I always find myself with a creative block after a big show or project. It is like I have run out of creative fuel, and my idea bus is stranded on the side of the road at night in the middle of nowhere. Often, I take this as an opportunity to enjoy the stars, or clean the windows until my tow truck comes along. This could take days. Or weeks. A few times it has taken months. After my daughter was born, it took years. My tow truck driver is Steven Pressfield, and he's coming in The War of Art.
Personally, I listen to this short "jump start" of a novel on Audible because I need busy hands while listening to non-fiction. But, however you best receive information, I encourage you to imbibe this knowledge. I would have never considered this book, in favor instead of something more recent, or maybe with prettier cover art (shameful admission). Regardless of a few dated references and some really out there topics, the heart of this novel is timeless and imperative for creatives, or anyone who believes in a higher purpose. If I were a professor, my semesters would begin with this book specifically to introduce everyone to the formerly unnamed phenomenon he calls resistance.
If you haven't already taken the link above, and claimed your copy (new perspective on life) of The War of Art (clever name, I know. I revel in word play), allow me to further convince you. Resistance is a broad term to define that which distracts you or repels you from doing your work. Not just any work, I am referring to the significant work of your life. What is your purpose, your genius, the thing that defines you and separates you as a person? What is your God given gift or talent that you can share? Well dang, heavy questions for this early in the morning, right? Drink your coffee and think.
My life's work is art. Whatever medium I can get my hands on that will communicate with the world (or even just one lost individual) a message of hope or encouragement. I want to move people in a way that brings them to action or resolution. I aim to inspire people to believe or have faith in themselves. So, it is no wonder that the concept of resistance resonates with me. If my message in life is to encourage others to try again, resistance isn't just my personal enemy, keeping me from doing my own work. Resistance is my enemy in you, also.
Did I lose you? Hold tight, I am going to break it down. Resistance is the sensation that arrives when you are just about to embark on a spiritual/physical/artistic calling for growth, and suddenly have the overwhelming need to do the dishes. Or play a video game. Or begin a different unrelated project. Whatever excuse that keeps you from not following your revolutionary path at class/church/gym/practice is resistance. Resistance loves addiction, and insecurity- he has you right where he wants you. "The more important a call or action is to our souls evolution, the more resistance we will feel toward pursuing it." Resistance arrives wherever courage is required; it is fueled by fear.
Do you know what I am talking about? Can you relate? Seems impossible, right? Now, imagine if you could learn to use that sensation as a compass to navigate where your best efforts should be spent. Progress. Transformation. Fulfillment. This book can reprogram your mindset about procrastination and reinvigorate your passion. I have not even touched any concepts beyond the second chapter. So, #treatyoself to something different this weekend, I can't wait to hear your thoughts!
Note: Thanks to my friend Aly Juma, who runs a brilliant resource of a blog, for introducing me to this book, and for enlightening me at least a couple of times a week with his writing.