This post is related to grant writing in that it is related to the work of writing in general. It is also related to the act of getting to work as a writer which is the topic of the book, "Do the Work" by writer Steven Pressfield. The book was published through The Domino Project and is available at Amazon (that I am really ticked off at because they fired me as an Affiliate since I am in California, but that's another story).
I like all of the Domino project books I’ve read so far including: “Poke the Box” by Seth Godin; “Anything You Want” By Derek Sivers; and, “Do the Work” by Steven Pressfield.
Each of these books caused me to think about my work, my work habits, my creative self and why I don't work more diligently to express it.
In “Do the Work,” Pressfield presents his concepts about what prevents us from creating. He labels things that interfere with our work as “Resistance.” I won’t go into detail about resistance, or you won’t need to get his book, and I recommend you do. It is enough to say that resistance is a universal force that keeps you from working and manifests itself in a variety of forms.
The first time I read the book was on Saturday, April 30. I was inspired by the book and decided to try out Pressfield’s basic writing outline for a book project I’d been contemplating for almost a year. So after church on Sunday, May 1, I went to a discount store and I bought 3 spiral notebooks to use for writing. I was challenging resistance, then it kicked me in the tail end, literally.
On Monday, May 2, I was rear-ended in a violent car accident. I wasn’t hurt badly, but my car was fatally crushed and had to be put down. I decided to ride the bus until the insurance paid out.
I'd owned a car or motorcycle continuously since I was sixteen so living within the limitations of the transit system is a big change. I discovered the bus adds two hours a day to my commute, not to mention about 2.5 miles of walking. This reinforced that the accident was an experience in resistance. I felt like I was “losing” two hours a day to work. I was frustrated and I wanted to find a way to regain the time.
One day I put one of the notebooks into my backpack and carried it on the bus. I used the time that day to outline my book and begin writing. I soon discovered that the bus rides were too short! In a month, I filled three notebooks and now I am completing the third revision of my book.
The accident that I’d taken for resistance turned into what Steven Pressfield calls “Assistance.” Assistance happens, Pressfield asserts, when you overcome resistance and press into your work.
I am still riding the “bus of assistance.” I enjoy not owning a car and I value my time on the bus because it's so "soupy" (read the book or ride the bus, you'll get it).
Oddly, I found my muse and she’s an angry, middle-aged, union bus driver with no customer relation skills whatsoever.
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