The sufferings of the artist

We’ve all been there. Sitting down to write a draft of a contract, a blog post, or even a book. But the moment we sit down we’d rather be doing anything else. I suffer from this when I sit down to create a mood board for a commercial photo shoot or when I’m building out my next YouTube video.

This force of resistance is like Satan on our shoulder pointing us everywhere but in the direction that will help us accomplish our task. Instead, we spend hours being distracted and go to bed that night miserable, angry with ourself and wondering why, yet again, we failed to do our work.

The artist has to be a self-starter, or force himself to self-start even in the face of this resistance to the work. It’s easier to work when your boss tells you what to do. All you have to do is do your things and go home. The artist lives in his work has no boss to push him in the right direction and will feel bouts of aimless wandering while trying to figure what’s next. 

Artists need structure and a target at which to aim.

Artists need to conquer the force that prevents them from getting started.

Artists need to be comfortable with floating through the creative process (once started) not knowing where it will end.

As Steven Pressfield so brilliantly puts it, “The artist enters the Void with nothing and returns with something.” That’s the job of an artist and that’s what makes what we all try to do so difficult yet so alluring.