I don’t know, man. It just sorta popped into my head and refused to leave without a full-on Photoshop exorcism. So here you go: my friend, Greg, who’s last name happens to (sorta) be…
So I had tried to fund my graphic novel on Kickstarter awhile back, but fell short of the goal. This time out, the goal has been lowered and I’ve got my fingers crossed. Check it out below!
And what the hell, here’s the widget, too.
I had to write this. I did not choose to sit here, clacking away on my keyboard at two in the a.m. to tell you an anecdote about the drive to create. It’s flowing out of me and to stop it, to dam up the torrent pouring forth would be giving in to fear. In truth, I have to get out of the way or risk being whisked off by the current. The rational man in me wants to do something else. Surf the web. Clean the house. Jack off. Anything but do something that I genuinely want to do; something that I in fact revel in: telling a story. Already, in choosing to preface it, I open myself to criticism and ostracizing. “Ooh, look who thinks he’s an artiste!” Fuck it. I lay myself before you and am prepared should you pull daggers on me.
What spurred this on? The snowball started it’s downhill descent the other night at our weekly Drink and Draw meeting. Gilbert (the artist on Super) had just read The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. It had enlightened him; putting down in words what he already felt deep in his gut and in a way that said it in easy, defined terms. In reading it, the treatise felt like a “well, duh.” sort of revelation, but one that he (like most artists) obfuscated through the doubt and terror embedded in his psyche. Like a good friend, he had to share it with the rest of us. “Get it.” was his command. Get it I did… Two days later. I got it two days later, because at my core, I’m a procrastinator. Which is a big part of what The War of Art is all about: fighting past the bullshit we throw in our own way in order to be what we want to.
Finally sitting down to read it, after wasting the bulk of my day online keeping up with people on Facebook and reading articles on Cracked (be forewarned, it will steal your entire day), Mr. Pressfield’s writing instantly sucked me in and did for me what I think it must have done for Gilbert. It held up a big fucking mirror with which I could see every inch of my weakness. It covered not only the reasons people procrastinate (he even gives them the all-encompassing name “Resistance”), but also the answer to fighting said Resistance. No real surprise that it’s the simplest answer there is (do the work), but it’s said with such certainty and clarity that this easy solution becomes an instant internal mantra. Do the work, Justin. Fuck everything else; fight through it and do the work.
Which brings us to the crux of the story. This thing was motivating me in a way that I hadn’t felt since I first starting writing Super years ago. I felt the absolute need to write something. If we refuse to let Resistance hold us back, if we indeed just do the work, the stars (for whatever reason you choose to believe) will start to align and in fact help you along the path. Resistance will put up a fight about it, though. While sitting here, plowing through the sage words of advice and considering what I’d write upon finishing, my roommate called. She needed to be picked up from a casino twenty-five minutes drive from the house. Would an hour away from this give Resistance time to take hold and sap me of my drive for another evening, thus making it doubly hard to resume the fight tomorrow? I climbed into the truck and started to pull away from the house when she called again. Her boyfriend had just gotten off work and was already on his way.
The stars align.
I stop off to grab a quick bite to eat, and come right back here. Armed with not only a still fresh desire to write something, but something to write about as well. Something I knew instantly that I had to write. How could I sit here and read such a thing, be given a perfect example of it in action, and then not pour it back out onto digital paper? I can’t. I won’t. I think back to when Gilbert and I started Super. I remember saying that I was no longer asleep; that I was finally awake. We plunged in and worked hard until we didn’t. Life got in the way. The desire for comfort pulled us away from our desks and onto the couch (usually to watch Star Trek: TNG). We nodded back off and struggled to get the book finished, losing years in the process. Tonight, The War of Art reawakened me. I can’t guarantee that I won’t slip, that I won’t have lazy days here and there, but I will fight as hard as I can. Because I have to.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go back and finish reading The Art of War. In this case, I don’t think Mr. Pressfield will mind my procrastination…
I spent my entire weekend at the shop having this exchange:
CUSTOMER (excitedly): Dude, you saw Transformers 3, right?!
ME: Nope. Didn’t like the first one and heard the other two were worse, so I never bothered with them.
CUSTOMER (confused): You didn’t like the first one? Why?
ME (in bad Optimus Prime voice): Sam, we really need to get this thing called the All-Spark before the bad guys do because other-wise we are totally fucked so it’s hyper important and… Oh, shit. It’s your dad! HIDE!
CUSTOMER (blank stare indicating how they don’t see this as an example of a huge insult to the intelligence of a child let alone a mother-fucking goddamn grown-ass man!… Huff… Huff… Okay, I’m better now): …….
This conversation happened a few times, in pretty much every case verbatim. The only way to calm myself was to do the math and realize that those who I had the conversation with only accounted for about 2% of the customers I saw over the last several days… Then I saw the weekend grosses for the movie… Shit.