The War of Art
I’m reading this fascinating book called The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, which Scott found in the amazing bookstore (Eighth Day Books) at our conference last week. Pressfield is the author of a bunch of historical novels, mostly set in ancient Greece. This is a nonfiction book about making one’s art and the things we do to avoid that.
The first section names a “character” at odds with our creative lives called Resistance. Resistance takes a variety of forms–procrastination, busyness, excuses, delays. Anything that keeps us from doing our creative work. I loved this section: “Grandiose fantasies are a symptom of Resistance. They’re the sign of the amateur. The professional has learned that success, like happiness, comes as a by-product of work. The professional concentrates on the work and allows rewards to come, whatever they like” (p. 43). Great stuff! So true!
Here’s another tidbit: “What does Resistance feel like? First, unhappiness. A low-grade misery pervades everything. We’re bored, we’re restless” (p. 32). Pressfield posits that the only way to cure this unhappy, restless feeling is to do our creative work.
The second section (which I’m starting now) is about the difference between the amateur and the professional. The amateur, for example, will not have clear boundaries regarding his or her work. It will take over and destroy relationships and marriages. The professional separates the personal and professional life, knowing when it’s quitting time and devoting time to building family relationships.
Anyway, it’s really enjoyable so far. For anyone reading who has creative work they’re trying to do or struggling to find time for, this work will help you.
This is partly why I was so enriched and rejuvenated by our time in Santa Fe last week at the fabulous Glen Workshop. Thanks to Greg Wolfe and his great team at Image, we had an intellectually stimulating, artistically fulfilling, and all-around fantastic week.
This is the first recipe of the 7 or 8 which include zucchini in the cookbook. Kelly Q. brought me this club-sized zucchini this week to get us started. This one zucchini produced enough to cover three recipes! The first of the three is Joanne H.’s zucchini bread (p. 72). There’s also a recipe for zucchini frittata, carrot zucchini bars, and a couple of others. So if you have any zucchinis you’d like to donate to the cause (for you green thumbs out there!), I’d sure appreciate it!
This zucchini bread is moist and delicious! Next week I’ll make the one of the other zucchini bread recipes and see how that compares.