I can’t get more than a few pages through Steve Pressfield’s The War of Art before I want to come here and write about it. Too much of it just resonates. Here’s today’s takeaway: finish what you start.
Consider how many times you’ve started a project only to set it aside thinking very cleverly, I’ll get to that someday, and it’ll be awesome. There isn’t much that stacks up to the pure, unbridled joy of starting something new. It’s nothing but ecstasy in those first few manic hours when you unleash your creativity and pour out your idea thinking of nothing but the potential of your idea’s nascent existence.
Eventually, your steam runs out, and you put the work aside to catch some sleep or finish the show you’ve been dying to watch. You come back to it and look at it, turning it over in your palms to look at the speckles and glitter in its lumpy form. Goddamn, I’ve got something great here, you think.
Then you wait. You need to be in the right head space. You need to wait for creativity to surge back up from the depths.
Then you need to get your oil changed. You’ve had a long week at work, and you deserve a break.
The irony of the situation escapes you. The worship you do at the base of your creation’s potential turns you into Gollum. You get so lost in the beauty of its potential that you forget you’re in a musty cave growing pale in the dark.
You can’t judge a work’s ability to succeed until you have it in a form you can take out of the cave and show others, and that means getting shit done.
I’ll leave you with another gem from Mr. Pressfield:
The danger is greatest when the finish line is in sight. At this point, Resistance knows we’re about to beat it. It hits the panic button. It marshals one last assault and slams us with everything it’s got.
Don’t be afraid to slam back.