So, I headed her word and bought it this weekend. I have been looking for an inspirational art read for a while now so it was perfect really. The last one similar to it that I read (and have re-read over and over) was:
Art & Fear was is an excellent resource for kicking oneself into gear and as a general reminder that art is not meant to be easy. The joy is in the challenge. Anyway, I digress... I just started reading The War of Art and already I am hooked. All it took was the introduction to strike a chord. I know the kind of book it will be - I will read with hungry intensity, gripping the pages thinking, "Yes! Yes! YES! I GET that. That is ME. Steven Pressfield, you are just SO RIGHT." I will feel tearing guilt at how unmotivated I can sometimes be, an overwhelming urge to follow his advice RIGHT NOW, TODAY, and then comes the crushing reality that I may never grasp onto the dedication/conviction/DISCIPLINE that I need to in order to do what it is that I really WANT to do. Here are some excerpts about The Unlived Life:
Most of us live two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.
Resistance defeats us. If tomorrow morning by some stroke of magic every dazed and benighted soul woke up with the power to take the first step toward pursuing his or her dreams, every shrink in the directory would be out of business.
Look in your own heart. Unless I'm crazy, right now a still small voice is piping up, telling you as it has ten thousand times, the calling that is yours and yours alone. You know it. No one has to tell you. And unless I'm crazy, you're no closer to taking action on it than you were yesterday or will be tomorrow. You think resistance isn't real? Resistance will bury you.Shit, Mr. Pressfield. Shit shit shit. I'm halfway underground and you've got me pegged. Resistance comes in many forms for me - Breyer's cherry vanilla ice cream, Etsy.com, pulling a piece of yarn around the house to amuse the cats, baking cupcakes, making delicious vegetarian dinners, playing some kind of hilarious pseudo Fung Shui game around the apartment, watching the entire Seinfeld series, falling asleep, cleaning, crafting, writing Sunday night blog entries about the minuscule 7 pages I just read, etc... While I have gotten (at least I think) much better this year on staying focused on a few things.... --- Wait. Who am I kidding. That's a lie. About six unnecessary distraction-based activities popped into my head that are on my plate right now. --- Why IS it so hard to stay focused on those things we really want to accomplish? It is because we actually don't want them as badly as we think? Is it because we are unable? Do we fear failure and therefore stop before we start to avoid it? I am looking forward to seeing whether or not Mr. Steven P will answer these questions and give me a solution. I will pretend for now that an answer will all come out neatly packaged, gift-wrapped, and tied with a fancy ribbon. I know the truth is no matter how good this book shapes up to be, that wont be the case. Maybe he will give me something though, something to work with, something to push me a little further... am I at that edge yet? Am I only steps away from an unshakable practice that is disciplined and confident in direction? I hope so, but I'm not sure. Maybe if I pretend I believe that, it will be true. I'll let you know how the book turns out. I have a feeling what was supposed to be my winter-break reading material will be done within the week.
And yeah, I guess I am writing now on my "art" blog. That darned Thanksgiving post got me hooked. Just don't let the word-picture ratio get too unbalanced on the word side... or that will be clear evidence that Resistance really is burying me.
And I will leave you with: