In Steven Pressfields words “It’s not the writing part that’s hard. What’s hard is sitting down to write. What keeps us from sitting down, is resistance“.
Resistance stands between us, and what we want to create, between us and who we want to be. He refers to resistance as a force to be reckoned with, that comes in so many forms to so many types of artists. Resistance is what causes us to give up, sometimes before we have even started.
Almost a year ago I quit my first and only day job to do what I love.
But it hasn’t been all sunshine and unicorns since, which is what you expect if you’ve ever heard the quote “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”. To do what I love, I have to put in the work or we don’t eat. And sometimes putting in the work is far harder than one would imagine.
At times it’s a matter of trying to think of what project to start next, other times I have the idea, and I should start, but I just… don’t.
Why? Because I’m intimidated. I’m intimidated by my daydreams, my inspirations and my own wonders. It’s an intimidation that seeps from one poisonous, deceptive source – perfectionism – my personal dose of ‘Resistance’. I cannot count how many times I haven’t even started something, fearing that once I do, the outcome won’t be perfect. It is ludicrous. My pursuit of perfection turns my greatest joy, into my greatest fear.
And the only way to get past it? Do something. If I just make the effort to start drawing even a line, or painting even a blotch, or writing even just a sentence, the will to carry on, sooner or later, floods my being and I can sit undeterred for hours. It is just that first step. The first action to just start is all it takes. The trick from there, is to keep going, turning what made you freeze with fear of rejection into a daily habit that almost seems to fuel your existence.
The funny thing about resistance, is that it seems to push us in the right direction. We know that when we experience it, what we’re trying to achieve as it shows it’s ugly head is most likely what we’re supposed to be doing. So just take that first step, write that first word, draw that first line and paint that first stroke and do it every single day.
“The professional knows that the mundane physical act of sitting down and starting to work sets in motion a mysterious process that produces inspiration. The amateur waits for inspiration; the professional knows that it will come after he starts.” – Too True.