Fighting the War of Art

Fighting the War of Art

I had just selected the finalized design of this website when a small event snowballed into a catastrophic series of events.

I awoke on a Sunday morning noticing my eye was extremely sensitive to light.   By Monday morning it had began to turn red so I went to the local eye doctor.   Turns out I had a condition called “iritis” which inflamed my retina and was causing all the pain.   A few eye drops and I was home.

Tuesday morning I got up and went to my day job only to make it about 2 hours before my eye was in severe pain. By Thursday all I could do was lay in bed with the blinds drawn and listen to Stitcher.

For the next week & half, I laid in bed and caught up on all my podcasts.  I decided to get Steven Pressfield’s “The War of Art” after a recommendation by Joe Rogan on his podcast.

Within the first 3 minutes I was hooked.  It was the first time in my life that I began to understand exactly why I am on this planet.

No, I don’t mean that in a grandiose way. I just understood that this desire to become a full time online content creator was not a bad thing.  Though in order to be that person I would have to face a most deadly enemy.  Resistance.

Look in your own heart. Unless I’m crazy, right now a still small voice is piping up, telling you as it has ten thousand times, the calling that is yours and yours alone. You know it. No one has to tell you. And unless I’m crazy, you’re no closer to taking action on it than you were yesterday or will be tomorrow. You think Resistance isn’t real? Resistance will bury you.

– Steven Pressfield – The War of Art

Pushing Forward

When it comes to creating for a living, we all face an upward battle against resistance.

In the most simple terms, resistance is all those voices in your head trying to tell you that you will fail.  They cause you to escape trials instead of challenging them.

An interesting fact brought up in the book is that Hitler originally wanted to be a painter.  Instead, he gave up.  Pressfield goes out on a limb to say that it was easier for Hitler to start World War 2 than it was to face a blank canvas.

This perspective on resistance changed everything.   Finally I knew my enemy and I could fight back.

Kicking it up a notch

After about 2 weeks my eye felt good enough to the point where I could handle my computer as long as I turned the brightness down to the lowest setting.   I had some work to do for a client and then I started to work on this site.

Once I finished this site, I started working on a few other web properties I own and basically redesigned my entire network of sites.  I knew my enemy and suddenly I was winning.

In just under 7 days time I built 4 websites and hammered out 20 minutes of finished product for my new documentary.  This all while working in hour long spurts followed by 3 hours of rest.

Losing the Fear

the-war-of-artIn April I handed in my resignation at work.   I really wanted to do “this” full time, and I knew that if I didn’t make the leap now, I never would.

Of course my day job came back and offered me a “to good to refuse” offer that would let me have a bit of a cushion when I make the leap.  Now I count down the days to September 1, 2013 when I will stop being another cog in the wheel and make a leap for my dreams.

About the same time the eye injury was in full effect, I was literally paralyzed by fear.  I thought for sure I had screwed myself into a corner and was going to lose my shirt.

If it wasn’t for gaining the understanding of resistance and how it paralyzes you into inaction, I would have started looking for a new day job.

I had options.  Fear was no longer going to hold me back, it was going to accelerate me to higher goals.  Fear is only as real as you allow it to be.

I suddenly believed in myself more than ever before.  Suddenly I have stopped trying to be a content creator.   I was a content creator.

If you haven’t read Steven Pressfield’s book I would strongly recommend you do so.  It will make the battle a lot easier.

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