The Feral Work in the Next Room

Annie Dillard's The Writing Life.  I should have read it back in February, when I first began approaching my current project.   Funny thing is, the image she describes in the following paragraph is one I have kept in the back of my mind for years. A work in progress quickly becomes feral.  It reverts …

Making Up the Afterlife: David Eagleman’s SUM

One of my favorite books is Alan Lightman's Einstein's Dreams, in which Lightman, an MIT physicist, imagines Einstein considering multiple modes of experiencing time.   Time moves backwards, in endless repetition, in varying cycles of stunning strangeness.  Einstein's Dreams is an elegant, vastly imaginative look at one of life's deepest mysteries.   David Eagleman's SUM: Forty …

The Belly of the Beast

It's a metaphor that's been around since Jonah.  Writers talk about it as the state of being deep in the middle of a work as the wheels are coming off, your faith in your talent and in your ideas crashing head-on into failed structures and dead-end choices.   In Do the Work, by Steven Pressfield, …

“Do the Work” by Steven Pressfield

  What is it about people who speak with "authority" that can be so inspirational?  (Who does that make you think of?) Almost two years ago, I wrote a blog post about the metaphor of war as it related to prayer. Read it here.  I questioned whether war was the best frame through which to …

Mediated Mania: The Artist’s Energy

I'm riffing on a chapter in Eric Maisel's book Coaching the Artist Within, wondering what you think.  I want to invite you to comment upfront on how you generate the energy and capacity to see a work through to its end.  Do not read into this that I'm running out of energy for my current …

On Finishing “The War of Art”

So 24 hours later, I'm through Steven Pressfield's The War of Art.  Without looking back at my notes and highlights, here are the take-aways for me, the specifics the little voice inside me is urging me to pay attention to. Stop speculating about art's mysteries.  Be a craftsman.  Make the work.  Every day.  The mysteries …

A Brief Note On “The War of Art”

How do you define a critic?  I don't remember where I first heard it, but here's the definition I use, though frankly, until recently, I'd forgotten it. "A critic mediates between an artist and his work." Yesterday, I got a note about the latest draft of the my current project.  It wasn't a note I …