Going to the Gym in the Dark

It’s five in the morning and we’re on our way to the gym. This happens six days a week, rain or shine, Christmas, Fourth of July, your birthday. I hate it. Everybody does. We’d all rather be home in bed catching those lazybones Z’s. Why do it then? For me, it’s not because I imagine I’m going to be the next Mr. Universe. 

It’s about the mental game.

Mona Muresan at six in the morning, showing us how it’s done.

Yes, the fitness and health aspects are important, even indispensable, to this ritual. But what this predawn expedition is really about for me is the Inner Game. I am preparing myself mentally and emotionally for the day’s work that will start for real in a couple of hours.

When you work out physically, you are doing four things that are superb rehearsals for creative work.

You’re doing something you don’t like.

You’re doing something that resists you.

You’re doing something that hurts.

You’re doing something you’re afraid of.

In the gym or on the track or the trail, we experience everyday moments of real physical fear. A weight we don’t think we can handle. A hill we’re not sure we can climb. Watch the faces of men and women at Gold’s or CrossFit or any other serious venue. See them going deep within, psyching themselves up to anticipate the level of effort and intensity they’re going to have to summon.

I’m not saying that Spartan-like physical training is the ticket for every artist or entrepreneur. You have to be a little crazy to sign up for this for any reason. But SOME form of self-discipline, some regimen that requires mental focus, some practice that involves visceral adversity can be a great way to kick-start the working day.

What you and I do as writers and dancers and actors and filmmakers is furious, serious stuff. You can’t do it coming straight off the couch. Can you run? Can you swim? Can you climb?

Do it.

That’s the artist’s way. That’s the mindset of the professional, the warrior, the independent operator.  

DO THE WORK

Steve shows you the predictable Resistance points that every writer hits in a work-in-progress and then shows you how to deal with each one of these sticking points. This book shows you how to keep going with your work.

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THE AUTHENTIC SWING

A short book about the writing of a first novel: for Steve, The Legend of Bagger Vance. Having failed with three earlier attempts at novels, here's how Steve finally succeeded.

The-Authentic-Swing

NOBODY WANTS TO READ YOUR SH*T

Steve shares his "lessons learned" from the trenches of the five different writing careers—advertising, screenwriting, fiction, nonfiction, and self-help. This is tradecraft. An MFA in Writing in 197 pages.

noboybookcover

TURNING PRO

Amateurs have amateur habits. Pros have pro habits. When we turn pro, we give up the comfortable life but we find our power. Steve answers the question, "How do we overcome Resistance?"

Turning-Pro

71 Comments

  1. Tolis Alexopoulos on June 8, 2022 at 1:45 am

    Thank you very much dear Steve,

    being in touch with physical education gave me some important knowledge on its crucial importance. Yet no one at the university talked about Resistance, or if they did, they wouldn’t be able to teach it with rules. Some would even blame the students about not being disciplined! Total destruction of souls.

    Writing instead of training, the last year I was just running three to four times a week at night. I would put no extra energy on it -just put those old shoes and the uniform, and get out there almost no matter what. And I don’t dare do it in the morning, because I already can’t put together those 4 hours of work so it will distract me even more. I feel I don’t have time to prepare and go to the gym, so I just begin from the entrance of the building and go for it for 30 mins. Boring, the same way every day for years -I don’t even feel the creativity to change roads. But it’s crucial and I also have time to think and learn a bit while jogging.

    A few weeks ago I read a book that I think was extremely important. It’s *Satchin Panda’s “The circadian code”*. God, it’s implementation was so powerful on me from the beginning! It’s on some powerful research on how the cells of the body work and how timing your meals makes an impossible-to-imagine impact in your life. Now all is needed is discipline because Resistance is on the run. Inspired by it, I also do more intense exercise again, mixing cardio, strength and stretch 5 times a week. That also needs discipline now. And I have a strange fear, where does workout’s hardship end and the required amount of energy to work the next day begins? I think 5 days of mixed workout, about 40 mins, leaves enough room to be able to work the other day without fatigue. And it all it shows on my belly, my sense of achievement and my sense of beauty.

    And I also want to thank Joe for last week’s post on Waking Up app. I gave it a try and think it’s here to stay! Being at the spiritual level I am, I can understand the scientific truths behind it and how it can help my mind in many ways. So beautiful and good! Thank you Joe. I’ll try to find that money for the yearly subscription. Kate, if you haven’t tried it, go for it -It gives a 7 days free access and you can test if it suits your goals and philosophy.

    Wish my best to everyone. After writing all these positive facts, I should bring balance by writing that it’s not as perfect as it sounds. I can’t get those 4 hours a day of work a day, every day is a real mess. And there is also a fight inside between the part of me that knows the importance of hardship and fighting against the wind, and the other, the dark, that wants also to live in beauty and joys and all that, and to take it easy and with flow. So like all of you maybe, I’m not a winner. I’m just a warrior bleeding and full of fear and disappointment who **misses fights** (hides behind the embankments in order to have some fun). Nah!

    • Brian Nelson on June 8, 2022 at 1:06 pm

      Tolis,
      I always enjoy reading your posts! Great insight. Love it.
      bsn

      • Tolis Alexopoulos on June 8, 2022 at 11:51 pm

        Thank you so much Brian! It is an honor for me that you like them.

    • Reji Varghese on June 9, 2022 at 2:11 am

      Thanks, Tolis. Re-assuring to know that I’m not the only one who are “just a warrior bleeding and full of fear and disappointment who **misses fights**”. We all tread the same path, the imperfect, but the destined one.

      • Tolis on June 10, 2022 at 1:06 am

        Thank you for answering me Reji, its so good to know where we stand, and when the time comes, to try even more if we know thats the best we should do.

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  3. Jackie on June 8, 2022 at 4:32 am

    I agree Steve. The physical work taught how to push through the art and writing. Who wants to put boots over a broken toe and work eight physically tough hours in ten degree weather? Who wants to unload frieght for ten hours? Who wants to clean four houses then come home to a side job of yard work then cook dinner and do laundry? All this after getting up at 4 am. to put at least two hours in at the computer. You want to quit EVERY SINGLE DAY. But you can’t quit. It wears you down, but pushes you past more than you thought capable. You don’t have time to think. You just do and forward you go.
    My sister claims that I’m not quite right. She knows though. She’s a professional photographer and my companion on the last journey. By the way, the hike was excellent. Through a field that surely held bears, but didn’t. (Found that diasappointing.) Over mountains and rocks, we climbed. Jumped on a horse and rode up a mountain on the last day. Hadn’t been on a horse since I was a girl. Only one resistance, I didn’t go the last push to peer over the top of the mountain. Two knee surgeries and a fear of heights held me back, but I tackled all the other vistas before the last. Next time with a stonger body. No excuses. Wish you all a week where you push beyond the comfort zone.

    • Joe on June 8, 2022 at 6:23 am

      Sounds like it was a good trek, Jackie. (Bears: best viewed from a distance 🙂

      • Jackie on June 8, 2022 at 10:33 am

        Great life experience. Agree with the bear observation. It’s a running joke between my sister and me that we make way too much noise to ever encounter a bear.

        • Joe on June 8, 2022 at 11:47 am

          When we were on the trail in grizzly country, we tried to come up with things to call out besides simply, “Hey bear!” Top contenders:

          ** “Hey bear… your shoe is untied” (in which the bear looks, and you make a break for it)
          ** “Hey bear… what have you been doing since high school?”
          and my favorite…
          ** “Hey bear… where’s that twenty bucks you owe me?”

          • Jackie on June 8, 2022 at 12:19 pm

            Hilarious, Joe! I’ll keep those in mind.



          • Jackie on June 8, 2022 at 1:44 pm

            I was finishing up fro the day when it hit me. You said GRIZZLY! A grizzly will eat you. I had black bear in mind. LOL.



      • Maureen Anderson on June 8, 2022 at 1:15 pm

        Bears ARE best viewed from a distance, Joe. Darrell and I hit one with our 2001 Honda Accord on an interstate in rural Pennsylvania in December of 2019. You can see bear fur in the pictures of what remained of that car. Semi after semi had been passing us in the dark, and it still spooks me to think the reason we’re alive is that we got a couple of minutes of a break from that traffic — which was enough time to get out of the car, forget there was a bear probably wanting revenge on us (it must have stumbled away to die because law enforcement never found a trace of it), and thank our lucky stars for the good fortune (!).

        We didn’t sustain so much as a headache, either. We’d suffer more from the overripe bananas at the hotel breakfast the next morning than from anything related to the crash.

        Everything you want to know about either of us was on display as we waited for the tow truck, though. Darrell: “F—, f—, f—. Like I needed this!” I was practically levitating with glee at having hit a bear at 74 mph and living to tell about it.

        • Joe on June 8, 2022 at 1:40 pm

          Bear vs Honda Accord! Hard to tell how that one might turn out, Maureen!

        • Tolis Alexopoulos on June 9, 2022 at 12:00 am

          Oh No, Maureen! I identify. When I was a kid we were heading with my family from the village to the city with my father’s car Autobianchi (still has it, will probably never leave it, now 43 years old). It was raining hard and something hit our door, it was a wild boar! The door sinked. I can recall the fear, the woe, although my childhood memories are very limited.
          A bear? Couldn’t possibly imagine the feeling. Not even the feeling of those people who were in big car accidents.

          • Maureen Anderson on June 9, 2022 at 7:08 am

            The crash itself wasn’t bad. It was almost like hitting a giant beanbag chair. But afterward? From the airbag propellant filling the car with what looked like smoke and so on, so scary!

            Be careful out there.



  4. Joe Jansen on June 8, 2022 at 4:36 am

    Tolis, here’s a little more info on Sam and the Waking Up app. He’s said that although the meditation app is a subscription service, he “doesn’t want money to be a barrier between people and this content.” Thus, if a person feels they could benefit from the app but would be challenged by the annual subscription ($99 US), he’ll offer a free year’s subscription. All a person has to do is ask — [email protected].

    I was first introduced to his meditation app at the beginning of the pandemic. At the time, an annual subscription would have taken a bite, so I sucked up my pride and sent that email: “Hi, Sam’s team. I’d like to take up his offer of a subscription for this year.”

    That was it… no means test, no forms to fill out, no grilling, no shame. The response was, “Sure! Here’s a link. We hope you get something out of it.”

    And I have. In addition to the “Your Daily Meditation” (10- or 20-minute guided meditations that refresh every morning), the app offers so much more:

    * A section called “Theory,” including short 3- to 6-minutes talks by Sam on the fundamentals like “The Logic of Practice” and “What is Mindfulness?” A chapter with talks on “Mind & Emotion,” “The Illusory Self,” “Free Will,” and “Mysteries and Paradoxes.” A chapter with talks on “The Stoic Path” with William Irvine, “Consolations” with poet David Whyte, and a library of talks by Alan Watts. Hour-long conversations like “Deep Time” with Oliver Burkeman or “Psychedelics and the Self” with James Fadiman.

    * A section on “Practice,” which offers many guided meditations by teachers like Adyashanti (whom our Peter Brockwell follows, I think), Henry Shukman, Diana Winston, and Loch Kelly. Annaka Harris (Sam’s wife and author of a book I’ve read twice, “Conscious: A Brief Guide to the Fundamental Mystery of the Mind”) offers short meditations that can be practiced with children. And Sam’s “Introductory Course”: a month’s worth of short, guided meditations to lead a person through the basics of practice.

    After taking advantage of the free year, I found so much of value that I’ve been a paying subscriber ever since. (And ever since Feb 2020, the app shows me I’ve done about 1,400 practice sessions and 21,800 minutes [~363 hours] of meditation during that time.)

    One other benefit of a subscription is that you can share a free month (used to be a free week) with family or friends. So Tolis, here’s one for you: https://dynamic.wakingup.com/shareOpenAccess/747ea4

    Any other friends here who would like to sample this app for a month, go ahead and comment here, and I’ll generate a link for you.

    • Tolis Alexopoulos on June 9, 2022 at 12:07 am

      Thank you very much dear Joe, I needed this introduction. Now I know even more -my thought is to try to find the money, but if I don’t find it in 3 days that the free session ends, I can tell them to just give me the subscription and give the money in one or two months! It’s what my heart tells me to do. It’s useful to know. Hey, wait – what you sent me here is a 30 days trial! Wow, the universe is in good mood today. Will go for that if I can too.
      14,000 sessions! You must pay attention to the winds now, let me know if you can the things that you found impacted your life from it.

  5. Yvonne on June 8, 2022 at 4:57 am

    Perfect. As usual, exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you, Steve!

  6. Rick Matz on June 8, 2022 at 5:52 am

    Life just works better when I workout every day.

  7. Joe on June 8, 2022 at 7:27 am

    And I should mention: my body clock woke me at 0455. I thought, “The YMCA opens at 0500 and it takes me 10 minutes to drive there.” I rolled over and looked at my phone, heading first to this page to see what Steve had to say today. “Going to the Gym in the Dark” seemed to be on-theme, and should have had a synergistic effect on getting my @ss out of the rack. I admit, though, that I flipped my pillow to the cool side and gave it another hour. There’s always tomorrow.

    • Kate Stanton on June 8, 2022 at 7:33 am

      Oh, Joe!! This made me giggle:

      “should have had a synergistic effect on getting my @ss out of the rack. I admit, though, that I flipped my pillow to the cool side and gave it another hour. There’s always tomorrow”

      I can’t wait to read Brian’s take on today’s wisdom! His enthusiasm for mental and physical discipline is inspiring. I exercise because it helps me manage depression and anxiety. Sometimes a run or hike is a necessity to get out of my head and into action!!

      Happy new week everyone <3

      • Brian Nelson on June 8, 2022 at 10:44 am

        Kate,
        I started writing this post around 0630 PST, then did my chores (feed cats, clean litter boxes, let dogs out) and had to run one of our cats to the vet–so I wasn’t able to run until 0830ish–then returned to my post.

        This topic, like you mentioned, is probably the foundation of my own personal philosophy. In fact, I’m trying to build the courage to tie my business, my race, and a book/podcast/blog. Collective Suffering as the path to connection/growth/community. Combined with narrative, our adaptive advantages.

        “When two are more are gathered together in my name, I am there amidst them…”

        I’m making a leap, but I believe that Christ is there amidst us when we gather together: around an AA table, in a hospital room, in a yoga studio, in a sound studio creating music, running stairs together, stepping outside the wire–whenever we gather together–willfully suppress our own egos–and do good. Whatever that good maybe.

        We are physical creatures and I think many of our individual and societal ills stem from the present day disconnect from this fundamental truth.

        I went back through the thread after posting and saw your post. My insides warmed as I read your words.
        bsn

        • Kate Stanton on June 8, 2022 at 11:06 am

          Amen, Brian! I love the wisdom that comes from the red letters, the big book in AA, and yoga. All are about connecting to love at its source! I was just lamenting to a friend/colleague about how disconnected I have felt always trying to prove my worth–old stuff–but this community of writers is inspiring. Courageous and thoughtful and honest! Thank you for sharing your wisdom! It means a lot to me.

    • Brian Nelson on June 8, 2022 at 10:48 am

      Joe,
      Man oh man have I turned over to get more sleep.

      The battle is between my pillow and the Y. I eventually realized that if I want to do anything in the world–it has to happen between when I wake up, and the time I get to work. Therefore–no snooze bar. It is one of the few rules I’ve lived by 98% of the time-even post Army.

      Another rule I need to incorporate is ‘giving myself Grace’ when needed as well. There are days when the healthy choice is more sleep…however when I’m really honest–that extra sleep is generally needed because I made poor choices about bedtime the night previously…

      Love your insights and thoughts on “Waking Up”. I agree 100%. It needs to be as important to me as PT. I’m about a 65-75% with meditation. The feedback mechanism is slower and more subtle for me–others notice it in me before I notice it in myself.
      bsn
      bsn

  8. Mia Sherwood Landau on June 8, 2022 at 7:37 am

    For me, it’s not the gym. It’s early Torah study, before the sun comes up. It’s not physical, it’s spiritual. But the results are truly tangible.

    • Brian Nelson on June 8, 2022 at 10:51 am

      Mia,
      I love it. While I do not get the same hormonal feedback from Scripture–it does seem to impact the rest of my day as important as PT. I do the “Bible in a Year”, and while I’ll skip Scripture over a run–when I do both (as well as journal and meditate) I am so grounded–less reactive, and make better choices all day.
      bsn

  9. Jack Price on June 8, 2022 at 7:40 am

    Just this morning I skipped my workout based on the (flimsy) excuse of (mildly) sore muscles in my lower back from yesterday’s workout. And Steve picks today to harangue me with a message on exercise-no-matter-what. I take it personally. Imagine my feelings of shame and guilt. I will do better… tomorrow.

    • Brian Nelson on June 8, 2022 at 10:55 am

      Jack,
      I’ve worn wearables since they’ve come into vogue. Biostrap is the one I prefer, and the measurement I pay closest attention to is HRV. I have come to recognize that my 52 year old body is not the spry 15 year old who could play a soccer tourney all weekend, or play basketball from 0800-1600 every Saturday — and jump up the next day with enthusiasm to run around all day.

      I do try to keep my rest days active–mow the lawn, walk the dogs longer, Yin yoga over dynamic exercise. We’re cyclical as well.
      bsn

  10. Carl Blackburn on June 8, 2022 at 7:53 am

    If you are looking for a great program, go to the App Store and download Heroic, the training program. It covers every aspect of getting your energy, work and love moving in the right direction.

  11. Dea on June 8, 2022 at 9:17 am

    . . . and for me its daily qigong training and practice. Without it my body and I forget that energy moves when I do. Spaciousness and flow, opening and gathering —> continuing. Oh yeah, wall squats included! Leaving crusty-old-rusty-thinking wedged-into-the-flesh patterns aside for awhile, they begin to melt; the Resistance itself starts to turn into a motivating force. Incredible discovery!
    But not for sure from sitting on my inner or outer a** bemoaning all the many things I can too easily find to moan about. Wounds? yep! Ok….human journey full of them – its a shared experience; but who still walks undeterred?
    Maybe the Resistance and sorceresses and all phenomena distracting do actually have a purpose to our unfolding and to this ongoing surrender to the sometimes still mute Muse….who carries our tools when we walk with her and sings so beautifully (when prepared ) we allow/receive.
    Thank you @SP for this Wednesday morning delight! I always look forward to it and to all the sharing
    .

  12. Maureen Anderson on June 8, 2022 at 10:03 am

    In the weeks leading up to my divorce thirty years ago, I hauled my behind to the high school track every other day and ran five miles. Hard. I cried a lot, and — given the pole vaulters were practicing in the middle of that gym — I hoped the tears would look like sweat.

    During what “should’ve” been the worst time of my life, I’d never felt better. I was hooked.

    Now I never miss a workout. If I’m going on vacation, I make that time up in advance. I even banked a whole year of workouts if I ever face a serious illness, which is probably the definition of obsessive.

    Working out is who I am. As my daughter once put it: “Mom hates it and she loves it.”

    And while I hate it every single time, as Steve says everyone does, I also love it because my mind can wander and play. I solve more problems working out than I do in front of a screen, and I daydream about the next book or essay or comment here.

    • Kate Stanton on June 8, 2022 at 11:11 am

      “In the weeks leading up to my divorce thirty years ago, I hauled my behind to the high school track every other day and ran five miles. Hard. I cried a lot– I hoped the tears would look like sweat.” I love you, Maureen. Thank you for sharing this!

      The Body Keeps the Score by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk is a good (but super heavy!!) read that documents with scientific research just how healing physical exercise is for the mind and trauma. I know yoga helps me with anxiety. Cardio workouts help me with depression. I view it as energy–to get some back I must expend some! Resistance attacks every aspect of a creator it seems.

      • Maureen Anderson on June 8, 2022 at 11:49 am

        I love you, too, Kate! And Brian. And everyone else who’s weighing in today. 🙂

    • Brian Nelson on June 8, 2022 at 11:32 am

      Maureen,
      Great stuff. My experience is the first 10 minutes is torture–then the sweat comes, my body loosens, my mind awakens, and I am freed from the constraints of aging, and all the mental/emotional garbage I’ve accumulated in the past 24 hours.

      If I can just ‘get a sweat’, then I’m fine. That is my ‘love it/hate it experience’.
      bsn

    • Tolis Alexopoulos on June 9, 2022 at 12:17 am

      Another strong point Maureen, thanks! Those divorces, all those hard times in life are so difficult to let go. I wouldn’t be able to cry running though, how do you do that? Seems impossible to me!
      At the biggest separation from a relation about 7-8 years ago, I did cry “like hell” and for long, maybe 3 years (being clever too, trying to purify all other darknesses of the soul since it was a great chance) but I really needed quiet space and stillness.

  13. Brian Nelson on June 8, 2022 at 10:10 am

    I’m glad Steve wrote about this today. It felt like he was writing specifically to me (he has a key I never gave him into my head), but today was acknowledging something I’ve actually done most of my life. It affirms what I know kinesthetically my entire life–I know it in my fibers, my bones, my muscles and sinews.

    I have about 75 pages I wrote in a mad flurry back in 2007 that I titled, “While Fat Americans Sleep” about this exact topic. Book about habits, and the people I saw at the YMCA each day before dawn. 1. Don’t hit snooze. Don’t fail at your first goal of the day. 2. Stay hungry. Both metaphorically and literally. 3. Offer to spot, but spot well…

    It goes on and on in ‘gymrat’ vernacular about fundamental truths I’ve observed, but not always practiced 100%.

    I had just returned from Afghanistan where I was introduced to CrossFit. Yes, I drank that Kool-Aid in one gulp. “Lemme get this straight, you mean we’re keeping score?!?”

    Turning working out into a sport was/is a brilliant strategy.

    One morning I was setting up a particularly miserable CrossFit WOD named ‘Three Bars of Death”. The last time I had completed that workout, I felt like I had been in a car accident. IT SUCKS.

    So, I was dragging my ass around..mealy-mouthing, avoiding the beginning. The gym had an olympic platform for two of the exercises. (The workout is a particularly cruel series of Deadlift, Clean, and Flat Bench (1.5 body weight, 3/4 body weight, body weight..10,9,8..1). As I glanced up at the clock, it was 0550. I looked around the gym, and of course the Usual Suspects were there. They are the leaders of my community. Entrepreneurs. partners of law firms, medical doctors, moms, grandparents…people I admired, respected, wanted to emulate and I realized that I really trusted each and every one of these people.

    In an instant I knew: they met their suspenses/responsibilities, they likely tithed in some capacity, they remained married, they were kind/honest people, they laughed out loud, they were the people I wanted to be…

    I had gotten to know all of them over the past decade in small little chats in the locker room, steam room/sauna, or running/lifting – suffering next to them at the gym before the sun rises. What was the only common thing among them? The got it done while the rest of the Fat America was asleep. To me, this was the Keystone Habit.

    The book is too angry and filled with snark to publish. I didn’t realize how upset I was with the war, my profound disappointment with my senior leaders (we fought not to lose on their watch, not to win), the decaying of our culture…but I have some good stuff in there for another project I hope to be brave enough to complete. I was taking shots at people who didn’t know they were in my crosshairs. Some truth, but filled with a lot of judgment, bias, pride, and arrogance.

    Sadly, I have lost the plot myself over the pandemic. I allowed my own fear, frustration, closing of the gyms to keep me from morning exercise…and kind of tumbled into an intractable, angry depression. I’m back to doing PT (now I run every day–it is a gift to me, and for me not to run is a betrayal of myself and God. Not everyone can run, and it fills me with joy, scours my body of angst, emotional baggage, and clears my head so I can think. I am adding strength as well, but my foundation is 4-6 miles through a beautiful park 3/4 mile from my front door.)

    In fact, I’m finishing this just after my run.

    Steve doesn’t mention this above, but I notice it while running or working out. It is the ‘knowing nod’ or small wave you give others running in the other direction. The (mostly where I live) Asian women walking with hats and masks around the lake and into the woods. It is people walking their dogs. It is the people out choosing to live out loud. To confront the world. To take control of their own lives by taking control of their bodies that I find to be so inspiring.

    I need the physical exercise to wring the crazy out of my head, but I need to see others modeling this behavior to fill my spirit with hope, joy, and inspiration.
    bsn

    • Tolis Alexopoulos on June 9, 2022 at 12:32 am

      Thank you very much Brian, and I wanted to add that, if this has a chance to make you even more confident about your old book, that although I try to work on the book almost every day for years, now I don’t know nothing about it, I have no flow etc. I just trust the instinct and that gets me going, and it sends me in 100 different places, I can’t move with the plot on almost at all. So I may be reading a chapter again, and just feeling how awful it is or correcting or keeping notes or reading books around it etc. But even this is a step of the process, I think your book doesn’t need connection with you too, it needs chair! Imagine if one day on the chair, we find a So uncommon and unexpected way to drive anew the plot, and that will have the scars of the fight on it, making it more powerful than never! An old friend said it best years ago, “if you were a warrior -barbarian, would you prefer to be an ace who has no scares at all, or somebody who is full of scars, even no so perfect as the previous one?” Hmm, could scars, and not perfection in flow, be the seeds of greatness of a book?!

  14. Kate Stanton on June 8, 2022 at 11:14 am

    “It felt like he was writing specifically to me (he has a key I never gave him into my head)”
    It feels so damn good to come here each Wednesday and feel understood!! Whether it is Steve or a comment from a reader. Please continue to have a week full of hope, joy, and inspiration Brian and anyone else reading this!

    • Tolis on June 10, 2022 at 1:08 am

      Thank you so much Kate!

  15. Doug Setter on June 8, 2022 at 11:15 am

    Roger that. Hitting the gym, the trail or the studio sucks half of the time. But, it is the doing that builds momentum in training, studying or writing.

    Waiting for inspiration is b.s. A professional singer goes on stage or a surgeon operates whether or not they feel like it.

    Consistency beats out inspiration every time.

  16. Joe on June 8, 2022 at 11:53 am

    Great comments, everyone!

  17. Lin Keeling on June 8, 2022 at 1:09 pm

    I needed this post today. I am in an extreme caregiving situation–little time for myself, little time/energy for the loom and certainly not for the book I’ve been trying to put together for 7 years now. I put that book in a box when my husband was hospitalized in February; it was too much to even think about it.

    I bought a book on Pilates for fragile backs a few weeks ago and haven’t had the strength to do the warmup exercises let alone try the actual program. Reading your posts today made me realize how far gone I am and how far I need to go to pick myself up again.

    Coming here Wednesdays is the only connection I have, the only affirmation/validation/expectation of getting my butt moving that I get. Thank you Steve; thank you all. I really needed all of this today. Tomorrow I will not turn over when the cat meows at 4AM–she’s sick too–I will get up and do the work I am meant to do and take care of me first….OK, maybe after I feed the cat.
    Thank you all. I love you all!!

    • Maureen Anderson on June 8, 2022 at 1:20 pm

      Hang in there, Lin. We’re pulling for you.

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