Archive for June 29th, 2012

Pimping Pressfield

One of the author’s sites I tend to visit is that of Steven Pressfield. Yeap, he’s the same guy who wrote The Legend of Bagger Vance. He runs a feature called “Writing Wednesdays” (You guessed it, some bit of writerly advice goes live every Wednsday). This week features an interesting post, one that resonates on my end (especially after just getting back from my first Residency for my MFA), one about self-doubt. It’s a natural thing, but can be crippling in the arts – that’s why there are so many people that may have immaculate opening chapters but nothing near completion. Yes, I am currently a member of those ranks with unfinished projects (hence why his post resonated, natch).

I had already been going through a mental shift – acceptance to the MFA, acceptance to Viable Paradise – both boosts towards getting onto the positive side of the scales. Coming home from the Residency, with a renewed focus and enthusiasm, it was nice to read this today:

There’s an axiom among artists and entrepreneurs: to succeed, you have to be arrogant or ignorant or both. What that means is you have to blow off every response that says it’ll-never-work. Be arrogant. The nay-sayers are idiots. Or ignorant. Stay stupid and plunge ahead.

Almost no one recognizes a good idea at the idea stage. And the bolder the idea, the more people will be blind to it. That’s human nature. It’s the way the world works. If you’re seeking reinforcement from outside yourself, you’re in for a long, lonely haul. The answer to self-doubt is self-reinforcement.

So, all you writer or otherwise artistic types… There you go.

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Hey Joe…

[Originally written 6/1/2007]

“Last time I saw Joe, he was sitting at the table in the corner, over there,” he said, pointing to the small, wooden table with two chairs on one side, and a bench seat against the wall. “He ordered his usual – a Newcastle Pale from the tap – and he sat over there most of the night nursing it. I hear he lost his best friend the other day, is that right? Poor guy… that would explain why he spent most of the night in the corner, though. He’s usually a pretty upbeat guy, and sits up by the bar. I didn’t get a chance to try and talk with him, though… as soon as I got done with my shift I had to beat it – I had a gig to get to across town. As it was, I got there about 10 minutes before we were supposed to start playing…

“Good luck looking for Joe… He was a great guy, once he got to know people.”

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