“The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield completely changed my perspective on creativity. Period. Do you have at least one creative bone in your body? Are you human? The answer to both of these questions is most likely YES.
Were you 8 years old the last time you painted? Maybe you were ten the last time you made a pot out of clay? Perhaps you were the star of the big play in high school, only to choose a business major in college because it was “safe”. Whatever the case may be, if your feeling stuck and lacking creativity (yes we are all creative in some way), I highly suggest you read (or listen to, as I did) “The War of Art – Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles” by Steven Pressfield.
Its a quick read/listen, I promise. He talks a lot about resistance. Resistance to our art…it seems just about anything can be a form of resistance, except us actually “doing” out art. Be it drawing, dancing, acting, writing or solving math equations…we must break through resistance…or at least learn to recognize resistance – knowing is half the battle!
One form of resistance I had was this blog. I didn’t think (and still don’t think) anyone wants to read this silly blog of mine, accept maybe my mom (hi mom)…but I write it anyway, because I enjoy it. I post a lot about my dogs, not only hear but also on Facebook and other sites. Why? Because I enjoy it. They give me great joy so I try to share that joy. Cheesy? Perhaps.
Similar to Julia Cameron’s “The Artist Way” (another incredible book I’ll write about later – Im in the middle of the course taught by Kelly Morgan here in L.A.), “War of Art” provides lots of practical advice on how to not only jump start your creative process, but also add structure to it. Being an artist takes work, his own experience proves that. I don’t know if I could live through the kind of rejection he describes in the book. Lots of it, until his novel, “The Legend of Bagger Vance” hit it big.
Take a gander at his examples of Resistance
The following is a list, in no particular order, of those activities, which most commonly elicit Resistance:
1) The pursuit of any calling in writing, painting, music, film, dance, or any creative art, however marginal or unconventional.
2) The launching of any entrepreneurial venture or enterprise, for profit or otherwise.
3) Any diet or health regimen.
4) Any program of spiritual advancement.
5) Any activity whose aim is tighter abdominals.
6) Any course or program designed to overcome an unwholesome habit or addiction.
7) Education of every kind.
8) Any act of political, moral or ethical courage, including the decision to change for the better some unworthy pattern of thought or conduct in ourselves.
9) The undertaking of any enterprise or endeavor whose aim is to help others.
10) Any act which entails commitment of the heart. The decision to get married, to have a child, to weather a rocky patch in a relationship.
11) The taking of any principled stand in the face of potential reprisal.
In other words, any act which disdains short-term gratification in favor of long-term growth, health or integrity. Or, expressed another way, any act that derives from our higher nature instead of our lower. Any act of these types will elicit Resistance.
Oh how true it is! Interested? Pick-up the book…you won’t be disappointed.