My writing routine has slipped away. Getting up in the morning to read and write before the rest of my house has gone by the wayside for the last couple of weeks and I need to refocus. To that end, I decided to wake early today and get back at it, I need to read something, write something.
I picked up The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, a book I ordered ages ago when I was in a daily rhythm with my writing. Things were going so well, I thought it was advice I didn’t need, forgetting how this writing thing goes with its peaks and valleys. The first section of the book is about facing resistance, to do the thing you want most to do when every other thing in life is calling you, tempting you away from it.
This paragraph bluntly encapsulates where I am:
As artists and professionals it is our obligation to enact our own internal revolution, a private insurrection inside our own skulls. In this uprising we free ourselves from the tyranny of consumer culture. We overthrow the programming of advertising, movies, video games, magazines, TV and MTV by which we have been hypnotized from the cradle. We uplug ourselves from the grid by recognizing that we will never cure our restlessness by contributing our disposable income to the bottom line of Bullshit, Inc., buy only by doing our work.
How did I know I was in trouble? I didn’t do any new writing on my project this week. For the past 8 weeks I have produced 7 new pages of work to share with a peer in my writing group, have put my all into it, honed and edited to get the words just right. But not this week. It felt a little bit like failure. Luckily we rotate writing partners every Friday and I could give them a piece I’d already sent out. But it was a wake up to get back to work.
The War of Art carries brief snippets of encouragement with each tiny chapter, prodding me back to my purpose. It was exactly the book I needed this morning.
And so here I go, back to work.