Readers Corner: The War of Art

readers corner Apr 09, 2021

I love talking books, and I’m always happy to share the ones that move me or teach me something. I'll be highlighting books that speak to me and pulling quotes that resonate. I hope you find value in these snippets and that they open your eyes to authors you haven’t read before.
So while I’ll be sharing my thoughts with you, I'd love to hear how these quotes resonate with you too.

My first Readers Corner book is The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. This book helped me understand why I was having trouble getting traction on my writing, and it offered me a simple solution. I hope you’ll find it useful too.

Everyone who has a body experiences Resistance.”
~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

Resistance is an invisible and insidious force that keeps us from doing the creative work we were put on this earth to do.

It presents itself in many forms: fear, distraction, self-doubt, and procrastination.

Maybe you beat yourself up for when you’re having trouble putting your butt in the chair and writing. 

Stop judging yourself.

Every. Single. Writer. Has. The. Same. Problem.

Resistance is universal.

“Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do.”
~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

Six years ago, I was working on an earlier version of my memoir and  began writing a scene that scared me to death. It was so much more vulnerable and real than anything I had written before. It scared me because it was coming from a place deep inside me that I couldn’t control. I didn’t know where this writing would lead me, but I knew, somehow, if I sent those pages out into the world, that my life would change. I had a choice in that moment: Let fear drive my decisions and keep writing a safe, small story, or trust my creative process and see where it led me. I chose creativity over fear, and my life changed in that instant. To learn more, you’ll have to read my memoir, The Only Way Through Is Out

Has fear ever told you what you had to do? What happened?

“The professional is prepared at a deeper level. [She] is prepared, each day, to confront [her] own self-sabotage.”
~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

The author says that “turning pro” is how we win the battle against resistance, that insidious force that keeps us from doing our creative work.

The pro is ready to do battle each day with resistance. The pro EXPECTS resistance to show up. 

And on the rare occasions it doesn’t, I sing a big “hallelujah!”

But more often than not, it’s a struggle to get my butt in the chair and write. It’s so much easier to scroll through Facebook and Instagram. Open the refrigerator. Unload the dishwasher. And add a year-long pandemic to the mix … enough said.

Block scheduling has been one way that helps me do battle with self-sabotage. I don’t have to be “perfect” or “good” all day long, just during the 2-3 hours I’ve set aside to write.

How do you prepare yourself to confront self-sabotage? How do you set yourself up for success?

“There’s no mystery to turning pro. It’s a decision ...”
~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

I have a confession to make—and I’m wondering if you’ve ever felt this way too. I have this one friend who is disgustingly efficient at everything! I mean this girl gets shit done. When her house was flooded during Hurricane Harvey, I joked that it couldn’t have happened to a better person. Within 48 hours, Lynn had assembled a team of volunteers and assigned them tasks to help her rebuild her house. She’s the one who takes all the photos on a group trip, then puts them into an album and mails each friend a personalized copy. She’s the one who’s now funneled her energy into creating a groundbreaking cohousing community in Houston.

I used to think Lynn was an anomaly—I mean, mere mortals can’t get that much stuff done all the time. But now I understand her secret. Lynn’s turned pro—she’s made the decision to set up her life to do the things that matter to her.

It’s no different with writing or any other creative pursuit. If it matters to you, you can make the decision to turn pro, to set up your life to get the work done that matters to you.

And here’s the good news: every single day is a new opportunity to say yes to turning pro.

Can you even imagine what you might produce as a writer if you make that decision today?

Be sure to follow me on FacebookIG, and Twitter for more Readers Corner posts. You can also sign up for my biweekly newsletter which features stories from the trenches, tips on craft and the writing life, and first dibs on special offers!


Just fill out the details below and you'll be good to go. Please note, your information is safe with me, and welcome!