I saw this on Stephen Pressfield’s website. He writes historically-faithful novels about war and politics in ancient Greece-- recommended, if you like that sort of thing. Anyway, here’s his advise to aspiring writers. The gist is, “Don’t worry about it so much that you don’t ever get to work and do it.” He wrote for 27 years before he sold his first novel (The Legend of Bagger Vance, which was made into with Will Smith and Matt Damon). He also has a free “Writing Wednesdays” audio course on his website.
If you’re an aspiring writer,
I’ve got good news and bad news…
First the bad news
THERE IS AN ENEMY
The playing field that you, the aspiring artist, stand upon is not level. It is stacked against you.
YOU ARE THE ENEMY
Resistance (self-sabotage, procrastination, fear, arrogance, self-doubt) is inside you. No one inflicts it on you from outside. You bring it with you from birth.
RESISTANCE WILL KILL YOU
If you don’t believe me, look around at friends and family who have talent and ambition in spades … but are drinking, doping, abusing themselves and their loved ones, wasting their lives because they can’t get out of their own way and do the work they were put on this planet to do. Trust me: you will NEVER, NEVER achieve your dreams until you learn to recognize, confront, and overcome that voice in your head that is your own Resistance.
Now the good news
4. YOU ARE NOT ALONE
You’re not “wrong” if your head is your own worst enemy. You’re not “weak.” You’re not “sick.” Everybody experiences Resistance.
Resistance is an objective force of nature, as immutable as gravity.
- RESISTANCE CAN BE BEATEN
There’s no magic bullet. No hack, no trick, no tip, no class, no degree.
But you, armed with the right knowledge and resolution, can acquire the self-motivation, self-discipline, and self-belief necessary to become a focused, mentally-tough working pro.
- YOU’VE COME TO THE RIGHT PLACE
Whatever brought you to this site—luck, chance, maybe reading or hearing about The War of Art—doesn’t matter. Welcome! You have found an ongoing resource to help you fight and win the inner war of the writer, the artist, and the entrepreneur.