Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The War of Art

Sometimes things happen that just blow my mind. I stumbled across a book this week that totally changed my perspective about the difficulties I face in my writing and I feel as if I've turned a corner.

The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield, is written for writers who struggle to write and he nails the real reason we fail. Although the book appears directed at writers, the premise and principals he writes about can be applied to anyone who struggles to succeed. Pressfield identifies the culprit responsible for all failure, not as writer's block but Resistance. And according to Pressfield, Resistance isn't futile, it is evil and we are at war with it.

I am listening to a 2-hr audio version of the book. Last night I got halfway through and I learned so much about resistance in just that hour that it energized me. My brain felt as if it was flooded with some kind of euphoria. I wanted to jump out of bed and go write.

No, I didn't. It was nearly midnight and I had to be up at 6:30 a.m. So, needs must. I stayed in bed and listened for a while. This morning when I was getting ready to go to the write-in I had scheduled at the Mall, I found it wasn't as hard as usual to think about having to write. I have been sick for weeks and I'm still dealing with the cold but I found I was excited about writing. And I wrote when I got there. It was awesome. I came home and had been able I'd have written some more but by then the general fatigue I deal with struck and I sat down to rest. Pressfield would have said that resistance overtook me.

I want to finish the book tonight but I want to write even more. What to do? Pressfield says to identify what is a priority and what is important. Then do what is important. Writing is important.

If you're a writer struggling to write and want to attack the problems you face writing, I'd encourage you to get The War of Art. Pressfield knows whereof he speaks.

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