fall into the zone and just write. Try getting me to the page for revisions, well that’s a totally different story. I witness the ego, the fear, the resistance show up, kick and scream how revising is boring and they don’t want to do the work, I hear “But, we’ve written the book, why do we have to do more work?”
Why does Resistance yield to our turning pro? Because Resistance is a bully. Resistance has no strength of its own; its power derives entirely from our fear of it. A bully will back down before the runtiest twerp who stands his ground. The essence of professionalism is the focus upon the work and its demands, while we are doing it, to the exclusion of all else. ~ Steven Pressfield
It’s a challenge at times to get to the page, and I am aware of that which is half the battle. I have been working on getting to the page for all my life. It started at an early age. When I was eight, my mother took me to see Annie with Carol Burnett, even before the movie was over I was imagining myself as Annie, then all the new adventures I could have. I went home and wrote a short story about how Daddy Warbucks and I went on an adventure to Walk Disney world. I had no problems getting to the page. Then when I shared my story to my teacher, she told me that I was too young to have such an imagination. The ego really did start digging in at an early age for me, but I never gave up until my ego won one day and I lost myself in other things like dating, and men became my new obsession. But that’s a different story…
Someone once asked Somerset Maugham if he wrote on a schedule or only when stuck by inspiration. “I write only when inspiration strikes,” he replied. “Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o’clock sharp.” That’s a pro In terms of Resistance, Maugham was saying, “I despise Resistance; I will not let it faze me; I will sit down and do my work.” Maugham reckoned another, deeper truth; That by performing the mundane physical act of sitting down and starting to work, he set in motion a mysterious but infallible sequence of events that would produce inspiration, as surely as if the goddess had synchronized her watch with his. He knew if he built, she would come. ~ Steven Pressfield
This is so true! When I wrote my first draft of my manuscript I had the luxury of not working a 9-5 job. I was off for a few months and instead of getting up every morning and going to a job that I resented. I got up and either was in my writing room or at the local coffee shop by ten in the morning and just wrote. I let the muse take over and tell the story. What an amazing experience. As I showed up every day at the same time, so did my muse. It was a very special time for me and I remember what that feels like so I know I can do it again and I do. I sit here in Serious Coffee, every Sunday morning and write. I also set myself up on Monday mornings in my writing room for a few hours and sometimes again later in the afternoon, and write. It’s an unspoken deal with my muse and if I break the routine I have to make another deal to write on another day. It’s all about balance, but it’s all about sitting your ass down and write.
Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got. ~ Steven Pressfield
I love this quote. Don’t cheat yourself of your talent and for goodness sake don’t cheat the world of your talents. You have something special to share, now is the time to shine!
Until next time, keep on typing….