the-war-of-art

The War of Art – One Key Element to Success in Writing

Cover of "The War of Art: Break Through t...

Cover via Amazon

UPDATED April 25, 2012 – Are you afraid of writing? In response to a writer’s request for advice on what to do about being afraid of using your gift of writing, I tracked down the following post I wrote for my other (neglected) blog, www.womenthrillerwriters.com. I realized that I had originally written this post on October 21, 2011. On November 7, 2011, I published my thriller novel as an e-book. Today, The Seventh Stone is on three Amazon top 100 bestseller lists. Sales continue to grow. So to those of you who are afraid to pursue your passion, I understand completely, but know that you have to take that risk, because it could be the start of one of the most amazing adventures of your life. To help overcome that anxiety, check out the following book:

Original post from October 21, 2011:

Several speakers at writers’ conferences recommended Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art before I broke through my resistance against touchy-feely self-help books and bought it. Pressfield talks a lot about Resistance, portraying it as a powerful entity that stops us from realizing our dreams. I had always blamed time, mainly lack of it.

I was thankful that The War of Art was a compact book, broken up into short pieces that I could read while waiting to pick up my kids from band, etc. I soon realized it was much more than that.

I’ll be sharing some of Pressfield’s ideas in future posts, but one that particularly caught my attention today was his one-page insight that Resistance is Most Powerful at the Finish Line. He used the story of Odysseus, so close to home after overcoming dreadful obstacles. His weary men could see the fires of their beloved families on the beach. Odysseus, thinking he was safe at last, lay down for a nap.

His men tore open an ox-hide sack they thought contained gold and treasure. But the sack held the Winds, given to Odysseus by King Aeolus. The Winds blew Odysseus’s ship far away. Odysseus had to endure many more trials, losing all of his men, finally returning home years later.

Pressfield cautions that since Resistance makes us afraid of success, the danger is greatest when the finish line is in sight. My goal is to e-publish my thriller in November. Even now, I can hear “Resistance” telling me that I’m stealing too much time away from my other obligations to write, that The Seventh Stone can’t possibly compete with so many other thrillers, that people who know me will think I’m delusional if I think I can tell a good story. I could go on, but that would give Resistance the power of the Winds.

So don’t let Resistance stop you from pushing through to that finish line and crossing it. Or you will never know what waits on the other side.

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