The Daily Battle
I've been having some trouble coming to the canvas lately. There are things I want to do and ways I want to do them. Words knock on my head at night keeping me awake. Images float on my ceiling haunting me until morning. I have countless journals half finished and tattered filled with stories that never saw a rewrite or even a relook. Yet, I can't make it to the page lately.
I am filled with resistance. So instead I read books. Books 'on writing,' books about how to master your digital camera, books about green living, books by writers I admire, books about gardening, cooking, homeschooling. Then when my eyes grow tired I busy myself with mindless tasks masked with the magic word 'creative' like redesigning my blog for a month or obsessively reading blogs of other creatives.
One book I recently picked up, a meticulous and purposefully short read, kicked me in all sorts of places. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield of 'The Legend of Bagger Vance' fame. Among the many great moments in the book, the best was near the beginning when he spoke about Hitler. Apparently he wanted to be an artist, even went to art school in Vienna. But, the author points out, it was easier for him to start WWII than to face a blank canvas. I never thought I'd say I relate to Hitler. But that blinking curser on a blank page can inspire the most ridiculous of must-do-first lists you've ever seen.
Mr. Pressfield also reveals the secret that he claims real writers know that wannabe writers don't:
It's not the writing part that's hard. What's hard is sitting down to write.
This isn't the first time I've heard this; putting on your shoes is the hardest part to running; do your artist pages at least three stream of conscious every morning; the most important part about writing down the bones is composting ideas until you brew the good ones. Everytime I hear it, it makes sense. Knocks me out off the couch and in front of my computer. I get it. But never for very long.
So here I am sitting. Writing, as crap as it may be. I'm gonna get back to doing the work. The battle must be fought anew Every Day.
P.S. What do you think of the pic? It's my first of the year for Self Portrait Challenge. I used a diptych, new to me, which is two images that alone may mean little but when posed together tell a more complete story. Also included introduce yourself, red, and tiny words themes.