Why It’s So Hard To Begin Creative Work

“The instinct that pulls us toward art is the impulse to evolve, to learn, to heighten and elevate our consciousness. The Ego hates this. Because the more awake we become, the less we need the Ego.

The Ego hates artists because they are the pathfinders . . . The Ego produces resistance and attacks the awakening artist.”

~ from Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art


According to Pressfield, anyone attempting to create art is up against the second mightiest force in the Universe. The first chapter of his book talks about Resistance, the endless ways in which the ego actively sabotages our efforts to do creative work.

Resistance takes countless forms. It is anything that prevents you from beginning to write, paint, or create.  It’s all the voices in your head telling you that you can’t, you shouldn’t, you won’t, or even that you need to first clean the garage.  That is ego, and ego will do anything to prevent you from evolving past your need from him.

The only way to beat him is to sit down and begin your creation immediately. The minute that you type your first word or make your first brush stroke, the true greatest power of the Universe rushes to your aid. The inspiration of the angels, the Muse, Love, or whatever you call it. The sacred place where creative energy comes from begins to dance with you.

The ego cannot survive when you show up and begin your creative work.

Whatever you yearn to do creatively, begin it now! Know that you will be going to war with your ego daily. Know that it’s a worthy battle that you can win.  Know that in the war of art . . .

“Resistance is always lying and always full of shit.”

If we allow Resistance to prevail, we will never produce art. We will never know what it feels like to groove in the euphoric flow of inspiration. Resistance will have us numbing our creative impulses all over the place and leave us searching aimlessly for that ‘something’ to fill us up.

Take strength from knowing that every creative is bloodied in the exact same war. Know also that the world needs your creativity now more than ever.

Your ego knows this.

That’s why it’s so damn hard to begin a thing.



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