How to conquer your inner critic and get 10x more creative work done
When you set aside a passion — even temporarily — it can be incredibly hard to get back in the groove. Now that I’m back to writing on a regular basis, I’ve found it’s more of a battlefield than I remember. A friend, after listening to me bellyache, recommended that I read Stephen Pressfield’s “The War of Art”.
And let me tell you, I loved it.
It’s not an easy book to read, because it does hit close to home. Pressfield’s book is a guide for anyone looking to overcome Resistance in all its forms — avoidance, perfectionism, even plain old procrastination. What is Resistance, you ask? Pressfield describes it this way:
“My writing philosophy is a kind of warrior code — internal rather than external — in which the enemy is identified as those forms of self-sabotage that I call ‘Resistance’ with a capital R.”
My 3 Takeaways
“The War of Art” is a book that lends itself to multiple readings. But after first reading, here are some important concepts that stood out to me:
- The Unlived Life will eat you from the inside. Resistance, the force that prevents you from experiencing your Unlived Life, is nothing less than evil. If you don’t conquer Resistance it will “cripple and disfigure” your life by causing fear, depression, and non-stop stress.
- Like a judo move, you can use Resistance’s power against it. The harder Resistance pushes back, the more important an action to your evolution. You can use Resistance like a compass to figure out what you’re supposed to be doing — Resistance can empower you.
- The best way to beat Resistance is to turn Pro. The difference between being an amateur and a pro? An amateur plays part time, but a professional commits 100%. That doesn’t mean you have to quit your job, move to a shack in the woods, and write the Great American Blog Post. What it does mean, is that your mentality shifts. To paraphrase Stephen King, you can’t think of the muse as a capricious angel that visits when the stars are aligned just right — it’s a union boss that keeps you on the clock. And when that whistle blows, it’s time to work.
You can buy “The War of Art” on Amazon by clicking here.
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