Writers block? Blank page fear? A struggle to keep going in your creative work? This post is meant for you! Let’s chat about a book that will give you a swift kick in the butt to get creating–whatever that form is for you.
We all recognize that finding constant inspiration and energy to write and create can be difficult.
There are a lot of schools of thought about writer’s block, laziness, rules of writing, etc. etc.
I normally like to make my own rules–dance to the beat of my own drummer, so to speak…
While inspiration has never really been an issue for me, the procrastination of creating and producing works haunts me every single day.
Things like imposter syndrome, rejections, and all the mental games I play with my lovely Twisted Writer Brain take their toll to a point of nothingness.
The simple truth is that there are no excuses for not getting things done.
Stop resisting and start doing.
Read or listen to: War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield. Black Irish Entertainment Publishing 2002. (The info is timeless. Don’t worry that it’s 20+ years old.)
I have this book in both print and audio.
The audio is only a couple of hours long and the book only 162 pages.
A little background…
Pressfield is a fiction writer who, like the rest of us, is in a constant battle with those inner demons of self doubt, self-sabotage, deception, and degradation.
Pressfield identifies these demons as being presented to the creative in what he calls “resistance”.
Resistance is the little devil who sits on your shoulder and says…go take a nap–you don’t need to write today or have that third glass of wine–you can sleep in…
Resistance is the one who keeps you from reaching your true potential.
This small book is PACKED full of a kick in the ass, get off the couch, get that frikken book done NOW motivation!
What I Know—There’s a secret that real writers know that wannabe writers don’t, and the secret is this: It’s not the writing part that’s hard. What’s hard is sitting down to write. What keeps us from sitting down to write is Resistance.The War of Art; Pressfield 2002
This idea of “resistance” is all about our own insecurities, doubt, “self-drama”, fears of success, and excuses.
His words often amaze me as it feels like he’s staring straight into my writer soul.
I swear the first time I read this book, I devoured his insight because it was like he was talking to me directly.
He further states:
Resistance Can Be Beaten—If Resistance couldn’t be beaten, there would be no Fifth Symphony, no Romeo and Juliet, no Golden Gate Bridge. Defeating Resistance is like giving birth. It seems absolutely impossible until you remember that women have been pulling it off successfully, with support and without, for fifty million years.Page 57 The War of Art; Pressfield. 2002.
It’s a book that when I finished listening, I felt a lightness in spirit and a need to start writing. I’ve written nearly every day since.
Pressfield says we must EMBRACE and FACE the Resistance.
If you’re a creative person you must sit down every single day and face the fears. It’s not a selfish act.
Those who create have been given a gift that needs to be shared with the world. It’s not an easy task but it is worthy and must be done.
Sit down everyday.
Have a strict routine to take on your own inner “resistance” demons.
When you do this, an energy is created and released that brings about the creativity.
Call forth the muse and stop struggling against your the natural need to create. It really is a good thing.
The War of Art spoke to me in such a way as a reminder of all the things I intrinsically know but choose to ignore or downplay. It was a reminder that I’m a writer, a damn fine one, and I need to do it.
Simple as that.
The need for a boot in the butt is sometimes necessary.
I highly recommend this book as we all need reminders sometimes.
Here are just a few of the topics discussed:
- Resistance: Defining the Enemy
- You’re not alone.
- Fear is fuel…
- Self medicating
- Professionals v Amateurs
- Love what you do
- Be patient
- No excuses…
- Mastering technique
- The Muse
- and so much more…
I still listen to the audio book on a regular basis.
It’s narrated by Steven Pressfield and the first time I listened, it threw me for a loop because he talks so fast!
Holy moly–My Twisted Writer Brain was getting even more twisted… 😱 Turn the speed down. That’s the lovely thing about audio.
I constantly go back and listen to the same parts–especially about calling the muse. It’s one of my favorite sections.
Keep writing. Don’t let all the crap get in your way and stop you.
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