Writing a book is an amazing process. In the past I’ve likened writing for me to be like digging a hole, then filling it up, then digging another hole, then filling it up, you get the point.
The thing is, I rather like digging. I enjoy hard work. While at times it is back breaking, sweaty and tiring. At other times you unearth the most amazing creations.
Recently I read Do the Work by Steven Pressfield. I picked this eBook from The Domino Project up based on a tweet by Seth Godin. It is a simple, quick read that finds itself full of quotable axioms. As I read this while working on my book, feverishly one day and as a laggard the next, it was inspirational.
If you are a creative, working on any project including self-improvement, this book is a great read. Here are a few of my favorite thoughts.
“Start before you’re ready. Don’t prepare. Begin.”
I love this idea and realize now how much this has been a guiding principle for me even though I didn’t have the words. Most big, creative projects I’ve been involved with have come about when I didn’t feel the slightest inkling of readiness. In the same vain he quotes Goethe as saying, “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”
“We want to work, not prepare to work.”
How often do I get lost in the preparation, research, reasoning, etc. I’m a perfectionist like most creative’s and can spend more time preparing than working. Getting my computer out, the right desk, the right time of day, the right lighting, and the right mood wowser! No wonder it takes me so long.
“A crash means we have failed. We gave it everything we had and we came up short. A crash does not mean we are losers.”
In his discussion on failure (or perceived failure) I love the reminder that we are not our creativity or our project or the opinions of others. As artists and creative’s it is easy to find our identity in our work. In doing so we limit our creation! What a shame.
I for one am committed to DO THE WORK; to start before I’m ready, to continue no matter the resistance, to work and to stake my claim in the world as a creative. I hope you will join the movement.