Pushing, pulling, struggling and fighting to…DO the WORK

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do the workSteven Pressfield has released a fantastic new book called, Do the Work, which also happens to be the latest offering from Seth Godin’s Domino Project.

Creating art is hard work. I’ve never considered myself a naturally creative person (or writer) and at times I can get frustrated with how easy it seems for everyone else. Whether you write, draw, or produce spoken word poems I think you will find value in Pressfield’s book.

Mr. Pressfield masterfully terms the struggle to create the Resistance. If you’ve ever wanted to rip your hair out because a word wouldn’t come to you, or even worse, because you’ve never actually taken action to implement any of your great ideas, then you know the Resistance all too well.

According to Steven, the Resistance is a dragon whose sole purpose is to keep you from doing and creating your great works of art and it’s a beast that needs to be met in the middle of the battlefield. No hiding, no procrastinating, no busy work and no coffee breaks.

His concept of Resistance spoke right to me. In fact, Mr. Pressfield could have been sitting down right next to me as I struggle to complete the ebook I’ve been working on for ProBlogger. Fortunately, he didn’t have to because Do the Work has been released and it has become a mini-companion for me when I work. When I feel the pull to quit, to give up, or to retreat into busy work I see the cover staring right at me!

It’s not easy disregarding that niggling negative voice in your head while trying to maintain focus and push through to the other (creative) side. But the hard facts are, if you want to create great work then you must face the Resistance, fight it, and struggle with it.

You might disagree, but I feel like the book has been released at the perfect time in our evolution. Blogging and social media are creating an environment where we all need to be in charge of our own brand, responsible for our own reputation, and the chief evangelist telling our own story that we want the world to hear and connect with.

In order for individuals to step up and take advantage of all of the possibilities that are now available thanks to social media, however, you must take responsibility and become the champion of your own message, your own work…your own art.

If you’ve been struggling with fear of failure, the productivity demons, or working to get through your first (or tenth) creative project, I think you will find tremendous value in what Steven has to say. It’s really a great framework for when you want to throw your hands up in frustration and quit.

There is no getting around the fact that you have to Do the Work. There are no shortcuts.

(Note: the above are NOT affiliate links. And if you’re still not convinced have a look at what Colleen, Pam, and Chris have to say.)

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Mark Hayward


8 thoughts on “Pushing, pulling, struggling and fighting to…DO the WORK

  1. Hi Mark,

    I think it is better to listen to the voice than disregard it.

    I think the way to deal with the resistance is to welcome it. After all you have been fighting it for ages and it is still there.

  2. Evan – that’s a fair point! The problem is (I think) that many people let the Resistance shut them down completely and they just keep shuffling along without ever taking any risk.

    If they consciously choose not to take risk and are happy without creating then that’s fine. I’m more concerned with the person who wants to get a message, a drawing, a poem, etc out but they let the Resistance win and give up.

  3. I’m always looking at things from a health perspective and I think the resistance is ever-present there as well. I like the perspective of “do the work” because because in any field, whether business/creative/health, there is always an easy way out but no easy way through. It takes commitment, effort, and time. Thanks for reinforcing a truth that we don’t always want to hear but need to be reminded of.

  4. Dr Mark – pure gold, “there is always an easy way out but no easy way through.” And I imagine in the medical field you see that on a daily basis…with quick fix weight loss, etc.

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  6. Chiming in a little late — but Do the Work is impacting MY work in a big way. Understanding Resistance and taming this monster is a game changer.

    PS: I’m enjoying this blog, too!

    1. Hey Donna – for a small book it’s pretty powerful, eh? It certainly helped me to get through a huge project recently…

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