I am so glad I finally bought the book The War of Art (Steven Pressfield) today! It has given me some vital clarity. Vital. Clarity. (And I haven’t even reached the “solutions” part of the book, I’m still in the symptoms section!)
For all my fellow writers out there (and for anyone else aiming to pursue something great, the kind of thing that requires a long-term commitment and little recognition during the in-between), don’t forget:
“Resistance aims to kill. Its target is the epicenter of our being: our genius, our soul, the unique and priceless gift we were put on earth to give and that no one else has but us.”
Steven Pressfield, The War of Art
Don’t let the Resistance win.
I have a little secret to share: I have begun working on a fantasy novel. Something new and completely different than I have ever written before. Perhaps the novel might become a trilogy, who knows? In fact, I kind of hope it does.
Hah! Even writing that down makes me want to laugh, because it sounds so utterly ridiculous. Even more ridiculous than the YA high-school-girl-narrated novel I’ve been working on for the past 3+ years.
But starting this project has been exhilarating.
Even though I sometimes read back what I’ve written so far and want to print it out just so I can burn it. Even though I keep changing the beginning and feel certain it’s going to turn into a 500-page cliche (i.e. a huge waste of time). Despite all my fears and all the perfectly logical voices telling me to STOP before I make a fool of myself, it has been exhilarating.
I never thought I was a fantasy reader, much less writer. But as I embarked on this project, I found new channels opening inside me, parts of myself I hadn’t known before. Which, for a creative artist, is an almost unparalleled delight. (And then I remembered what a deep fondness I always had for The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia and realized I have harbored some deep affection for this genre since I was a child after all.)
I may not know quite what I’m doing yet. But the only way to write something amazing is to start. (And I’m not giving up on my other novel. Just putting it on hold, for now.)
Don’t stop taking risks. Don’t stop exploring. And don’t let the resistance win. Creating something amazing takes a lot of time, commitment, and hard work. It could be a novel, a business, a relationship. But it’s worth it.
There is something inside you that wants to come out. A better version of yourself you want to be. A higher way of living you’ve dreamt of. Go be it.