Since Christmas I've being reading my way through the mega-bundle I bought from Black Irish Books. In the War of Art, Steven Pressfield talks about the challenges of being an artist, of sitting down to do the work. "Resistance feeds on fear. We experience Resistance as fear. But fear of what? FEAR THAT WE WILL SUCCEED. That we become the person we sense in our hearts we truly are." Knowing that this is the lived experience of an author, who has successfully published many books, is heartening. To know that even when we taste success it still feels risky to pursue a creative life. I feel this resistance rising up inside me constantly, my best defence is my routine. By having a strict regimen (and letting housework slide), I can apply myself to doing the work. Each week begins with targets for each project I am working on and I get a little tingle each time one of the listed items is accomplished.
It can be difficult being your own motivator, beavering away on your own, but it's encouraging to remember Pressfield's advice "Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it".