You will hear me refer to Resistance a lot in this blog. Steven Pressfield coined the term for that “intelligent, active, malign force” that works against us when we endeavour to create something. He defines it clearly in his book The War of Art and elaborates a bit more in his book Turning Pro. But in his book Do the Work he talks you through battle with Resistance while you work on a creative project.
I love Do the Work! I bought it in June 2018 and read it for the first time. I’ve just started my fifth read of the book. I’ve recommended it to people and even bought a couple of copies to give away!
I credit it with helping me start and finish the first draft of my play A Killing at the Cottage. Any time I feel myself getting pummeled by Resistance, I grab Do the Work and read a few pages.
It’s so easy to beat yourself up because you’re lazy, you’re a procrastinator, you don’t follow through, you’re too old, you’re too young, you’re this and you’re that. You’re NOT the problem. The problem is Resistance. And it is spelled with a capital “R”.
The War of Art and Turning Pro are great for defining that force that prevents us from doing the things we want to do. And it gives us a lexicon to describe it. But Do the Work actually talks you through Resistance in real time.
Do the Work is like having Steven Pressfield in your corner, coaxing you through the pitfalls of an encounter with Resistance. This book gives you the steps to follow. It anticipates the tactics that Resistance will take!
And even though a lot of the book is from the perspective of writing, it’s not just for writers. Resistance affects us when we want to start a new project, learn a language, learn how to play a musical instrument, move on from loss, get a new job, and so on.
What’s the answer when Resistance is kicking your butt? Do the Work.
© 2019 Peter Gruner