“The most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.”
-Steven Pressfield, The War of Art
I’ll let you in on a little secret.
I have hit a wall. A total writer's block. A war on my creativity. A ton of bricks plopped on my momentum. What gives?! I was on a roll! I was having a blast working on my blog and sharing it with you and with the world. I was having a blast making these awesome little inspiring videos in the city, and I just knew once I got out to East Hampton, it would get even better.
The free time! The space! The beauty! I could just sense the magic and creation in the air.
Then something happened. I had all this free, awesome, beautiful time on my hands...and I stopped working! My creative system broke down. I was no longer crunched for time to make things happen for myself. I was no longer frustrated by the concrete view outside my apartment window and striving for something more beautiful. I was finally in this gorgeous place, and I would sit down to write something...and just stop. I’d stare out my window at the grass and flowers. I would take deep breaths of the fresh air. I would stare in awe of the ocean. I was searching for the inspiration I thought was just waiting for me out here, away from the city. And I couldn’t find it.
What?! The Hamptons are the home of so many creatives! I thought my soul would just begin to BURST with creativity and expression once it breathed in the salty, fresh air! I thought my blog posts would be brilliant! My book would write itself! My art would just jump off the pages!
In case you haven’t noticed, I haven’t posted a blog in a few weeks now. Last week, I was suffering from “blogger’s shame” that I didn’t get a post up the week before. Then, instead of just getting something up, I told myself it had to be epic to make up for the missed week! So I spent an entire day biking around East Hampton searching for inspiration and all I found was frustration! Nothing was good enough! Nothing I wrote down seemed inspiring enough. I recorded a video that was beyond incoherent! Again, I froze and I continued my week in my state of blogger shame.
So what’d I do about it?
I started telling people. Instead of harboring my own shame, I started sharing my shame with people. I started acknowledging the elephant in my creative space. I emailed my boss in the city and told her I hadn’t finished a project because I was coming up against some nasty resistance. I told my friends I was stuck and I needed pushed. Now, I’m telling you.
And look at that... an entire post is written. It’s out there. And hopefully it will help you get passed your own resistance.
For some reason, we resist what we most need. We resist the things that help us grow. We resist the good things, the challenging things, the things meant for us.
Then I had another thought. If I’m resisting my own art, writing and creative pursuits--the things I love most--what else am I resisting in life? Surely this one area is not the only thing that's good for me. Surely, I must be pushing away other things I really need. So I took a deeper dig into the last couple weeks.
I found that I have been resisting almost everything good for me. I’ve been resisting running (one of my favorite things in the world!). I’ve been resisting cooking and eating really healthy foods. I’ve been resisting getting a good nights sleep (by catching up on The Bachelorette). Sometimes, I've even been resisting my awesome friends by letting calls go to voice-mail. I’ve been resisting so many things that are good for me, needed, and things that add value and joy to my life.
So I’m working through each of these places of resistance. How? By simply showing up. Not expecting earth shattering results. Releasing a bit of the self inflicted pressure. Being present. Being open.
Showing up at the page to write. Showing up to run. Putting away the computer, and closing my eyes to sleep. Filling my fridge with fruits, even when all I want is pickles and french fries (my idea of junk food). Setting my self up for (minimal) success, by just going through the motions to get myself where I truly want to be.
Just. Showing. Up.
And slowly, but surely the blocks are dislodging. The runs are getting a little easier. The writing, well... you’re seeing it. I’m sleeping. I’m loving my grapes and greens. I’m working on a new video project. I’m drawing.
So tell me... How do you deal with resistance? How do you work through your own blocks and brick walls? Leave me a comment and share your thoughts on the matter. Let's blast through this wall together.