Good Sign

From one of my all-time favorite writing guides, The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield:

“Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign.

“Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do.

“Remember our rule of thumb: The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.

“Resistance is experienced as fear; the degree of fear equates to the strength of Resistance. Therefore, the more fear we feel about a specific enterprise, the more certain we can be that that enterprise is important to us and to the growth of our soul. That’s why we feel so much Resistance. If it meant nothing to us, there’d be no Resistance.

“Have you ever watched Inside the Actor’s Studio? The host, James Lipton, invariably asks his guests, ‘What factors made yo decide to take a particular role?’ The actor always answers, ‘Because I’m afraid of it.’

“The professional tackles the project that will make him stretch. He takes on the assignment that will bear him into uncharted waters, compel him to explore unconscious parts of himself.

“Is he scared? Hell, yes. He’s petrified.

“Conversely, the professional turns down roles that hes done before. He’s not afraid of them anymore. Why waste his time?)

“So if you’re paralyzed with fear, that’s a good sign. It shows you what you have to do.”

Wow, liberating this is! Fear is “a good sign” – a signpost, in fact, that’s pointing us to what’s really important to us, what we really yearn to do, but shy away from because we feel it’s too hard or too painful, too much for us to handle.

So fear is a friend, really, according to our boy Steven. Fear is helping us identify where we need to go. And the more Resistance we feel – the more things that seem to pull us away from the work we might be doing and should be doing, the clearer it is that this is what we’re meant to do. Something to ponder and take action on as we all write on.

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About karinwritesdangerously

I am a writer and this is a motivational blog designed to help both writers and aspiring writers to push to the next level. Key themes are peak performance, passion, overcoming writing roadblocks, juicing up your creativity, and the joys of writing.
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