Neil Sutton: April 2013 Writing Challenge Winner

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Resistance is Futile

“There’s a secret that real writers know that wannabe writers don’t, and the secret is this: It’s not the writing part that’s hard. What’s hard is sitting down to write. What keeps us from sitting down is Resistance.”

— Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

Over the past two years, I’ve been plugging away at the list of “must-read” books recommended by my virtual mentors here at AWAI, and elsewhere. All of the books I’ve read have given great insight, instruction, and inspiration, but the book I just finished reading rocked me back on my heels.

I recommend you rush this book to the top of your own reading list. You simply will not regret it.

Steven Pressfield’s book, “The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles,” is the book I will look back to in years to come as the catalyst that shook me out of my stupor and put me into action. To echo the Esquire quote on the front of the book, it is “a kick in the ass.”

I regretfully acknowledge I have been a procrastinator for most of my adult life. I start things; get sidetracked by those bright shiny things that are eternally present; and move on to something else.

I find I am becoming an information collector — amassing a library of great writing and marketing books and programs (and productivity apps), but am reluctant to take the next crucial action steps.

I have this detailed ink drawing I have been working on from time to time that was supposed to be a Christmas present for my wife — 15 years ago. I still haven’t finished it!

Pressfield’s book finally put a name to this demon holding me back from becoming and achieving everything I should be. It is Resistance. We all have a battle everyday with Resistance, and those who win these daily battles are the ones who are getting it done, and living out their dreams.

I cannot imagine anybody who is pursuing the writer’s life who would not benefit from buying this book and reading it immediately. One of the first rules of winning any battle is knowing your enemy. The War of Art not only names this enemy, but also uncovers its many seductive, ugly faces and forms. Having these revealed allows us to recognize them and face them down when they appear.

I am anxious to read Pressfield’s follow-up books, “Do the Work” and “Turning Pro,” but they will have to wait a while — I have some battles to win and some great works to do.

It is time to step up to your own battle. Get the book and read it now!

“Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got.”

— Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

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