the War of Art

Wild brumbies, photo taken east of Wiluna, Western Australia

"Look in your own heart.  Unless I'm crazy, right now a still small voice is piping up, telling you as it has ten thousand times, the calling that is yours and yours alone.  You know it.  No one has to tell you.  And unless I'm crazy, you're no closer to taking action on it than you were yesterday or will be tomorrow.  You think resistance isn't real?  Resistance will bury you.
You know, Hitler wanted to be an artist.  At eighteen he took his inheritance, seven hundred kronen, and moved to Vienna to live and study.  He applied to the Academy of Fine Arts and later to the school of Architecture.  Ever see one of his paintings?  Neither have I.  Resistance beat him.  Call it overstatement but I'll say it anyway: it was easier for Hitler to start WWII than it was for him to face a blank square of canvas."

excerpt from the war of art by steven pressfield

Pretty confronting stuff eh?  But haven't you felt it too?  I have tuned in to the whisperings of my heart, the still small voice that prompted me to take up my brush boldly and look fear in the face and start painting.  I have stepped through some fairly flaming hoops when it comes to acting on my dreams (starting my own business 5 months ago, launching my brand...).  But regardless, I am still faced with resistance every day, every time I so much as think about my next project or creation.    Most of the time it is a constant battle. There is this split between wanting to use my time for mothering, and also for creating and building my buiseness - (but that is for another blog post to come!) Occassionally the planets align, my muse is firing, the ideas are clear, the kids are... (I have children?!)  and there is a space in time that exists for me which is longer than a stolen minute here and a thieved minute there.  Time that stretches out quietly and empty waiting for me to be in it.  Long amounts of time bulging with possibility.  Occassionally... 

But most of the time it is a balancing act (or war?) between motherhood, excitement of a new idea birthed, fear of not being 'good enough' and resistance to begin the thing I desperately desire to do!   So I do acknowledge that resistance is a true enemy, but!  (and here's the saving grace) persistance is an ally that can stare resistance down and make it cringe and crawl back to the  dark place where it belongs.  Persistence is something I am trying to befriend and walk daily with.  Persistance is a very dear friend.  She is strong and wont take abuse from resistance at all.  She muscles her way in to the creative space and plonks herself in front of the blank square canvas.  Squares up to it and says "let me at it - I love a new beginning!"

So even though I'm at war with resistance, I am desperately trying to sow into my relationship with persistance.  I have always loved this poem and have recalled it to mind many times whilst studying, or in the middle of a course, or in disciplining my children for the tenth consecutive time in the same day over the same issue...  So I will leave you with the very wise words of Calvin Coolidge, he sums it all up so perfectly and profoundly...

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education alone will not; the word is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent


  1. Oh my goodness sisterhood across the globe springs to mind!!! you sound like me. Right now I am snatching a 'moment' before one child arrives back from exams and another needs picking up from drama in 30 mins. I too launched my own proper business this year - the experimental art e-courses for those mothers, artists and others longing to get in touch with their creativity and all from home (because I so know what it's like needing to listen to those callings and act on them, but find childcare etc etc). It's not easy, but I love it, and finding time to do my own art-work too. Such a fine balancing act like you say! But going back to art has really been the best thing I have ever done!!

    Wishing you so much good luck . . .

    Do visit some time: www.101birdtakles.blogspot.com

    Found you via the twitter follow :)


  2. just realised I put birdtakles instead of birdtales!!!!! ie it's: www.101birdtales.blogspot.com !!! he he, have to laugh, that's how much rushing I do!! :0