The most pernicious aspect of procrastination is that it can become a habit. We don't just put off our lives today; we put them off till our deathbed. Never forget: This very moment, we can change our lives. There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny. This second we can turn the tables on Resistance. This second, we can sit down and do our work.
The professional dedicates himself to mastering technique not because he believes technique is a substitute for inspiration but because he wants to be in possession of the full arsenal of skills when inspiration does come. The professional is sly. He knows that by toiling beside the front door of technique, he leaves room for genius to enter by the back.
The most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying. Why is this important? Because when we sit down day after day and keep grinding, something mysterious starts to happen. A process is set in motion by which, inevitably and infallibly, heaven comes to our aid. Unseen forces enlist in our cause; serendipity reinforces our purpose.
I love memoirs, particularly obscure ones because the writer is usually a regular guy just telling what happened to him and to his friends. What these tales lack in artfulness they make up for in passion and authenticity. For a writer of fiction, they are solid gold. I have stolen so much from memoirs it's ridiculous.
Resistance is directly proportional to love. If you’re feeling massive Resistance, the good news is, it means there’s tremendous love there too. If you didn’t love the project that is terrifying you, you wouldn’t feel anything. The opposite of love isn’t hate; it’s indifference.
Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it. If we were born to paint, it’s our job to become a painter. If we were born to raise and nurture children, it’s our job to become a mother. If we were born to overthrow the order of ignorance and injustice of the world, it’s our job to realize it and get down to business.
Like a magnetized needle floating on a surface of oil, Resistance will unfailingly point to true North--meaning that calling or action it most wants to stop us from doing. We can use this. We can use it as a compass. We can navigate by Resistance, letting it guide us to that calling or action that we must follow before all others. Rule of thumb: The more important a call or action is to our soul's evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.
That’s why an artist must be a warrior and, like all warriors, artists over time acquire modesty and humility. They may, some of them, conduct themselves flamboyantly in public. But alone with the work they are chaste and humble. They know they are not the source of the creations they bring into being. They only facilitate. They carry. They are the willing and skilled instruments of the gods and goddesses they serve.
Writers think in metaphors. Editors work in metaphors. A great reader reads in metaphors. All are continually asking, "What does this represent? What does it stand for?" They are trying to take everything one level deeper. When they get to that level, they will try to go deeper again.