I bought the book, The War of Art, Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles, by Steven Pressfield for a young artist/musician and seeker. I skimmed it and thought the references to war and battle would be attractive to a male. And he loved it. He even read parts of it to me that he thought I’d like. And I did, so I bought a copy for myself and read the entire book in one sitting. I’ve read a number of books about writing motivation, so some of it was familiar, but every time I read something like this, or re-read, it reaches a new place in me that needed to hear it. There were many such places in this book.
The book is written in three sections: Part One, Defining the Enemy; Book Two, Turning Pro; and Book Three, The Higher Realm. Here are a few gems on resistance:
“Resistance is most powerful at the finish line.” It’s true. Right now, I have a finished draft of my mystery, Focused on Murder, and have sent it out to exactly one agent. This section turned a light on my resistance. I fooled myself into thinking there weren’t enough hours in the day to research agents and send out queries and synopses when I wanted to take on the 50,000 words in one month NaNoWriMo challenge. I’ve done great with that and have a first draft of a brand new novel, but my finished novel sits.
Resistance and Procrastination. “Procrastination is the most common manifestation of resistance because it’s the easiest to rationalize. We don’t tell ourselves I’m never going to write my symphony. Instead, we say, I’m going to write my symphony, I’m just going to start tomorrow.”
Resistance and Unhappiness. “As artists and professionals it is our obligation to enact our own internal revolution, a private, insurrection within our skulls.”
Resistance and Healing. “Remember, the part of us that we imagine needs healing is not the part we create from; that part is far deeper and stronger.” The part we create from can’t be touched by anything our parents did, or society did. That part is unsullied, uncorrupted; soundproof, waterproof, and bulletproof. In fact, the more troubles we’ve got, the better and richer that part becomes. The part that needs healing is our personal life. Personal life has nothing to do with work. Besides, what better way of healing than to find our center of self-sovereignty? Isn’t that the whole point of healing?”
I hope you, too, find something in these words that helps you in your writing journey.
So helpful! Will get the book!
Hi June, I’ve read it twice! Loved it.
Great post, Linda! I feel like you wrote it just for me. Guess I’m going to have to get a copy of this book too.
There’s so much more than what I mentioned here. I think you’ll love it.
Sounds like an interesting book, Linda. I was a psychology major in college and have always been interested in the psychology of motivation.