Writing is hard.
I realize with this statement, I have joined the rarified air of such luminaries as those that first uttered other such time honored classics as “water is wet” and “sky is blue” and “dishonest politician” (not that I’m claiming to be the first to say that writing is hard). And the irony is not lost on me that I am writing a blog post about how hard writing is instead of, you know, actually writing.
Pressfield was right, Resistance is the enemy, but NEVER futile
Pressfield would probably be impressed with my Resistances use of meta writing as path of Resistance to actually writing. Or maybe he wouldn’t. If anyone has a healthy respect for the power of Resistance to torpedo your efforts to do your work, it is Steven Pressfield. This fact has not been lost on me. After all, I am a man who is relatively successful in life, and I am even relatively fulfilled in life, but I still feel like there is something missing. I’ve made abortive efforts to start a writing habit (even if only something so simple as a journal) for pretty much my entire life, and failed again and again. I just did not have a name for it until I read “The War of Art”.
Yes, I am reading “The War of Art” for the second time. The first time through it made a profound impact on me. So profound, I did not really feel it until I started again. Actually, this is not an uncommon thing for me. I tend to ruminate over things longer than probably necessary, turning them over again and again in my head until I’m ready to move on them, if I ever am.
Et tu, notifications?
Aside time: phone notifications are the bane of my existence. Literally in the middle of writing that last sentence, I got sidetracked by a phone notification.
I recently listened to a podcast with Noah Kagan where he talks about this exact thing, and I’ll admit his idea to turn off “all notifications” on his device sounded like the ravings of a crazy person. Now I’m not as sure. And frankly, if I’m not prompted to check on something on my own, then do I really care enough to need to be notified of it? Obviously, as a parent, then I feel that turning off everything (including notices for calls and texts) might be a little excessive, but everything else? Why do I need those?
I will say I am already pretty notification light, but I could certainly go lighter on those, and perhaps I should. Of course, the fact that I am trying to write this during off moments at work does not help. Though that may not be entirely true. Perhaps this kind of writing is the kind of writing I should be doing during these times. Since I certainly will not be able to dedicate the attention to writing anything that requires sustained concentration like say, fiction.
Is writing anything better than writing nothing?
And the fact that I am writing anything, even a blog post about how hard writing is, might be, for me, right now, a victory against Resistance. Crap! Unless that’s what my Resistance wants me to think. Ugh. Just like everything leads to the Dark Side, I guess everything is Resistance, other than the actual writing. Maybe that’s Mr. Pressfield’s point.