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