Don’t Give Up

Hello, fellow Soldier.

What’s that? You aren’t a soldier? I disagree.

Waging War

Every day is a battle if you are a Creative. All Creatives must wage war against the enemy known as Resistance. Some days he’s a pushover – you can stomp him to bits with bursts of creative energy. Other days, he’s a stalwart opponent and it takes all your focus and resolve to get him to back down one measly inch. And then there are the days you just feel like lying down in the mud and giving up.

Don’t Do It!

I’m here to urge you: stand firm! Fight the fight. Stay the course.

Product versus Process

When you have writer’s block or are completely stuck with your project, whatever you do: DON’T STOP WRITING! For God’s sake (who gave you those gifts and talents), don’t give in to the enemy.

If you’re struggling, I feel ya. I’ve been there many times. But the quickest way out is not retreat. You have to press on. If you can’t write on your WIP, then write something else – write anything. If you can’t work on your painting or your song or your drawing, then put it down, but don’t stop working!

You can still nurture your creative self even when there’s a roadblock. If you’re anything like me, you’re project-driven. You’re in it for the product, not the process. The process is the day to day, grueling, dirty work. The product is that shiny thing that you can admire for hours…once it’s finished. Sometimes it feels like a waste to put the work-in-progress aside, no matter how stuck you are. But there is good news: growth comes from working on your craft. Period. Even if it’s something unrelated to your current WIP.

Growth and Shrapnel

Growth does not come from surfing Facebook when you’ve run out of words in your novel. It doesn’t come from sitting on the sofa watching TV when you’re too tired to paint. It doesn’t come from wallowing in the muck of the battlefield, mourning your fallen comrades (ie. projects) or picking at their shrapnel wounds. (It seems there’s always at least one failed or deserted project to haunt your progress in the war.)

Growth comes from refusing to back down to Resistance. From being a stubborn mule about prioritizing your work. From putting the time in, day to day, even if you don’t think you’re getting anywhere. Don’t give up.

Pay it Forward

And if you’re a Creative who’s in the full swing of progress, currently free from hurdles, then by all means, pay it forward. Encourage your fellow Soldiers to keep up the fight. Don’t let them give in to the bullying of Resistance. Share this post with someone. We must stand together, even as we fight individually.

I just want to let you know, Soldier: I support you. You can win.

10 thoughts on “Don’t Give Up

  • Doing this now. The current project has lost its luster. It’ll come back, but in the meantime, I’m forging ahead on other things. This was not until I had experienced a couple days of doing nothing at all rather than just nothing on the main project.

    Shell shock time is over, time to get back into the trenches!

    • Josh, good for you. I know what you mean though. This post is as much for me as it is for anyone else. I am bad about sulking when I come up against wall mid-project. You’re right: shell shock time is over!

  • Ha! Becca, I love it. Totally new perspective to me, thinking of the Creative’s life as the soldier’s life. But it’s so very true. It can be exactly like a war zone, with an enemy who won’t back down, guns that jam (read: computers that crash, paint that cracks), and the fear that you can’t win.

    I especially appreciate your point about how growth doesn’t come from putting down our creative weapons in order to waste time online or on TV. I can usually resist those temptations…unless my creative energies are particularly low. What you write is a good reminder. 🙂

    • Thanks, Court. *I* also need that reminder. I’m constantly dodging grenades that life throws at me. Interruptions are the bane of my creative existence. I constantly lose momentum in projects because of it. I must fight this battle daily.

  • Hey, Becca! Thanks so much for the pep talk today. I’ve been wanting to start writing a book, and after reading the above, I felt encouraged and have actually written 5 DS pages today. Thanks again! Hope you, David, and the kids are doing well. Seems like a lifetime ago that I sold you your first house!


    • That’s great! I’m happy to hear it. There’s nothing like your first book. Stick with it and you’ll be rewarded. I can’t convey the full excitement of finishing my first novel. It’s a great feeling.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  • This is a great analogy. I think many people can identify with this.
    When you reminded us of who gave us these gifts in the first place, God, it reminded me that the enemy wants us to forget about those gifts. He wants us to be unproductive and neglect our talents. That just makes me angry. I am NOT going to let my enemy tell me what to do. God is my master, I’m going to learn from Him!
    Great writing, Becca.

    • Thanks, Trish.

      You are so right. There are great forces trying to distract us from our goal so that we will be unproductive and neglect our talents. We must fight back. Sounds like you have a plan. 🙂

  • When I would get ready to start a painting, I would think “I can’t do this”. But then I would say to myself “Just start and you can always go back and fix it with acrylics. ” So I would start usually with the sky blue paint and it usually ended up just like I wanted it.

    • That’s awesome.

      It’s odd to hear amazing artists talk about weakness. I see great paintings and never imagine that there could have been uncertainty behind it. But I guess it’s true that everyone has to face the enemy at some time or another.

      Thanks for sharing.

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