The War of Art | Book recommendation / review

If you are looking for a book to kick start your artistic, creative career, look no further, by the final page you will be raring to go.

Steven discusses the act of ‘resistance’ which manifests itself in ‘self doubt’ ‘procrastination’ ‘lack of motivation’ ‘negative mind chatter’ etc etc. All experiences many of us indulge.

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles

He talks about moving from amateur to professional in terms of mind set. He gives examples of how becoming a professional can change your results, your habits and your decisions.

I found the book very useful. There are many stories along the way that do trigger thoughts of ‘Oh yes, I did that’ and ‘So…that’s why I didn’t get the gig’. He helps you to highlight your own processes and quickly gives you tools to tweak and enhance them. A must read for all creatives; actors, writers, singers, jugglers etc! Even if you think you are not a creative but would like to be, this is book will encourage you to explore further and engage your talent.

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The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles

How to start before you are ready

Have you ever really wanted to do something, but you say no because you don't feel ready. You have a inexplicable spot which has reared its ugly head, or you feel a little sluggish after Christmas.

You may start to question your skills or don't feel you have everything you need.

I completely relate to this. There have been many projects or opportunities that have caused hesitation or procrastination because I haven't known the exact steps to take.

Several years ago, I joined B School, an 8 week online business programme. 'Start before you are ready' is one of the first principles and it taught me to focus on what I could do and not what I couldn't do.

When I started coaching, I knew that it was essential to have a blog; regular communication with you, the reader (thank you for reading every post, it still excites me), valuable content that could be quickly actioned and a way of connecting.

However the stumbling blocks arrived immediately. "How often should I blog"  "What should I say" 'What if no one reads it"- the soundtrack in my head was mainly, 'Eeeek' 'ahhhh' 'nooooo'

After I got bored of this negativity (as did those around me!) and realised it wasn't helpful,  I switched my focus and chose to only consider week one. What did week one look like? What shall I write about first? Where shall I write? How shall I send?

The first thing I needed to do was to create a space for myself to write and something reliable aka a computer, to write one- this was something practical I could do.

Here is a fizzy hair smily me with my new computer- the slight insanity in my eyes comes from me carrying the computer from Oxford Circus to home ( 'Oh no, it's fine, I can carry it, no problem'...on reflection...)

So I started it, the blog happened and continues to happen every week. 

Where in your life are you waiting? What areas or tasks are you holding back on?

Here are five strategies to help you start before you are ready

1) Make the decision to be open.

Make a pact with yourself to just start.

As Nike says…'Just do it'…maybe that was a discovery on their part- putting your trainers on is the hardest part. Encourage new possibilities, points of view and opportunities, who knows where they might take you.

2) Experiment.

Try on, try out, eliminate and grow ideas. Sometimes you just have to put something into practice. Have you set a goal that you wanted to achieve and when you accomplished it, it wasn't at all what you wanted. However you wouldn't have known that unless you tried. Don't get to your 'scary' age and then sit back and say 'I could have done that'- just make a baby step now.

3) Turn down the volume.

There are always going to be people who don't like what you do, have a difference in opinion and don't agree with your methods.

However there will be many people who will and there is never going to be way you are going to please everybody, so focus on positivity and don't try to convert the others.

4) Accept a lack of perfection.

We are all human and make mistakes, even if we are fastidious in our approach- slip ups, errors and mistakes do occur.

Often 'good enough' is good enough- we can be delayed in our tracks- waiting for the perfect 'finished product'. Work with what you have now and grow as you go. Sometimes the greatest failures can provide the greatest lessons, so be prepared to have failures, you will gain a higher result in the long run.

5) Say what you are going to do and be contactable.

You may be a brilliant idea, or looking to start a new venture. Start to say it out loud and say that you are doing it. If pitching yourself, seems a little scary, invest in a cracking business card- I love mine from MOO.

And…….go for it, give it whirl….see what happens. I look forward to hearing your stories.