I was stunned and awed this weekend when I read a great book on creative blocks called The War of Art by Steven Pressfield (thanks, Kelly, for suggesting it!) Best known as a novelist of books such as The Legend of Bagger Vance, Gates of Fire, Tides of War, and The Last of the Amazons, in this non-fiction book, Pressfield writes a short but exquisite analysis of the source, purpose and solution to creative blocks. It was published in 2002, but is a timeless classic for anyone who feels blocked from starting anything.
In this week’s 7 1/2 minute podcast (listen here), I chose a few key concepts to explore, including:
- What is resistance?
- What is its aim?
- What is a quick way to overcome it?
I share some juicy passages from the book, which REALLY got me fired up to stop procrasinating and get moving on long-stalled creative projects like my book that I have been avoiding writing for ages. Here is a little taste:
“Resistance will tell you anything to keep you from doing your work. It will perjure, fabricate, falsify; seduce, bully, cajole. Resistance is protean. It will assume any form, if that’s what it takes to deceive you. It will reason with you like a lawyer or jam a nine-millimeter in your face like a stickup man. Resistance has no conscience. It will pledge anything to get a deal, then double-cross you as soon as your back is turned. If you take Resistance at its word, you deserve everything you get. Resistance is always lying, and always full of shit.”
I am very curious what your experience has been with creative blocks, and what you have done to move past them. Please share them here, as I know that defeating the dragon of resistance is the difference between success or failure for a lot of us.
P.S. I got so fired up about the book that I invited Steven Pressfield to be a guest on my radio show. He agreed, but schedule-wise it will be in about a month. I can’t WAIT for this conversation, as he has an amazing personal story and very profound insight into this topic.
P.P.S. Yes, if you listened to this podcast, you heard a little bit of 2-year old screaming in the background … I didn’t have the time to re-do or edit the recording, so forgive my imperfection as a sign of DO-ING to slay the dragon. 🙂