Starting again - The War of Art

a blog by Freddie Sorensen, Rebel Lectures

So it’s been 14 months since my last blog post. I could attack myself for that and say ‘what do you think you’re doing you loser, you’re never gonna get anywhere by writing one blog post every 14 months, stop deluding yourself and give it up’. But today I’m going more with ‘ooh well done for writing another blog post Freddie, you like doing those and who knows where it could lead’. That feels nicer and that’s what I’d say to someone I liked and cared about if they were writing their first blog post in 14 months. And if i want to get anywhere it’s going to be much easier if I treat myself like someone I like and care about. I don’t mean being soft on myself, I mean kind of parenting myself, without infantilising myself. Maybe ‘parent’ is the wrong word. Maybe it’s more like being a friend to myself. But a good friend who does tough love kinda stuff, rather than an enabler who’s too soft on me and helps me be weak.

But even though I’m being nice to myself it is worth thinking about why I haven’t written a blog post in 14 months. There could be lots of reasons. The easiest excuse is “I didn’t have time”. But that’s a pathetic excuse for anything that’s happened over the course of 14 months. There’s always time to do something in 14 months. There’s time to do something in one month if it’s something that really means something to me. It might be that I just don’t care about it enough, but I don’t think that’s true, because I’d really like to be a blogger. And I want Rebel Lectures to exist beyond just the lectures, and writing stuff is a way to do that. I think the most likely reason I haven’t done a blog post in 14 months is fear. Good old fear. A thousand kinds of fear. Fear that people will think it’s shit. Fear that noone will even read it to think it’s shit. Fear that it won’t lead anywhere and I will have wasted my time again which is bad because I only get a certain amount of time before I die. My fear is very clever. It comes in so many forms and it’s comes up with clever ways to try to trick me into not doing things. It’s learned to sound like me, and sound very rational and reasonable. But it’s not reasonable. It’s a cunt. And it needs to be overcome.

I reread a great book lately - The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. I’d recommend anyone who’s trying to do anything creative reads that book. Especially people who want to do something but aren’t very good at doing things. It’s basically a book about fear. He calls it resistance. And resistance is the thing that will stop me from becoming who I could be. The book’s written as a series of tiny chapters - one or two pages long - which is great for me as I find reading hard so reading short things in little chunks is much easier. I’m not going to go into details about the book - there’s too many bits to quote, too much good stuff. But if you’re struggling to get something finished, or even start it, read that book. Don’t be put off by the cover which is terrible and makes it look like a lame self-help book. It should have a cover like the Bible, because I think it’s a Bible for becoming an artist and getting where I want to go.

Here’s one quote though, just to give you a teaser: “The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.”

Ain’t that the truth.