Search Results: resistance

The Goddess Visits at Night

By Steven Pressfield |

I’m not joking when I say I do some of my best work in bed. In the middle of the night. Something about that twilight stage of consciousness when we’re not awake but not asleep either. Why do ideas come to us in the shower, or where we’re shaving or driving on the freeway and hanging onto a strap in the subway? Those too are twilight states. They are “gateway stages” when the membrane is down and insights can bubble up from the Muse’s secret sanctuary. The ego, I believe, is the generator of Resistance. So when the ego is…

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Between Books

By Steven Pressfield |

Writers sometimes ask me, “What should I do between books?” My answer: There should never be a “between books.” Don’t stop. Don’t blow your momentum. Myself, I want to be ninety pages into the next book before I finish the one I’m working on now. My aim is to move seamlessly from one to the other. If I knock off Book #13 on Tuesday, I’m deep into the trenches on #14 Wednesday. Why? Resistance. Resistance loves it when we stop working. I have a friend at the gym who used to hang out with Jack Lalanne. He said Jack had…

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Hit the Page Running

By Steven Pressfield |

My mantra when I finally sit down to work is Hit the page running. What I mean by that is to plunge in immediately. First minute. First second. First millisecond. Why do I do this? Resistance. I don’t want to give Resistance the slightest opening to worm its way into my brain and start me “thinking.” No dawdling. No cogitating. No mulling over. Start. Get to work. Get into the flow. If I’m working on Draft #1 of a new project, I will pick up immediately where I left off yesterday. Without “thinking,” I’ll continue telling the story. If I…

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A Second (Bad) Self

By Steven Pressfield |

“There is a second self inside you, an inner, shadow Self. This self doesn’t care about you. It doesn’t love you. It has its own agenda, and it will kill you. It will kill you like cancer. It will kill you to achieve its agenda, which is to prevent you from actualizing your Self, from becoming who you really are. This shadow self is called, in the Kabbalistic lexicon, the ‘yetzer hara.’ The yetzer hara, Steve, is what you would call Resistance.” Rabbi Mordecai Finley, in conversation, July 4, 2010 Rabbi Mordecai Finley of Ohr HaTorah congregation in Los Angeles (one…

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Up From the Trenches

By Steven Pressfield |

About eighteen months ago I wrote a series for this blog titled “Report From the Trenches.” The posts were about a particularly ugly run of months when I was struggling with a book-in-progress that had crashed at the finish line. The struggle was about starting over. It was about not caving in to the massive Resistance that arises when you, the writer, have to go back to Square One and rethink everything. That book was published yesterday. Like just about everybody who reads this blog, I have a really hard time flogging my own stuff. So all I’ll say is the…

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A Sacred Space

By Steven Pressfield |

When I was eight years old, my family spent part of a summer vacation visiting friends in New England. One of the grownups we spent time with was a painter. He had a big sunny studio out behind his house, just past trellises groaning under the weight of roses and through a little wattle-type gate. I remember the artist’s wife telling me and my brother, “Don’t ever go in there without Peter’s permission.” Of course Peter gave his permission all the time. He was happy to have kids around. Sometimes we would even take naps in the studio. One thing…

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“Get Up! Begin Your Day!”

By Steven Pressfield |

I’m a gym person. I have been for thirty years. I go early. Ridiculously early. Twyla Tharp does too. Here she is from The Creative Habit: I begin each day of my life with a ritual. I wake up at 5:30 A.M., put on my workout clothes, my leg warmers, my sweatshirts, and my hat. I walk outside my Manhattan home, hail a taxi, and tell the driver to take me to the Pumping Iron gym at 91st Street and First Avenue, where I work out for two hours. The ritual is not the stretching and the weight training I…

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The Blank Page is Not Neutral

By Steven Pressfield |

It seems so harmless, doesn’t it? A simple sheet of 8 1/2-by-11 bond that you and I roll into our typewriter (or the equivalent empty screen on our laptop.) What could possibly go wrong? (Other than terminal procrastination, paralysis by perfectionism, self-doubt, self-loathing, self-recrimination, self-hatred, not to mention terminal existential dread, panic, hysteria, flatulence, bad breath, dandruff, and the uncontrollable desire to drink, smoke, vape, fly to Katmandu, and have a mad self-destructive affair with the first person that says hello.)   The blank page is not neutral.   If we think of it in combat terms, that empty sheet…

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“B” Speaks for “A”

By Steven Pressfield |

Quick announcement… For years, people have asked me, “When are you going to do an in-person speaking gig about The War of Art, Resistance, etc.?” I’ve always said no. But a part of me never stopped thinking, “Well, maybe one day … “ Short version: That day has come. It’ll be an intimate event, informal, just one day — September 15 in Nashville. I’m going to talk about the artist’s inner world (or at least my own), the self-discipline, the source of creativity, and the interior war that we all have to fight to bring our books and ideas into…

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Write the Book You Can’t Write

By Steven Pressfield |

I know (from letters and e-mails sent in) that many readers of this blog are published writers, even multiply-published writers, as well as successful artists and entrepreneurs of all kinds. If you’re one of them (and even if you aren’t), for sure you can look back on certain successes you’ve had and say to yourself, “How did I ever do that?” How did I write Braveheart? Where did I find the guts to launch Yoyodyne? Two answers come to mind. “I was so desperate I had no other choice” Or “I was too dumb to know I couldn’t do it.”…

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