I read most of Steven Pressfield’s “the War of Art,” over the weekend. I’m enjoying it if only, at this point, because I tend to be a sucker for punishment from time to time. It’s well written and full of good advice on avoiding procrastination (everywhere I look these days there are articles and helpful hints on how to get motivated and avoid the internet, television, couch, or whatever vice pulls you away from your work), but each page has begun to feel like a hammer on my thumb. It’s getting repetitive and I want to scream, “Okay! I get it.”
And that’s the genius of it. It has to hammer. Hammers are the only things that will properly drive a nail.
Quit resisting, it says.
Quit resisting, quit resisting, quit resisting.
Do the work, do the work, do the work.
When my alarm sounded at 5AM today, I fought with myself about getting up to exercise for an hour. “I can do it later in the day,” I thought. “Do I really need to be doing this at all,” I thought. “I’m getting old, I should rest more,” I thought.
“Quit resisting,” I thought.
I then dragged myself out of bed and put on the gear that I dutifully laid out last night, stumbled to the kitchen, made my double espresso, somehow got my contacts into my pissed off eyes (who can work out with glasses sliding down her nose? Not I), and got to it. I quit resisting. I don’t know if I would’ve had those words not been swirling around my brain.
Everyone should probably take a look at this book. Any creative person, or anyone who doesn’t have to deliver things on a deadline most of the time, or anyone who mistakenly thinks that the creative work can come after all of the other things are done, should probably read it thoroughly. Pressfield has an interesting take on what makes an amateur and what makes a pro. I don’t know about y’all, but I want to be the latter, regardless of how hard I have to fight through my own resistance to get there. It’s actually so much easier to get the work done when you stop negotiating with yourself about how not to do it, then give in, and take the first step, write the first word, play the first chord, make that call, set up that meeting, and take it seriously.
Happy Monday, Y’all.