Soundtrack for writing this post: Hammock – Sinking Inside Yourself
Let me make a guess about you:
You think of yourself as creative. There’s something in you, somewhere, that needs expression. You don’t really know what, or why it is; it’s just down there, somehow, and it’s always been.
It gives you quirks. Ticks. Oddities. It changed your life, somehow. You could’ve been somewhere else, but you’ve ended up here.
That something needles you in the middle of the night, sometimes, or in the shower, or in the car. It was you to make something.
A song, a novel, a poem, a painting, a company, a sculpture. Something. It needs you to take it – take the thing inside you, the thing that’s deep, deep down – and recreate it in the physical world.
It needs creation. And you know you could do it, and that it would matter. If you could pull it off, who knows what could happen? Would other people read it, see it, hear it? What would they think?
And you want to. You do. You have the gnaw in you. The urge.
But the first day, you don’t sit down. You don’t start. Something comes up; it’s a one-time thing. You’ll start tomorrow.
But you don’t start tomorrow. And you don’t start the next day. Maybe on the fourth day, you get something down…but then a week goes by. And then a month.
And you want to. That’s the thing. You want to sit down. You want to start.
But when you think about it, it’s like your body won’t follow your commands. I’m going to go get started right now, you think, and your body stands there, unmoved. It isn’t impressed.
This is resistance.
Resistance is the great truth of art, the one real thing.
No matter what you want to do, something will fight you. And it will fight you every step of the way, forever.
It will stop you from trying. It will protect you. It’s on your side. Save the energy, save the effort. Save the embarrassment. Save the humiliation.
It will save you until you are dead, and then it will bury you.
There is nothing on the other side of resistance. It is nothing. Sameness.
There isn’t one way to defeat it. There aren’t “5 Easy Steps” or “7 Quick Tips.” There aren’t any blog posts or books or seminars. There aren’t any heroes.
Nowhere to hide.
All there is, is this:
When you wake up in the morning, sit in front of your work and fight yourself as if your life depended on it.
Because it does.
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