“There’s a secret that real writers know that wannabe writers don’t, and the secret is this: It’s not the writing part that’s hard. What’s hard is sitting down to write. What keeps us from sitting down is
Steven Pressfield, The War of Art
My library has a bunch of motivational books on writing that I turn to for inspiration and to share helpful tools and ideas with you. But the one that I really love most is one I stumbled upon somehow — I can’t remember where or when, but I’m so grateful for it. And I’m sure it was no accident!
It’s by Steven Pressfield and it’s called, The War of Art: Break Through the Block and Win Your Inner Creative Battles — it’s a true gem, and I urge anyone who wants to write or to do other creative work to find a copy. Just today, I was thumbing through it and came across a passage that I absolutely love. It’ so inspiring that I want to pass it on to you here:
“Why have I stressed professionalism so heavily…? Because the most important think about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.
“Why is this so important?
“Because when we sit down day after day and keep grinding, something mysterious starts to happen. A process is set into motion by which, inevitably and infallibly, heaven comes to our aid. Unseen forces enlist in our cause; serendipity reinforces our purpose.
“This is the other secret real artists know and wannabe writers don’t. When we sit down each day and do our work, power concentrates around us. The Muse takes note of our dedication. She approves. We have earned favor in her sight. When we sit down and work, we become like a magnetized rod that attracts iron filings. Ideas come. Insights accrete.
“Just as Resistance has its seat in hell, so Creation has its home in heaven. And it’s not just a witness, but an eager and active ally.”
I love Steve’s take on the artistic process and making the shift from being someone who thinks about being an artist to someone who really commits to the discipline and craft that becoming a true artist demands. That’s what writing dangerously is all about.
Every day, we encounter the Resistance that Steve talks about in The War of Art. Resistance is everything and anything that keeps us from doing our work. It’s fear, distraction, procrastination. It’s all the excuses we come up with about why we’re not doing what we should be doing: writing.
And our job is to smite resistance, to battle it, by doing our work — doing exactly what Resistance is trying to keep us from doing: the work that matters to us most. This is a battle we have to fight every day. But it’s one that we can win if we persevere in the face of whatever roadblocks Resistance throws in our way — and WRITE ON!