The Resistance

Maybe the best “first page” of a book I’ve read in a long time. ¬†Following on the current them after reading and listening to Seth Godin‘s Lynchpins for the past couple of months, I landed on “the War of Art” by Steven Pressfield.

Page One -What I Do

I get up, take a shower, have breakfast. I read the paper, brush my teeth. If I have phone calls to make, I make them. I’ve got my coffee now. I put on my lucky work boots and stitch up the lucky laces that my niece Meredith gave me. I head back to my office, crank up the computer. My lucky hooded sweatshirt is draped over the chair, with the lucky charm I got from a gypsy in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer for only eight bucks in francs, and my lucky LARGO name tag that came from a dream I once had. On my thesaurus is my lucky cannon that my friend Bob Versandi gave me from Morro Castle, Cuba. I point it toward my chair, so it can fire inspiration into me. I say my prayer, which is the Invocation of the Muse from Homer’s Odyssey, translation by T.E. Lawrence, Lawrence of Arabia, which my dear mate Paul Rink gave me and which sits near my shelf with the cuff links that belonged to my father and my lucky acorn from the battlefield at Thermopylae. It’s about ten-thirty now. I sit down and plunge in. When I start making typos, I know I’m getting tired. That’s four hours or so. I’ve hit the point of diminishing returns. I wrap for the day. Copy whatever I’ve done to disk and stash the disk in the glove compartment of my truck in case there’s a fire and I have to run for it. I power down. It’s three-thirty. The office is closed. How many pages have I produced? I don’t care. Are they any good? I don’t even think about it. All that matter is I’ve put in my time and hit it with all I’ve got. All that counts is that, for this day, for this session, I have overcome resistance.

Page Two – What I Know

There’s a secret that real writers know that wannabe writers don’t, and the secret is this: It’s not the writing part that’s hard. What’s hard is sitting down to write.

What keeps us from sitting down is the Resistance.

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