I have been reading an amazing book. It’s called The War of Art and it is written by Steven Pressfield. The amazing part is how far along I already was to the realisations the book gives.
This summer, blogging has given way to my paying job and editing. And I was doing so well on the latter until Mid-Summer which was my latest deadline. The trouble with that deadline was, that it was by no means realistic. After I didn’t make the deadline, I still tried, but my brain was going: oh well, it’s summer, so give me a break.
The book has one basic message to me: NO EXCUSES. Because that’s what always gets me into trouble. The most useful tool I got is the idea to look at myself as my own employee. Maiju the boss has an underling Maiju who does the writing. Jobs have both restrictions and benefits. When you do a job, you get days off. When you are working, that’s what you concentrate on. And when you switch from underling to boss, it’s easier to see the writing for what it is and could be.
A friend of mine who’s a researcher at a University has always had a correct attitude to her writing. She’s mostly an academic writer and only lately has ventured to fiction writing. When we meet, it’s all we talk about.
When we were in Uni, I had so much going on. We had a band. I was doing ALL the classes, just because I found them interesting. I was writing, I was doing small translation and copy-editing jobs and I had varying part-time jobs as well. At an office, or cleaning, or minding the bookshop till. In the meanwhile, my friend arranged to have a separate office for her school work where she’d go and work on her thesis or other class work.
Don’t get me wrong. I thoroughly enjoyed Uni. But this attitude of doing the writing “on the side” stuck. So even if I’ve now arranged my life so that I could concentrate most of my creative energy on writing, I’m just not doing it. Properly.
The book gave me the tools for that. It also gave me back my trust in my abilities. If it is this Resistance that I need to beat, and the Resistance is basically just fear, fear comes from inside of me and I can get over that. And it’s just so true that when you throw creative energy into the world, it comes back tenfold. Whether it’s just the subconscious concentrating on it or some kind of divine Muse, it works.