Im too Busy to be Creative and Other Excuses.
In this series I will continue sharing my insights that I’m learning from reading Stephen Pressfield’s The War of Art. He points out many common forms of resistance. Resistance is the insidious force which blocks our creative flow and takes us away from doing our work, our true calling. In this article I’ll be pointing out some areas where resistance personally shows up for me.
I’m overwhelmed I want to focus on one thing at a time
This form of resistance destroys your soul through the use of perceived logic.
It tells you that if you focus on your creative task that you have to let your health go. It tells you that while you’re working on your promotion at work you can’t begin writing your novel. People talk about the need for sacrifice in order to get the things that we want. This is absolutely true. However, the things you have to let go of of aren’t the things that you think. The things that you actually have to let go of are your own perceived sense of self limitation and lack of discipline. By letting go of these things your life will get better in every area of your life. Remember we are taking on the task of overcoming resistance. It’s not just about the painting or the book. It’s about developing the mindset of a true professional.
It’s going to take away time from my family
Hours of Netflix, surfing the Internet, and being with your children but not really fully being there because you’re in a light level of desperation and despair isn’t exactly quality time. In order to be the best for other people you need to be the best version of yourself. Also, as we move into a time where we are in a global economy there is more competition for your children as they become adults. It’s going to be very important that you serve as an example of following your passion and having the self-discipline to follow through.
I haven’t decided what my creative passion is yet
You can’t think your way into acting better, but you can act your way into thinking better. What this means is that doing whatever work and intrigues or fascinates you you will start to assist you in discovering your voice through practice. So many people spend time in their head waiting for the muse to appear. By doing the work you’ll get real world feedback which will inform you much better than just swirling around in your own thoughts. The Muse loves when you begin.
I don’t have an audience (it doesn’t matter anyways no one’s listening)
You are. Don’t put your sense of self-worth into the opinions of others. As you release the opinions of others as a major concern, you’ll feel more comfortable showing your work. This will also assist you in dealing with the rejection that comes along with doing anything that really matters to your soul.
This form of resistance tells us that we need a certain number of followers or that we need to have a gallery that’s going to show our work. The way to overcome this form of resistance is to use the lack of an audience as a benefit rather than something that hold you back. If you have a small audience or no audience, you’re free to create whatever sort of work that you like. Use this time to enjoy discovering your voice.
I don’t understand the technical aspect
This shows up as the person who wants to create a YouTube channel but feels it has to be edited perfectly before he begins. On top of that he needs to master the editing program before he can even record a video. There is some truth to this.
If you’re creating content that no one can resonate with or that looks unprofessional you’re not going to get very good results. Do it anyways. Acknowledge the areas where you’re resisting such as not properly formatting or editing your work. But keep creating. Understand that there is a resistance to the technical aspect of the work which shows up as a desire to classify yourself as avant-garde. You may be avant-garde, but that doesn’t mean that your work can’t look polished and awesome. However, there’s no need to get caught in the trap of perfectionism. You can do both simultaneously; increasing the quality of your craft and sitting down to do the work.