Keeping the themes of “The War of Art” (by Stephen Pressfield) going one more day, let me ask you this: how did the battle with Resistance go today?
Here’s how it went for me, and the 17 steps I took (or that I felt myself taking? Or that someone gave me the strength take? Or…) to keep my project going.
- Woke up with the following forms of Resistance sitting on my chest: jealousy, ambition, self-deprecation, doubt, fear, defeatism, and why-don’t-you-just-give-it-up-now-itis.
- Waited, sitting in bed, staring at my computer screen, feeling the weight of ONE specific problem in my current project. It felt like Mt. Everest, and I feel barely capable of driving up Queen Anne Hill.
- Prayed. But note: I didn’t yet name those things sitting on my chest.
- Got out of bed. One step, another step, and so on.
- Got coffee: important step.
- Went to my work space, moved letters and words around in some of the character files, trying to sneak up on the whole thing.
- Left my house with Anjie and headed toward Sea-Tac to pick up Amy, all the while naming out loud some of those Resistance guys from when I first woke up.
- Got coffee at coffee shop (Anjie worked until time to get Amy); important step.
- Reached out to a couple of people describing the exact nature of the problem. (As well as subjecting them to my end-of-my-life-as-an-artist whining.)
- Went to work, applying what I knew, hunting down clues, places of entry, places to begin.
- Heard back from a couple of friends. I accepted their feedback, and each of them had at least one killer idea to help dislodge the logjam.
- Went back to work, drilling deep into the character that was causing me fits, and discovered, “WOW! This is an interesting person I’m trying to write here!”
- Decided I wouldn’t end my life as a writer, and continued pounding away.
- Was again kind to the people in my life.
- Prayed, said thanks.
- Took that Mt. Everest hill, and found it really was about the size of Queen Anne, which isn’t small, but it’s not Everest.
- Tomorrow, I’ll keep this ground, and take some more.
I’m joking a little, and a little not. Maybe the list is smaller. Maybe 2. and 3. should be reversed, but here it is succinctly.
- Wake up
- Take Sustenance
- Go to Work
- Name the Enemy
- Go Where You Have to Go
- Reach Out to Allies
- Apply What You Know
- Hunt for Clues
- Accept Feedback
- Drill Deep into the Problem
- Make the Decision to Keep Going
- Be Kind
- Pray Your Thanks
- Take the Ground You Need
- Give Tomorrow”s Resistance Fair Warning That You’re Taking More Ground Tomorrow.
One thing I could have done, that I’ll do next time and let you know. After 6., I could have simply shown the enemy the door, and said, with great heart and sincerity, “Get out!”
Do the work…they’ll find you…