“A Vital Gem…A Kick In The Ass.”

How many of you have wanted to write a great book? How about simply finish your first one? Have you ever wanted to do something bigger than yourself? Learn to speak a language? Lose a bunch of weight? Run a marathon or join a humanitarian aid organization? If the answer to any of these is yes- then you have met the enemy.

Not the wanting. The desire to rise above yourself embodies all that is noble and good in humankind. The enemy is Resistance.

“Resistance is the most toxic force on the planet. It is the root of more unhappiness than poverty, disease, and erectile dysfunction. To yield to Resistance deforms our spirit. It stunts us and makes us less than we are and were born to be. If you believe in God (and I do) you must declare Resistance evil, for it prevents us from achieving the life God intended when He endowed each of us with our unique genius. Genius is a Latin word; the Romans used it to denote an inner spirit, holy and inviolable, which watches over us, guiding us to our calling. A writer writes with his genius; an artist paints with hers; everyone who creates operates from this sacramental center. It is our soul’s seat, the vessel that holds being-in-potential, our star’s beacon and Polaris.

Every sun casts a shadow, and genius’s shadow is Resistance. As powerful as is our soul’s call to realization, so potent are the forces of Resistance arrayed against it. Resistance is faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, harder to kick than crack cocaine. We’re not alone if we’ve been mowed down by Resistance; millions of good men and women have bitten the dust before us. And here’s the biggest bitch: We don’t even know what hit us. I never did. From age twenty-four to thirty-two, Resistance kicked my ass from the East Coast to West and back again thirteen times and I never even knew it existed. I looked everywhere for the enemy and failed to see it right in front of my face.”

Steven Pressfield

The War of Art

 

I found the book The War of Art by Steven Pressfield with other craft books at The Lone Star Conference this past weekend. I’m late to the table of knowledge, but better late than never.

He breaks this book into three separate books. Book 1 is about identifying Resistance- the insidious evil that sucks us from our potential selves. There are many things he labels as Resistance. I’m guilty of a lot of them, but my main enemy is PROCRASTINATION! I found myself procrastinating about writing this article pointing out how procrastination will turn my potential into an unrealized dream. Now, if that’s not pathetic, I don’t know what is…

Book 2 is about “Turning Pro”. Words like professional, order, endurance etc. pop up and you know this writer is a pro. All you have to do is look at his career to know he practices what he preaches. His history books are used at West Point and by the Marines, some are even assigned by professors at Oxford. One of his fiction novels, The Legend of Bagger Vance, was made into a movie and The War of Art is used by artists and entrepreneurs worldwide.

Book 3 is called “The Higher Realm” which lies beyond Resistance. This is where we find the pay off for persevering through our own nonsense. After you’ve done a day’s work, your mind is free to receive other ideas that seem to multiply rapidly. The most important thing in art, of any form, is work. When you show up day after day trying to create, something special begins to happen. We set a process in motion where power is concentrated and muses are allowed to flourish. Ideas come. Words are written. We are artists.

Have you read this book? If not, I recommend it to anyone who wants to try something out of their comfort zone. To quote Esquire, “It truly is a vital gem…a kick in the ass.”

What do you already do to beat Resistance? Share with us your techniques…I’m sure we can use all the help we can get!

 

13 Responses to “A Vital Gem…A Kick In The Ass.”

  1. Great post, Stacey! Love this Book!! I actually have two copies. LOL I misplaced my first copy then found it after buying a new one. 🙂 It’s worth reading every few months! Resistance and Procrastination are a lethal combo. Still fighting this battle. I’m off to get book 2 and 3! Reading these sounds lots more fun than the edits I should really be working on. LOL

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  2. I know this book has been around for several years, but I always was a late bloomer. His way of pinpointing Resistance is brilliant! I always strive to be a better person, a better writer, a better everything…now I have another tool in my box to get me to where I should be. Glad you enjoyed the post.

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  3. Nina Cordoba says:

    Stop reading and write, Stacey! Hahaha! Good post.

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  4. I’m trying I’m trying!! It’s a never ending struggle and I’m not sure I can be classified as a PRO!! In fact, I’d say there’s no way in…..

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  5. jeff7salter says:

    great post.
    ‘Procrastinating’ is my middle name.
    Unfortunately my FULL name is:
    “He’s Procrastinating Again”.

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  6. HAHAHAHAHA In another life, we must be twins!!! It’s very hard to stay the course and keep showing up day after day. But then, I’m always glad after I actually finish a project. Am thinking about doing the Avon Breast Cancer walk. 3 days- 20 miles each day…….it’s calling me.

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  7. jbrayweber says:

    @ Jeff. Funny man.
    And here I am reading this blog when I should be writing. The cartoon says it all.

    Thanks, Stacey. Another great post.

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  8. Glad you like it Jenn. Now go finish your novella!!!

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  9. Tess says:

    Great post…back to work for me. Thanks for the kick, Stacey!

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  10. Missed seeing you at the conference- hope all is well with you. Now, I need to get back to work….yes I do…..I’m going now……on my way……

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  11. Kristen says:

    Yet another post against my two main strengths: Resistance and Procrastination.

    wah.

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  12. debutauthors says:

    Stacey,

    Who cannot be happy a writer has adapted “Art of War” for other writers? This venerable military text has been taught since thousands of years before Christ and, today, its philosophy exists in classrooms, businesses, governments, and even in every day lives. As a writer who is guilty of cleaning toilets instead of facing a difficult scene, I want to understand and overcome the inner monkey.

    Thanks for letting us know Sun Tzu’s work is out there yet again.

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