A Book as Inspiration
By Ryan Broussard
A friend recently told me about a book titled “The Art of War” by Steven Pressfield and told me that he thought I would find it inspirational and helpful. I had other books in the queue and I figured I would read it when I had more time.
Well that same friend got married in late March and gave me the book as thanks for walking in his wedding. I decided to give it a shot and read it before he gets back from his honeymoon. I had no idea what I was getting into or that I would finish it in two days.
Simply put: this book was amazing and I recommend it to any writer.
Pressfield, an accomplished author in his own right, writes about what he feels is that main impediment to any creative mind fulfilling its potential. He labels this encompassing entity “Resistance.” His logic and the way he lays it out made perfect sense. In the first part, Pressfield identifies how resistance works to squash the creative processes in creative people. “It’s not the writing part that’s hard. What’s hard is sitting down to write.”
In part two, Pressfield gives detailed instructions on how to combat resistance. According to him, the best way to overcome it is to stop identifying yourself as an amateur who does it for fun and become a professional who does it for a living. “[T]he most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down everyday and trying.”
In part three, Pressfield identifies the opposite of resistance, which he terms “muses” and “angels.” He says they are the abstract things in life that help aspiring writers and artists go on and create when they don’t want to.
I hope that anyone who is thinking of making journalism or writing into a career reads this book. It made so much sense to me when I read it and his ideas resonated with me more than I thought they would.
I could give me examples of his thoughts and ideas about resistance and how to overcome it, but I want you to go out and buy and read the book for yourself.
Ryan Broussard is currently on his M.S. in Mass Communication with a concentration in Journalism at UL Lafayette. He graduated from UL Lafayetter in Spring of 2009 with his B.A. in Mass Communication. He currently works as a freelancer covering high school sports for The Opelousas Daily World.