I am a fan of Steven Pressfields work. He writes in such a way where, as your eyes register each passing word, you think, “my god! He wrote this for me! He knows my every fear and deepest darkest thought!” I’m not going to say his word is bond or anything… but damn if he isn’t brilliant when it comes to the tortured artists soul.
I first experienced Pressfields writing in his book The War of Art, (no, not The Art of War that is by Sun Tzu don’t get it twisted). In TWA he explores the concept of Resistance, the forces that distract, derail, and deter us from our end goal (aka cleaning my house). I read that book at least three times before giving away 2 copies to people I know and love who were experiencing a lot of Resistance in their lives; creatively or otherwise. As things now stand however, I fear I may be the one who has stalled and needs a little shove through the Resistance that seems to bind me. It really isn’t so bad, but you guys, it is the holidays and all I want to do is bake cookies! (I think that is a sign of resistance)
Drew ordered Pressfields second “motivational” book, Do the Work on a Sunday, and by 7 p.m. Monday night I had read the whole thing. It is all of 90 odd pages and written in such a fashion that you turn those pages with ease. In the forward Seth Godin (… another hero of inspiration wrote his forward, if that tells you anything at all) recommends you read it once through for preliminary thought and then take a pen and paper, delving deeper into the pages, taking down notes as you go so that you may really absorb each morsel of wisdom. Consider it a prescription for your creative diseases (being worn out, uninspired, etc).
I am now on to Turning Pro, the latest addition to Pressfields body of work. In this book he speaks of life as an amateur (living/working in fear) and become a pro, pushing everything out of our way to pursue the life/career we want and desire.
This is not to say I have a problem. I am not on a quest to find a quick fix to my problems… however, it is nice to have a little mental padding for when the creative gears start grinding away your resolve.
Take heart my fellow creatives, you are not alone, we all suffer from the same demons (in their various forms). Now if you will excuse me, I am going to go “Do the Work” with a nice cup of coffee and about a million notes (of the thank you and holiday varietal), but I am around should you ever need to chat, my email is always open.