'Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.'
He goes on to explain the concept of Resistance as the force that keeps us living in the mediocre - the treadmill we never use, the career we never pursued, the passion we never followed. He defines Resistance as the thing that prevents us from achieving the life God intended for us.
It keeps us from our calling.
Otherwise knows as Fear.
Pressfield writes: 'Henry Fonda was still throwing up before each stage performance, even when he was seventy-five. In other words, fear doesn't go away. The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.'
When I started my second novel, I figured I'd have it easy. I'd already battled, and won. The words would flow, the confidence would surge.
Surprise, surprise, Resistance was there again, ready and willing to go to battle once more. I wilted in it's presence, and backed away. Surely I couldn't still be struggling with the same old fears? Hadn't I learned anything?
That's why The War of Art is so great. It's a lovely kick-in-the-pants, get-off-your-ass and be professional about this, kind of message that I think many artists need to hear. Stop looking at what you do as 'special' and 'intuitive' (even though it is) and treat it like a job. Expect that fear will be lurking around every corner, and that every day will be a battle. And with that knowledge, don't ever let Resistance win. Be a warrior in your life, and amazing things will happen.
Next week, I'll delve into Pressfield's chapter on 'Turning Pro.' Lots of good stuff there.