The War of Art and how I got through the hardest week of the year

Last year I read a review of a book by Steven Pressfield called The War of Art. I get fed the occasional ‘how to be a better XYZ’ as part of my day job and I am not a fan. But I felt like I needed some help in keeping focussed on my art, and the book was pretty cheap, so I thought ‘what the heck’. And I am glad I did.

Pressfield calls all the things that stop us achieving what we are truly meant to achieve ‘the Resistance’. And most of them reside in ourselves. The book is an easy read, in turn humourous and somber. And it really resonated with me. I’m on my third read through and take the book with me when my day job takes me away from my studio. Over Christmas I brought and read his more recent book Turning Pro. The most basic message across both books is ‘turn up, do the work, and don’t let anything get in the way – don’ let the resistence win’.

This week the Resistance was really strong. The first week in January is always miserable. Back to the day job after a couple of weeks without phone conferences, emails, reports and the realisation that I am very likely to be in the same place in 365 days. It is grey, cold and wet. And everybody everywhere is also miserable. And that was before turning on the news. For me the January blues was compounded by a stomach virus. But instead of soldiering on through I let the Resistance get me. For 3 evenings I watched TV and went to bed early. But I didn’t sleep well. So on Thursday I went into the studio with the single goal of being in there two hours. Nothing more than that. But after I tidied some stuff that didn’t need tidying I sat at my machine and I stitched. I turned up and I did the work. And woke up the next morning with a head full of quilt ideas.

Sin City 2

Sin City 2

This week was definitely not my most productive but I got back into the studio. And yesterday I heard that Sin City 2 will be shown in the CQ exhibition ‘Inspirations’ at Olympia later this year along side pieces from wonderful art quilters such as Janet Atherton and Kate Dowty and fellow Etcetera member Linda Bilsborrow. Go eat dust Resistance!

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