Today, I’ve spent some time working on a project that feels risky to me. I can’t tell you what it is, but despite feeling risky, it’s strangely liberating.
Of course, what I mean by that is juxtaposed with the thrill of creating something new, there’s the agony of the risk. What if it drops like a lead balloon? But then again, it just aches to be free.
Is it wise to throw caution to the winds, and let others see the fruits of my labor? Isn’t that the natural end result of all creative endeavors? To have one’s work seen, discussed, and engage in meaningful dialogue about it?
I think so.
What I’m running headlong into is the Resistance, something Steven Pressfield discusses at length in his excellent book, The War of Art. The resistance is the force that keeps me from doing my creative work, makes me doubt its worth, and shrink back from sharing it with the world.
The “risky” project I mentioned above? This blog post. I’m serious. Everyday, when I sit down to write, I wonder: do I have something valuable to say? Will it engage the minds of others? Is it worth their precious time? (And whether I do, or no–it is, or not–I leave up to you, dear readers). And everyday, something comes. Pressfield says that’s indeed the first step in countering the “Resistance”: sit down and do the work. I would add–it may seem obvious–that facing our small fears emboldens us to tackle larger ones.
So if you’re, like me, indeed wondering about the worth of your contribution: you’ll never know unless you try. I’ve had this blog since 2004, and have only been posting in earnest since this past October. In that time, God has met me in some incredible ways along the way, and I’ve met some incredible, generous, talented, gracious people–things I never would’ve experienced had I not taken the risk, and put that first post out there. It’s still scary–I don’t think that will ever go away–in ways it’s both easier, and harder, now. But I think I’ve found a groove, and plan on marching to that beat for as long as I can. (The day doesn’t feel right unless I’ve written something).
My advice to you: take the risk. Take it everyday.
Thanks for reading!
If you like, please drop a line in the comments about how you face risk, about how you combat the “Resistance.” Thanks!