Do The Work

I’ve just written a list of things I need to get done. Things hanging over my head like a piano dangling from a flimsy cord and I’m standing on a big, red X.

Hate that feeling. Kinda.

Instead of doing the things that need to get done, I do the dishes. The laundry. Dust. Scrub the baseboards. Write to my second cousin twice removed whom I haven’t spoken to since I was eight.


Fear. Resistance.

If I do the things I have to do, I step into the unknown. And the unknown can be scary.

All the things I need to do are writing related and the outcome of my doing these things might just be wonderful. Like, dream-fulfilling awesomeness with a bow and a box of chocolates.

One thing I’m learning about myself in this writing journey is that sometimes I’m far too comfy living in the in-between. Dwelling in the possibility (to twist a favorite quote by Emily Dickinson). Right now I’m in a solid state of MAYBE. To take the next step forward will lead me either in the direction of YES or NO. MAYBE is ripe with possibility. I could stay in MAYBE forever, living in the tension of this piano hanging above. But, let’s be honest: staying in MAYBE is just NO in disguise.

So I enlisted some help in the form of a book. Do the Work, the follow-up to Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art.

You need to read The War of Art. And then, a couple of months after you’ve read it and your rocket boosters begin to sputter, read Do the Work.

Whereas The War of Art explains the battle you’re in any time you set out to accomplish something that will better yourself and/or the world, Do the Work gives you a swift kick in the pants. Tells you to get off your butt and, well, do the work.

This book exposes all of your excuses and leaves you with a lighted path toward your destination. It tells you how to get started, how to get finished and how to get your project out the door.

I need this book right now. That piano is looming over me. I’ve got people waiting on me. Heck, I’m waiting on me.

The dishes are done. The laundry, too. All my excuses are stupid obstacles I’ve put in front of myself to keep me from doing what I need to get done. I need to give fear the finger and get on with this show.

Now, too, this blog post is done. And I have nothing left to do, but…

Do the work.