Thank YOU for helping me slay the dragon of Resistance.
One goal of this campaign was to glue my butt to this chair to write and draw. Two forces make this happen:
1. Your support and showing me you want this book.
2. Once Kickstarter committed me to a deadline, knowing I won't let you down on delivering the book on time.
Did I doubt the strength of The Idea Shapers concept? No.
Did I doubt my experience and ability to clearly write about these ideas? No.
Did I doubt the need for these visual thinking tools in the world? Hell no.
So what stopped me from sitting here and writing/drawing?
A decade ago, I stumbled across Steven Pressfield's The War of Art at the library. It's a slim book that packs a punch. The major concept is that any time you embark on a creative endeavor, any time you are moving yourself from a narrow, ego-based way of working to a higher, noble purpose you face capital-R Resistance.
Pressfield characterizes Resistance as an internal force, a dragon you must slay to do your work. You slay the dragon by "putting your ass where your heart wants to go." Sit down and confront the dragon.
I found two aspects of Resistance especially comforting. First, Resistance is a force of nature. Any time you are working to better yourself, Resistance appear as the shadow side. Pressfield likens it to gravity. It just is.
Ah, yes. What a relief. Those doubting voices in your head aren't you. They are the dragon rearing its head. That is the opposite force that pushing back whenever you are pushing ahead.
This dovetails my second favorite point. The bigger your goal, the more important your project, the bigger the Resistance that appears. And the magnitude of that tension is an indicator of how important your work is.
I've been giving Pressfield's ideas much thought the last few years. Happily, my dragon generally stays pretty small and I live pretty comfortably in the ambiguity and tensions in the middle of making something new. And I definitely credit drawing out my ideas as a huge tool in taking my ideas from dream to reality.
The Idea Shapers is a different animal. It created a massive dragon of Resistance — because I feel this idea is SO big, SO important, SO powerful. Because all my experience and skills brings me to this moment. Because once the book is launched, I will have the responsibility to keep teaching and speaking and help people use these tools. I'm definitely moving to a whole new level.
First, Resistance took the form of talking about the book a whole lot more than writing the book. Then I lost much of 2013 and the first chunk of 2014 to a crushing fatigue. I definitely wondered how much my health mysteries were in my head. Was Resistance slowing me down? I was forced to set aside the book and focus on my health.
Thankfully, my doctors and I figured out the physical root causes to my problems and I began the road to recovery. Feeling stronger last Fall, I turned back to the book. The dragon snuck up on me all sorts of ways. The pinnacle was in early December.
One night, I finally dusted off the book file after about two months of inaction. I stared at the file and poked around for about 20 minutes. Finally, I found an "in" and the words an ideas began flowing. After about an hour, I realized I should go to bed.
I brush my teeth. I flossed. A tiny piece of my tooth broke off. A first. A very unwelcomed first.
I thought to myself, “RESISTANCE! Are you KIDDING ME? Little Miss Loosetooth.com sits down to write her masterpiece and her friggin' tooth breaks?!”
Of course, we choose how we make meaning and where we finding meaning. Within 24 hours, my most excellent dentist patched me up. Back to the book. Back to keeping Resistance at bay.
This launch is my biggest weapon against Resistance. By using Kickstarter and reaching out to you, I make my dream more tangible. I take action. Instead of focusing on that giant dragon inside of me, I focus externally reaching out to you, writing updates, tending the campaign and working on the book.
Steven Pressfield's The War of Art has been such a useful concept to me and such a big part of my own book-writing story. I made the drawing above to share the ideas behind his book. In this case, I made my first messy sketch rewatching Pressfield's appearance on Oprah Winfrey's Super Soul Sunday. Here's a terrific snippet from the interview. And here you can read the beginning chapters of the book.
I keep reminding myself that the magnitude of this Resistance is a sign of how important The Idea Shapers is to me and how much I feel it can help others. Resistance pushes back. I push forward.
Thank you for being a positive force helping me slay Resistance.