The word keeps popping up everywhere I go. Resistance. So it shouldn't really surprise me that when I heard my crush, Seth Godin was going to be at Borders at Columbus Circle with some other writer, that person turned out to be Steven Pressfield, the author of The War of Art.
The Universe is like that. When it wants to make its point, it keeps hitting you over the head.
The concept of The Resistance is what The War of Art is all about. I admit, I would never have picked up a book with War in the title. I'm just not drawn to those stories. But after listening to Seth Godin and Steven Pressfield engage in a lively, poignant and for me timely discussion about The Resistance I took a copy of this slim book home with me. And yes, I read it in its entirety.
When Seth refers to Art in Linchpin, he stretches the word beyond the traditional definition. Steven Pressfield speaks to Art in reference to his own writing. The common thread is that no matter how you define Art, Resistance to it will be there. Every day. Resistance to doing the Work. And without the Work there is no Art.
I have been resisting my Work. As I am getting all the details together for my coaching practice, my fiction has taken a back seat. The conversation in my head has been going something like this. Is the coaching taking away from writing ? And if it is, am I using it as a form of resistance? Should I not coach? But I want to coach. I like helping people. I feel that pull in the same way I feel pulled to write. I'll write later, after I get this page finished. But not a page is finished yet. Not the coaching page for my site or a page of fiction. No Art. Of any kind.
It's been a heated discussion. The Resistance morphed itself in the form of the debate and endless chatter in my mind. The Resistance has been winning, coming up with all sorts of reasons not to sit down and do The Work.
I never expected all this Resistance. I imagined when I was still handcuffed to the chair of my Corporate office that when I was on my own there would be no Resistance. But that was because I saw the Resistance as someone or something other than me. When the truth is The Resistance is my own terrorist plot, one that lives inside trying to stop me from doing my Work. Somedays the security level is on high. Somedays less. But there is never a day, where it's threat does not exist. It's just up to me to be on alert.
Woody Allen said "Eighty percent of success is showing up" He left out the part that once you show up, you have to sit down and do the Work. That is if you want to create Art.