So I read a book yesterday.
Someone new to our Books & Brews Book Club mentioned The War of Art last month. It hooked me from the first page. Clearly defining what makes creating such a challenge and how to overcome anyway, The War of Art arms you for the battle within.
And here I am, alone on the battlefield in the early hours fighting for the words. I’m hiding in the quiet dark tapping out my Morse code of letters trying to get my message out. Not waiting for inspiration, but striving to be faithful.
Sometimes they flow easily, sometimes it’s forced keystroke by keystroke gaining just inches of words in an endless battle inside my brain. Taking the thoughts generated by something I’ve read, something I’ve heard or seen or simply floating by in that ephemeral cloud. I’m grasping at smoke, reaching for something to hold onto and trying to mold that into concrete words.
And not just words to fill a screen, to simply add to the noise of it all, but in turn to help another and to connect. To say I’m here. I see you standing alone in this crowded place. I noticed you. I want you to know you matter. That whatever gift you have inside of you is worth sharing. You are worth sharing.
In a society that loves to define who we are only by what we do and assigns our value based on our paycheck I’m almost worthless. Over the years I’ve battled within myself to identify myself. (Don’t we all?)
“I am a student, an assistant to someone more important than me, a salesperson, a teacher, a mother, a chaser of chickens, even a milkmaid.”
“Well, I like to write. I like words a lot. I like to read them, write them, say them. I’m kinda a talking reader who gathers words like hidden treasures I want to polish up and share with the world.”
“Here you go,” hands cupped together, arms stretched out. “I want to give this to you. Be gentle with it. It’s fragile.”
Sometimes the gift is received with joy, sometimes dropped to the ground and crushed under the heels. And I feel the bruising of it.
Sometimes I hurtle words like a fastball, whizzing out, braining anyone in their path before I even know I’ve let go. That comment spoken, or typed in haste and anger that would have been better not shared. And I bruise another.
Yes. A writer.
I’ve crossed some kind of barrier in my mind in the last month. I am a writer. I am an artist. There is something in me worth sharing. And I’m ready to do it, without apology. To do this thing faithfully and know that even if no one else Likes it on Facebook it’s done anyway.
That overcoming the Resistance, that disciplining myself to fight anew each day is actually the path of peace in my heart and mind. The War of Art is one more weapon to help me do just that. I’ll be sharing more from it as I process it all.