See what I did there? It’s a pun.
I can’t help it…anytime I hear the phrase “more on” I think of “moron.”
Every day I work on it. Every day I write. And every day I get a little closer, if not to publication, then at least to self-acceptance.
I notice two things in that passage:
1. “Every day I work on it.”
Diane is *working on* her writing, not expecting to wake up having mastered it.
2. “…closer, if not to publication…”
She plans to continue to write even if publication doesn’t happen as soon as she hopes.
These ideas echo The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. Have you read it?
He talks about how Resistance keeps us from doing the thing we want to do. And the main remedy for that is to work at your Art. Every. Day. In fact, he refers to it as “turning pro.”
The catch is that turning pro involves doing your work for the love of the Art – it’s something in you that has to come out even if nobody’s buying.
If you work on your Art the way a professional writer, or painter, or musician does, Resistance won’t get the best of you.
But where does Resistance get its power? Fear.
Not just any fear. In fact, I’ve had to rethink my first post just a bit, because Pressfield states that those fears are…
…serious fears. But they’re not the real fear. Not the Master Fear, the Mother of all Fears that’s so close to us that even when we verbalize it we don’t believe it.
Fear That We Will Succeed.
That we can access the powers we secretly know we possess.
That we can become the person we sense in our hearts we truly are.
This is the most terrifying prospect a human being can face, because it ejects him at one go (he imagines) from all the tribal inclusions his psyche is wired for and has been for fifty million years.
Let that sink in a little.
I’ve heard it before, that people aren’t truly afraid of failure, they’re afraid of success. But this is the first time anyone has explained it in a way that made sense to me and could penetrate the outer crust of my brain.
It’s that desire for “tribal inclusions” that gets us. (Hello, Fear of What People Will Think.)
But Pressfield goes on to remind us that even if we do get rejected by one group of friends (or family), there are other, new friends waiting for us.
Case in point, my stepping out on the ledge to start blogging (both pre- and post-publication) has put me in contact with so many amazing new people.
So in this last post of 2008, my wish for all of us is that we can find the courage to turn pro, sit down and work on our Art every day. No matter what flavor of artist we are.
Happy New Year, everybody. Stay safe, have fun, and make it a good one. See you next year!