The War of Art, I

A couple of years ago, my brother bought me issue #7 of David Mack's Kabuki: the Alchemy. Among other things, the main character deals with the struggles of writing. I identified with this part so strongly that I printed out excerpts of it and taped it to the walls around my desk. It keeps me going when I'd rather check my e-mail one more time or play Sudoku.

Part I of VI:
I realize that I am in a kind of war
with the worst parts of myself every
time I sit down to write.

Concentration vs. resistance.
An idea, a creative urge, and then a
reactive force that second guesses it.
What words are worthy to exist?

The problem isn't a search for ideas.
It is the struggle, the discipline,
to make myself do it.

I force myself to write it before
I second guess, censor, or edit it
out of existence even before it gets
to the page. I just start.
I decide that I can cut it and edit
it afterwards if I feel the urge to.
Second guess myself after
instead of before.

Read part II.

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