Agent Shop and crawling back out of my hole.

October 8, 2012

Life is sinister. Even for a glass-half-full person like me.

I’ve missed SO much in the last year due to incredible things happening in my personal life. I’ve kept up as much as possible with those closest to me via scattered online catch up sessions. My best friend lives less than five minutes away, and I haven’t seen her in MONTHS!

I miss my online family, my writing family. But I’m working the kinks out and getting back in the groove. Harder than it sounds since I’ve also been finishing final edits on PRIMITIVE NIGHTS, squeee! Can’t believe it’ll be out in January.

Er, anywho… Sorry about the squirrel moment. I get sidetracked. Easily.

So for my re-return, I’ll be posting new information for the Agent Shop days coming in the next few months. ANy of the dates still to be determined will be updated in the Agent Shop sidebar as I get confirmations. (There may also be an Editor Shop coming in the near future!)

For those of you who haven’t heard of Agent Shop, there’s a handy tab at the top that will give you all the deets you need, but basically, we have a guest agent, you pitch (in two hundred words or less), if agent likes, she/he requests something. Simple. And we usually have some sort of fun comment game to guarantee one lucky pitcher the top pitch slot.

So here’s the schedule for the rest of this year and what I’ve booked so far for 2013.

Oct. 21st 2012 – TBA
Nov. 18th 2012 – Melissa Jeglinski w/ The Knight Agency
Dec. 16th 2012 – TBA
Jan. 13th 2013 – TBA (Release date for PRIMITIVE NIGHTS so watch for something special…)
Feb. 17th 2013 – Jessica Alvarez – BookEnds, LLC.
Mar. 17th 2013 – Mollie Glick w/ Foundry Media
April 21st 2013 – TBA
May 19th 2013 – Becky Vinter w/ Fine Print Literary
June 16th 2013 – TBA

Sounds good to me!

That’s it for now. I’ll be posting on Sundays from here out and running Agent Shop on the scheduled dates.

Visit soon. Oh, and if you want to make sure you get Agent Shop updates, you can follow me on TWITTER and FACEBOOK I post the updates there as I get them.

Have a great one!


An Update from Candi

July 3, 2012

Dear friends!

I can’t tell you all how much I’ve missed you all and this blog.

A blog still thankfully ‘on the air’ thanks to Jenn, Stacey, and Marie-Claude.

So much has happened that I won’t bore you with details, neither will I promise to be regular on the scene for a few more months, but I wanted to let you all know that life CAN and WILL get in the way of writing, blogs, social networks, and unfortunately, our muses.

All I can say is hang in there. All trials eventually end or even out enough for us to find the time to do what we must as writers. And that right. YOU, and you, and you, know what I’m talking about.

Writing! It’s a need. An addiction. A catharsis. A MUST!

I’ve had some hardships hit in the past two years that took my feet out from underneath me, along with the ‘pen’ out of my hand. I barely had time to breathe, let alone write. But we have to keep pushing for that time. I can do it. YOU can do it!

Make a plan and don’t beat yourself up if you can’t meet every goal. Think small and revel in the smallest achievements.

Here’s mine:

1. Write at least 30 mins every day.

2. Research – New story, agents, editors, contests – when I have a minute or two.

3. READ

4. Don’t beat myself up

Sounds simple, but we all know it isn’t.

I plan to start Agent Shop again this fall. I think August will be my ‘back in the saddle’ date.

Again, I miss you all and hope everyone has HUGE news to share when I return for real.

Until then, happy writing and best in your real world lives!

Candi!


Do You Want Your Name In Lights?

May 24, 2012

Write your first draft with your heart.  Re-write with your head.  ~From the movie Finding Forrester

 

Of course you do!!

Whether we tell ourselves that we want to be published or not is irrelevant. Deep down inside we all want the same thing. Thankfully, there are choices and different paths we can now take to achieve that end goal. I have something for you that will help- a writing contest.

Before you dismiss this because you’re self publishing, or you’re already published in another genre, you better check this out. The Lone Star Writing Contest gives you tangibles that you won’t necessarily find anywhere else. No matter how you decide to publish, an author always needs outside help. I’ve yet to meet a writer that could spot all of their mistakes. For a very small fee, your pages will be read by two published and one non-published judge. If you final, your story will be sent to an agent, an editor, and an e-publisher editor. (Wow- three for the price of one!)

How is this any different? Well, besides providing training for the judges, revamping the score sheet to reflect the writing not “romance” rules, this contest also offers a few bonuses! If you win your category, you will receive a banner for your website, FB etc. This is worth its weight in gold! Free advertising screaming how good you are! If you final, you will receive a seal that you can use in the same way. How cool is that?

Everyone who enters also has a chance to win a 50 page critique by a published author whether they final or not. This is an open playing field where all have the same chance to win. There will be a drawing for each category and the winner’s name will be drawn irregardless of how they placed!

I know I’ll enter this year. Don’t miss the Early Bird Special which ends in a few days!

 

 

Northwest Houston RWA announces The 20th Annual Lone Star Writing Competition.

Along with awesome feedback and a new and improved score sheet, the Lone Star offers a NEW Special Prize!!!

All entrants will be entered into a drawing for a 50 page critique by one of NWHRWA’s published authors. There will be 7 winners, one for each category.

Romantic Suspense: Teri Thackston
Historical: Melinda Porter (Anna Katherine Lanier)
FF&P: Suzan Harden
Inspirational: Carla Rossi
YA: Christie Craig (CC Hunter)
Single Title: PJ Mellor
Contemporary Series: Cheri Jetton

The Lone Star Writing Competition is one of the few contests with two published authors and one unpublished author judging the first round. Finalists will be sent to BOTH an agent and an editor for judging. In addition they will be sent to an e-publishing editor.

EARLY BIRD ENTRY FEE: $5 discount on all entries submitted by midnight May 26, 2012; $15 for NWH members/$20 non-NHW members.

Entry fee: After May 26, 2012 – $20 NWH members; $25 non-NWH members.

Winners will receive a custom made sterling silver pin and a website banner !!!! Finalists will receive a seal to put on their website.

For more information including rules, the score sheet, and entry form, see our new, updated website at http://www.nwhrwa.com.


Dead Babies In A Suitcase

May 17, 2012

It’s good to have mysteries. It reminds us that there’s more to the world than just making do and having a bit of fun.- Charles De Lint

Good morning Muse Trackers!

I’ve thought quite a bit about The Artists Way especially since our Link Of The Week brought you to a wonderful tool based on one of the exercises found in that book. The premise is that you are to write three pages (preferably handwritten) every morning. The tool that I found creates a platform for you to do it electronically and store your pages to be retrieved when you need them. I was excited that many of you chose to comment and share your own spin on Morning Pages. Based on that, I thought you might like a spark. Give it a try, who knows what might happen

 

Today I would like to share a story with you. It’s so intriguing and has the bones of a fantastic novel, but it’s real life. Someone once told me that you just can’t make this s*** up- and I believe they’re right. This proves the old saying that truth is stranger than fiction.

Two women made a shocking discovery when they began to clean out their apartment building’s basement. It was full of items left from tenants long gone and forgotten. As they made their way through the piles of stuff, they came across three suitcases obviously left there for decades. The women brushed away years of dust and mildew and flipped the latch on the top two cases. They were empty. Disappointed, they went for the last case on the bottom. No one could have prepared them for what they would find hiding inside the leather luggage.

Stacks of books were neatly set on the left side and on the right side were two doctor’s satchels tightly wedged into the small space. You can imagine their excitement when the books proved to be copies from the 1920s and 30s. Surely, they had found a time capsule from a long ago era. The ladies carefully pulled out both satchels and opened them up. They seemed to be stuffed with newspaper also from that time period. They each took a bundle from the bags and unrolled the ball of paper. One discovered a mummified infant and the other unrolled a fetus about 20 weeks along.

Investigators determined the luggage belonged to Janet M. Barrie who had emigrated to the U.S. from Scotland in the 1920s. She was the home nurse for a Los Angeles dentist and died in 1992. Her belongings had been packed up and stored in the basement- apparently forgotten until these two decided they wanted to clean things up. The cause of death for the babies has not been determined. (I don’t know if the cause of death has ever been determined or not.)

The rest of her belongings did give a slight picture of the women who harbored this grisly secret for so many years. Janet Barrie appeared to have an interest in J.M. Barrie who wrote Peter Pan. There was a copy of the book as well as a membership certificate for the Peter Pan Woodland Club, an upscale resort. They surmise it’s because he was also from Scotland and carried the same initials. They also found postcards from exotic places like Korea and South America sent to Janet bundled together in the case. The mystery deepened when they pulled up a ticket stub from the closing ceremonies of the 1932 Olympics at the L.A. Coliseum

At the time when this article was written, the authorities had tracked down some of Janet Barrie’s relatives living in Canada and were DNA testing the remains of the babies.

 

If this doesn’t get the writer juices going, I don’t know what would! Why did she keep those bodies all those years? Who are those post cards from? Did she meet someone at the Olympics? Is there more of a connection to the author Barrie? Was she a killer? Did she hide them for the dentist? Are they her babies? Why didn’t any of her relatives claim her belongings? Why? Why? Why?

 

What is your take on this story? Who is Janet Barrie?

 

Keep on writing!


Dating Myself- Finding The Joy In Writing Again

May 10, 2012

Every blade of grass has its Angel that bends over it and whispers, “Grow, grow.”       The Talmud

 

How many of you sit at your computer and stare at a blank screen? Perhaps you have words on said blank screen, but you know it’s total crap.

I would suggest you go on a date with yourself.

Julia Cameron, who is a noted Hollywood screenwriter and director, wrote The Artists Way. It is a gem of a book. I’ve pulled it back off my shelves because I desperately need to do something different if I ever want to get back on track to being creative.

Before I begin with the meat of this article, I’d like you to get to know me a tiny bit so you can see that the writers here at Muse Tracks are the same as all of you struggling to find the road (and stay on it) to being an author.

Well, here goes…

I am a dabbler. I have a closet full of pencil sketches from copies of Leonardo da Vinci’s drawings to pen and ink creations of my own imagination. I have watercolor paintings stacked at my mother’s house I dabble in textile arts and have woven, crosstitched, needlepointed, and even threaded fabrics through my paintings. I love to paint walls and decorate- my house is an ever changing canvas. Photographs clog the memory banks of my computer. Cooking is a total creative outlet for me and travel feeds my soul. Through all of this dabbling, I have learned quite a bit about the arts and am a lover of museums and artists from all walks.

While I’m a dabbler at all those things and have had varying successes at them, I consider them fun endeavors. It really doesn’t matter if I’m any good at them or not. I simply create.

Did you notice something missing?

I never once mentioned writing. I realized this while I was talking to a friend of mine the other day. We were talking about things we enjoyed and writing wasn’t on the list. He questioned me about its absence. I couldn’t answer him during that conversation, but it’s been waddling around in my head like a drunk duck ever since.

The Artists Way is a wonderful book that first and foremost gives us permission to be creative. It empowers us to delve into the fanciful, explore the beauty and remember that we are not whole if we deny this side of our being. (OK- I now officially feel like Earth Mother holding up a peace sign.) However artsy and spiritual this book may sound, the message is one that I believe everyone should hear. Is it fear, guilt, jealousy, or some other force that limits your beliefs in yourself? What causes you to self-sabotage? (My specialty) We have our own unique answers built on our own unique lives. Julia Cameron provides exercises that offer ways to inhibit the roadblocks we throw up for ourselves.

One of my favorites is dating myself. Basically, the advice is to spend time with ourselves nurturing and refilling the well of creativity.  Tomorrow I will attempt to have a date with myself all day. There will be no TV, no computer, no radio, no electronics of any type, no books- just me. The day will be spent in my garden, sitting on my back porch with a pad and paper, and visiting with my friends. I might go to an artist’s shop to wander the aisles or I might drive up to my brother’s lake house and sit on the dock. I will not think about the rest of my life. I want to remember the joy I had when writing was also simply about creating. Somehow it became about editing, publishing, marketing etc. Those issues are important, but are meaningless if it dive bombs the writing. Writing was fun, wasn’t it? It was a wonderful place to get lost in another world with characters who told us a fabulous tale. I want to get back to that.


“Here’s Looking At You, Kid.”

March 22, 2012

How many of you sit down at your computer to write a new book thinking that it will be a great story? Excitement powers your fingers on the keys and everything is great…until it’s not. Ideas start to sputter, finally ending in a whimpering mess and you have no clue where to go next. You wonder if you have any talent at all.

Storylines are difficult to create and even more difficult to maintain throughout the course of events unfolding on your pages. Why can’t you write a great novel? Why can’t you create a classic like Casablanca?

It had everything. Mystery, intrigue, conflict, romance, tortured souls and redemption- they are all in the movie. It’s no wonder that it took so many awards and has remained a favorite for the last 70 years. This amazing story, made into a movie, didn’t quite start out as the gem we see on our screens. In fact, it wasn’t even a complete script while they were filming!

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to see Casablanca at the movie theatre. It was terrific! Not only was it great to see a brilliant film on the big screen, like it was meant to be seen, but I got to go with Will Graham and Melissa Ohnoutka (fellow writers and guests on Muse Tracks). It felt absolutely decadent to shirk our responsibilities in the middle of a work week and enter into the magical world of Morocco during World War II.

The movie was adapted from a screenplay called Everybody Comes To Rick’s. It was shot on a shoestring budget and the lead male was best known for playing tough mob guys, not romantic leads. They had the essence of a story but when filming began, no one knew where the story was going nor did they know how it would end. (Hmmm-sounds like me while I’m writing my books.) In fact, Ingrid Bergman complained quite loudly because she didn’t even know who she was really supposed to be in love with and that made her job more difficult.

The writers, Julius and Philip Epstein along with Howard Koch, wrote and re-wrote the story almost every day. The actors had no time to learn their lines prior to shooting because it literally changed with every hour. To keep themselves on tract, they would review the film shot the day before otherwise they found themselves following wrong plot turns.

Did they know they were filming a grand classic? No.

Did they know that the writing would be quoted and misquoted for the next seventy years? No.

Did they know they had a great idea that deserved hard work and a million rewrites? 

Writers don’t often sit down and create a masterpiece on the first take. I guarantee all the greats from Ernest Hemingway to Shakespeare threw away their fair share of wadded up paper and broke a quill or two out of frustration. I’ll bet some of them thought their best known works were nothing more than drivel slopped down on paper. Being a writer inherently means being plagued by doubt. Will anyone like what I’m writing? Does it make sense? Is it even a story? Trust me when I say I’ve asked every question that has run through your head and probably even a few more you haven’t thought of yet! The real question is whether you let it stop you from writing.

If something as wonderful as Casablanca was created through sheer resolve, then we should all have the determination to push through the road blocks- self created and others- to finish our own masterpieces. They may not all become classics made into film, but that doesn’t negate their worth and the satisfaction of doing something everyone wishes they could. Do you have that courage? What will you write today?

Fun Facts About Casablanca:

Nobody ever says, “Play it again, Sam.”

There were no “letters of transit” used during the war and there were never any uniformed German soldiers in Casablanca.

It is never revealed why Rick couldn’t return to America because the writers never could come up with a good reason so they left it as a mystery.

The twin brothers who wrote this are the only pair of twins to ever win an Oscar.

Dooley Wilson who played Sam, the piano player and Rick’s confidante, couldn’t play the piano in real life.

There really is a Rick’s Café in Casablanca today. It was opened by an American diplomat and the piano player plays As Time Goes By every night. The musician’s name is Isam. (Pronounced I Sam) Now that’s something you couldn’t make up!

 

 


God Got My Attention

January 12, 2012

 

God got my attention.

And it was difficult.

From January of last year to now, there have been a series of events that scream,  “Here’s your wake-up call. Don’t be a moron!” Bear with me as I ramble.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the grind of day to day living that we forget about “living”. Our time is broken down into a series of tasks and micro managing our minutes. Meetings, children, bills, spouses, significant others, deadlines, housework, jobs (…and the list goes on and on) fight for our attention every single moment of every single day. It’s no wonder that we escape to our worlds on the page! But even doing that can take a toll on our brains and body.

I feel overwhelmed just writing that last paragraph. How do we do it all- it’s mind boggling. So what’s my wake-up call? Life is finite and things can change in the space of a heart beat. I don’t know why it took a whole year of events to get me to realize that statement. I mean, I knew it, but I would brush it to the side like an annoying fly.

This past year, my cousin was surprised by a triple by-pass and his wife had a double mastectomy, a young friend and her baby were killed in a car accident, my neighbor was diagnosed with sarcoma and has undergone radiation treatments, her husband has tongue cancer, a close friend was diagnosed with ALS and is in the final stages- we only have 15minute visiting windows, my best friend’s daughter had a baby and was diagnosed with thyroid cancer (she’s 22), my best friend’s mother was killed in a wildfire(it’s been a very hard year for her), and this week our very good friend and Muse Track guest blogger, Will Graham, had a stroke and surgery on his carotid artery. (He’s fine and recovering nicely.) The icing on this questionable cake is the fact that I turned 50. Not a bad thing by itself, but coupled with the events swirling around me, it acts like a very loud alarm clock!

Life is a gift from God. We don’t always use that gift wisely and sometimes do things to screw it up royally, but it is still our gift. Here’s the trick- we don’t know how long it will last. I know there are things I can’t control. I can, however, watch over my body and feed it physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It’s something the big guy upstairs has been nudging me to do for quite awhile. Nudging is putting it mildly- He’s been hitting me over the head with a baseball bat to get my attention.

I started with the basics:

-I’ve lost 26lbs so far. Weight Watchers is my new best friend and she’s been very easy to hang with.

-I walk 3-4 times a day. I found I enjoy moving better when I do several short breaks rather than trying to do a marathon.

-I take a stretch break every hour I’m at the computer. A few minutes of yoga stretching does wonders for the body and mind.

-I make sure I’m getting enough sleep. One of the first things Will said when we visited him in the hospital was that he was lightening his stress load and working on getting more rest.

-I’m meeting friends to simply visit more often. Visiting is a lost art in this complicated, fast paced world of ours.

-I’m kissing my husband more often. This one might sound strange, but it’s fun and brings us even closer when we take time out to have quiet moments.

-I love to laugh and smile. I try to take a few minutes on You Tube to watch a funny animal video, a comedian, or hysterical animal voiceovers. I’m cracking up and my day seems lighter!

-I turn off all noise makers and electronics in my house for 15 minutes most every day. When was the last time your house was totally quiet and you weren’t staring at a screen? This is when I try to listen to what God is teaching me. Not always easy, but so worth showing up for!!

This isn’t rocket science. This isn’t even new advice. It’s a gentle reminder for you all to be good, really good, to yourselves. It took a jarring year and a birthday milestone to rattle my priorities. I’d like to say that I’ve got it all under control, but that would be a lie. Hopefully I’m developing tools to “stop and smell the roses” and not get totally sucked back into the grind.

I wish for all of us to be happy, healthy, and peaceful every day. It’s a stretch, but it can be done.

 

PS. I started off wanting to write an article about how to stay healthy while being a productive writer, but this is what came out. I hope this resonates with some of you and we’ll get back to tips on being a healthy writer another time.


The Twelve Days Of Writing Elves

December 22, 2011

“Never allow yourself to become one of those people who, when they are old, tell you how they missed their chance.”
Author, Claire Ortega

 By: Stacey Purcell

 Merry Christmas to all of our Muse Track readers! It’s hard to believe another year has come and gone so quickly.

I believe that, besides getting older, we fill our days so full, there’s hardly room to breathe. The Christmas season is a microcosm of that idea. We pack three months of activities into one and we expect to be merry and productive on top of that. Wow! That is a tough road- especially if you are the creative sort.

I have a confession to make.

I am not able to write on command. I don’t seem to have mastered the idea that you simply have to be disciplined everyday and the words will come. I understand the principle, try to employ it, but if the creative juice is not there- then it just isn’t there.

This month with all the parties, family flying in and out, shopping, cooking, cleaning etc., I’m finding it especially hard to get words down on paper. So what do I do? If my novel set in Costa Rica with lost treasure, drug cartels, small portable nuclear arms and wild romance won’t flow from my fingertips, I go back to my Twelve Days of Writing Elves to keep the creativity from getting rusty. (Those Elves have gotten me through many holidays and back on track.)

  1. Elf 1 says- Find a holiday writing prompt and write a scene about 500 words. I borrowed this one from Writer’s Digest: Christmas Ghost
    While hanging up your Christmas lights, you are flagged down by a neighborhood kid who offers to help. As he helps you, he tells you about the Christmas ghost that haunts his house. What’s odd is that you’ve noticed the same things happening around your house. Write this scene.
  2. Elf 2 says- What is your voice? Do you like to write in short staccato sentences or are you more flowing? Are you spontaneous? Or more methodical? Our voice is ultimately what comes out of us. Do you have a writer that you really admire? Do you like their voice? Take a few pages from your book and try to re-write it using their voice, their style. You might be surprised at what comes from this exercise.
  3. Elf 3 says- Take an emotion that is commonly written about- let’s say “gut wrenching”. Now dig deeper and create a list of different, deeper, ways of making this emotion tangible. (Thank you Donald Maas for this one.) Take a trip out of the surface emotions into unchartered waters. Your writing will be better!
  4. Elf 4 says- Create 5 new titles for your current WIP. What elements will you choose to highlight? How does it “color” your book differently?
  5. Elf 5 says- Write the top ten things that must happen in your book before you put in the final period. Even if you are a pantster like me, you should be able to make this list. Use it as a road map or a check off list. (Thank you Will Graham for this brilliant idea.)
  6. Elf 6 says- Read two chapters out of a new craft book. Write down 3 things you just learned. Post it by your computer, and try using those items the next time you write on your WIP.
  7. Elf 7 says- Get your writing buddies on board and do a page swap. No editing, no rewriting to prepare it for others to read. Just swap the last page you all wrote for FUN- only for FUN!!
  8. Elf 8 says- Take an experience your character will have and try to experience it yourself. If they are eating oatcakes from a medieval feast, then prepare some yourself. If they are in a rain forest, try going into a steam room fully clothed and do some kind of activity. If they are going to shoot a gun, go to a firing range and try it out. Use all of your senses!
  9. Elf 9 says- Use the timer that was given in Link of The Week (Tuesday) and do a 5 minute brain storming session on finding a $1000 poker chip from the 1960s behind a loose board in a boarding house you just bought to remodel into a B and B. (Again- thanks Will Graham.)
  10. Elf 10 says- Take 5 chapters and search for comfort words. Start off with “just” and “that”. You can highlight all of them with the push of a button and try eliminating as many as possible. Easy way to improve your chapters!
  11. Elf 11 says- Read a book. That’s it- just read a good book.
  12. Elf 12 says- Press the power button on your computer, scoot your chair away from your desk and walk out of the room. Never, never forget this is a time for celebrating family and friends. Enjoy them. Revel in your time together. Find peace and contentment in this season. The book will still be there next week.

May your Christmas be happy, healthy, and full of wonder. Merry Christmas!


Hump Day Kick Start

November 2, 2011

Song of the Day:  Cold by Evans Blue

Photo by Billy Corgans Chic

Hoo boy! We can certainly have fun with today’s prompt.

I’m thinking Tomb Raider meets Crouching Tiger/Hidden Dragon something or other.

Look at the way they are looking at each other. Smokin’! Who are these two?  Is he an informant? Is she undercover in a drug/turf war? What kind of ink is she going to get? A butterfly? Lucky charm? Tweety Bird? Maybe she’s having some type of secret message tattooed on her. Do you suppose he’s telling her how to ‘wax on, wax off’?

Love to hear your take.


“A Vital Gem…A Kick In The Ass.”

October 20, 2011

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!