Steven Pressfield, in his excellent book, The War of Art, coined the phrase ‘resistance’ when referring to that particular obstacle we creatives feel when it comes time to create. I have certainly felt this resistance when it comes time to write, and I have found Steven’s advice to be helpful in this regard. But I’ve also encountered a ‘reading resistance’ too, and in conversation with others, I have discovered that it is not a phenomenon unique to myself.
I love the arts. I always have. I started art classes and choir at age five, piano lessons and dance at seven, and extra curricular creative writing programs at age ten. But all of those activities melted away as I became more and more immersed in music.
I loved music so much that by the time I was in my last year of high school I was in both a symphonic band and a youth orchestra, I sang in four different choirs, as well as choir class during school time, and had private voice lessons and piano lessons.
I loved music so much that I earned two university degrees in classical voice.
The thing about classical music is that it demands so much of you; your time, and attention, and rigourous discipline. So much so, that you have to be entirely committed to it. And so, for a time, I put all of my other creative pursuits into a drawer in my mind, and I closed it, so I could fully subsume myself to music.
And that was good.
For a while.
Another year come and gone, and many more novels, short stories, novellas etc… under my belt. In 2016 I set the rather unrealistic goal of reading 100 books in the year. Although I did not hit that magic number 100, I’m quite proud of my 58 novels read.
For the past several years I’ve made writing goals, which have led to varying degrees of success, but most of all have given me something to work towards. You can read my 2015 goals here, and my 2016 goals here.
For many writers, it seems they’ve always been interested in writing, generally since their earliest years. Many writers are also voracious readers too; and this is often the spark for our interest in writing. The desire to create something as good as the writing we consume by others is powerful.