Recently I read Stephen King’s autobiography On Writing and I’ve come to an important conclusion: When I grow up I want to be like Stephen King. I should clarify. It’s not because I want to write about demon clowns or other scary stuff that makes you fall asleep with the light on. I don’t want to do that. That’s not my thing. First off, I’ve never been to Maine, and secondly, the story It has forever ruined the circus for me. (Thanks for that, Mr. King.) What I do want, however, is his work ethic. King knows how to churn it out. Book after book. Year after year. For King, success is finishing one project and getting started on the next. He knows how to keep on running.
Have you ever noticed how easy it is to be a ‘one-day’ person? Often times we have this annoying tendency of organizing our lives and fixating on what we will do ‘one day’, instead of living for ‘today.’ It’s easy to get caught up in what could be–one day I will take ownership of my life; one day I will finish that degree; one day I will stand for something I believe in. The inconvenient truth is the world is full of ‘one-day’ people.
Steven Pressfield writes extensively about a force that keeps us from doing our work or pursuing our calling. It’s a force that keeps us being “one day” people. He calls this invisible enemy Resistance. It is the Resistance, he says, that makes writers not write, or painters not paint, or musicians not play their instruments. It is a paralyzing force that robs us of the joy of living for today. It manifests itself in different ways–procrastination, doubt, fear, addictions. The first time I read about Resistance I immediately linked it to a spiritual phenomenon. Undoubtedly, you’ve experienced this force in your own life. Overcoming resistance is key to becoming free and ‘otherworldly.‘
I recently finished a month long writing challenge called the National Novel Writing Month. It was thirty days of writing with the goal of achieving 50,000 words by the 30th. I finished this morning with 109 pages, 50, 706 words, and 1, 132 paragraphs to show for it. Thirty days ago, the prospect of writing 50,000 words in a month was, to say the least, a daunting task. In fact, I tried to lessen the difficulty by claiming I’d pursue 40,000 instead. Little by little, though, I stuck to it and finished. The challenge itself has taught me not only about writing but also about discipline, pursuing your dreams, and the power of story. I thought I’d share a few insights I gleaned from the challenge.
It’s an incredible feeling to know that the ‘end’ is in sight. Often times I go jogging from my house to a little park about a mile away. My house is sandwiched between two streets, one of them leading to main road. On my run back home, I turn on my street and have a straight shot until I reach my doorstep. It’s my favorite part of the run because I can see my goal in the near future and all I have to do is stay the course.