Monday, August 29, 2011

Killing the Demons (August Theme) by Jennifer Cervantes

Being a write means making peace with certain demons:
 Self-doubt
 Fear
 The critical voice that lives inside your head
 Impatience
 Despair
 Worry
 Frustration…

I wish I’d known all of this was normal when I started my journey. Instead, I kept these feelings to myself wondering what was wrong with me. Why couldn’t I just sit down and compose beautiful and eloquent prose on command? Why did I let this voice sneak up on me and kill my creativity? A few years into this game, and I have now made peace with those demons (mostly). And it was a certain book that opened my eyes and gave me that AHA moment: THE WAR OF ART by Stephen Pressfield.


This small book is loaded with thoughtful, demon-killing advice, but perhaps the most important is our tendency to swim into the waters of “Resistance.” That is, anything that keeps us from writing. All the demons above are only Resistance; doing the laundry when it’s time to work is resistance; telling yourself, “I can get back to this later,” is resistance; my dog needs a bath…well, you get the idea. After reading this book, I challenged myself to treat writing as a “Job.” I sit down for four hours every day (even if this means staring at the screen) and I think, I write, and sometimes I just wring my hands. It has changed my entire outlook and my productivity. And let me tell you there is nothing to kill those demons like productivity! They hate it! They will do anything they can to lead you back into the waters of Resistance. But once you know their game, you are the one in control and you will be amazed at what you can create when those buggers are put to rest. Do I still feel self-doubt? Yes. But, truly the best prescription for it is “to just write.” That really is our only job…so what are you waiting for?

4 comments:

  1. Wow, so very true Jen! I havn't read "The War of Art" but as of this post, its going on my 'to read list'. Thanks!

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  2. Jen, The War of Art is my go-to book. Glad it works for you as well!

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  3. I love it! Definitely a keeper in this crazy biz! :)

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  4. Thanks for this great post! I've just been pondering over why I can't seem to get started, over at my own blog.

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