The War of Art

So, I am an insecure creative also known as an artist. After school, it has been hard to find a job in the field that I studied in and I want to give up so I turned to the one thing that gives me joy in life movies and YouTube. While exploring YouTube I found a video called The War of Art and watched it and it was inspiring because I was going through what every artist goes through at one point which is something called Resistance. I bought the book that the video was based on at my local book store which is ten miles away from my home. I am not done with it yet because I am a slow reader when it comes to reading not because I can’t read but because I just read slow. Reading and writing was not my best subject in school and I had to take remedial reading and writing classes in college and in high school, well not really in high school but in college I did for a semester but I tested out of reading and writing wasn’t my strong suite but I enjoy it from time to time. I used to enjoy reading art books about artist I did not know or admired because they talked about their process. I like reading books for artist and finance books, two subjects on the opposite sides of the spectrum but I feel is needed for anyone. Anyway, I have not finished the book but I am here to talk about what I learned so far about resistance and trying to turn pro and what I am doing to make that happen.

For most people who have not read the book The War of Art they might not know about the common enemy that all creatives have in common which is resistance. Resistance is a tricky enemy and in the book, it is stated that it should be considered pure evil and upon my research and self-examination it is. Resistance is inside us all, it is that voice that asks us why are we doing this project, why are we even trying, no one is going to like it, you are hungry go eat something you can start that screenplay later, or you’re not at that level yet to draw a comic book maybe next year when you’ve practiced more…don’t practice now the game is on practice later. It’s the subtle things that resistance does that catch us off guard and try to persuade us to think differently about our goals and what we want to do with our lives. Resistance is the enemy and as a creative we need to resist, see what I did there, resistance at all cost or else we fall victim to the same traps repeatedly. Resistance loves to stop progress, it is its goal in your life as a creative, athlete, manager, or whatever. Resistance will tell that director she isn’t good enough to direct that blockbuster movie or that musician he isn’t good enough to make an album. We all know resistance and we all know how to fight it. Steven Pressfield the author of The War of Art said the best way to stop resistance is to sit down and just start which is calls it turning pro.

Turning pro is hard and every athlete will tell you in order to be the best you must show up every day for practice and put in the time and effort it takes to become one of the greats in history. We see it every day on Nike and other sports commercials, athletes sweating it out paying their dues in training in order to show up in the game and thinking about it, that is the same mentality that an artist must have. What is the difference between a great artist and a great athlete, other than endorsements, nothing. Both must put the time and effort to be considered the best in their field, no one remembers the average athlete like no one remembers the average artist, that’s not how history works and that is something I am trying to accomplish myself. The objective is not being remembered in the history books, the good ones didn’t do it to be remembered, some did, but they also did it because they wanted to reach their full potential in their field. Some ae born with talent and some make their talent by turning pro. The amateur dreams of becoming great the pro works towards it.

Like I said earlier turning pro is the hard part wanting to turn pro is easy. The easiest way to turn pro Steven Pressfield said is just sitting down and doing the work. I am a victim of this, I did not want to work unless I had something planned or if I was inspired. The pro knows that inspiration comes from sitting down and putting hours in on doing work. Pressfield states once an amateur decides to turn pro his/her muse will appear. He states that the muse comes from hours of dedication and effort put into the sitting down writing, drawing, painting, capturing, and doing what you love and once you do that the muse will appear to help guide your hand, body, and spirit to help you create something you can be proud of. Every day since I discover this book I have dedicated the day to doing something creative with my time. Drawing, writing, or even taking photos something that gets me out there and be creative. A couple of days ago I went out with my cousin to help take some pictures of her for her blog and in all honesty, I did not want to do it. I just got off work I was tired, hungry, and frustrated because I wanted to go home and go to sleep I was showing signs of resistance. Once I figured it was resistance that was talking to me I got up and took pictures with her at this nice location. It was hot, the sun was beaming, I was sweating, I was hungry, tired, people were outside, it was a great day, I was taking pictures, and I loved it. The photos came out great and she was so appreciative of my time and I appreciated that. That right there was the muse talking to me through her. The muse will tell you thank you for your time and effort that you put in doing something creative or doing the thing you love, you won’t know it until after the fact but the muse will find a way. Resistance on the other hand did not want me to hear that. Resistance wants you to stay home and do nothing, waste your time away, waste your talent that you were blessed with; Resistance is the enemy and should be viewed as so. Don’t give into it or let your guard down. There is more to turning pro than just what I stated earlier but I encourage you to read it.

So, I’m not done with the book yet, resistance is not stopping me from finishing the book…I’m just a slow reader so don’t judge. Resistance wanted me to not write anything for this week but I sat down and did it. Writing this helped me see that this might not only benefit me but, who knows, maybe somebody else who stumbles upon my blog post. There are still things I need to learn and go through in order to truly turn pro but until then this is an ever-growing process and I recommend this book to anyone out there looking for inspiration or a helping hand. So, go out there and be creative.




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