If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends), “Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?” chances are you are.
Steven Pressfield, The War of Art
I have noticed something strange the past month. Whenever my daughter is away from me, something always feels a bit off to me, something is missing. When she’s here, everything is great. I have fun with her, get things done when she’s sleeping, and can fall asleep easily at night.
When she is gone, I have a restless mind. Whatever I seem to do, it never quite engages me like my daughter does. The normal activities that capture my attention and help me settle down aren’t working any more. Last night was probably the worst it has been in a while.
After having a productive morning and afternoon with a long hike to enjoy one of the last hot days of the year, I came back and wasn’t quite sure what to do with myself. There was plenty of things to do but nothing that fully interested me. After several hours of putzing around with things, I finally gave up and laid down in bed to read.
I have been hearing about The War of Art for a while, but only started to seriously think about the lessons in the past few years after reading Linchpin and discovering Gwen Bell. No matter how many times I saw his book mentioned, and even after reading through his free book, Do the Work, I never got around to actually reading his book.
I’m not entirely sure why I resisted reading the book. I suspect it may have been because I thought the book would be a dense and difficult read. It’s not. Not by a long shot.
After one sitting, I was over a third of the way through. After last night (the second sitting), I have 40 pages to go. This is a very inspiring book that’s made me realize a few things. I knew I had Resistance within me after I first heard that term years ago. What never occurred to me is the different types of Resistance there are. After reading the section describing the different varieties of Resistance, there were several I could relate to.
I am thankful that the last section of the book is about battling through the Resistance. Ultimately, it comes down to me to just do the work, which finds me here writing after waking up without an alarm at 6:30 am, going for a quick walk to the Starbucks to grab a drink, and setting up the iPad to work on.
I have already queued up the latest Pressfield book, Turning Pro to read after I finish The War of Art this afternoon. If you haven’t read it, and you do independent work of any kind, I suggest reading it.
If you have read it, please share some other like-minded authors for me to further explore.
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it. Begin it now.