The world is fast and we accelerate it with the ability to keep up. There is an inversely proportional relationship between peace and chaos; and the antithesis of our over-committed stressful routines, poor choices, and difficult roads to completion – is occasional freedom. I often find myself somewhere on the spectrum near procrastination and “inspired fillers” where time holds less weight. Many of my unprioritized choices have value, however, the activities are largely inspired by motivation, focus, work environment, and perceived deadlines for completion. For me, time is constant and the undeniable common denominator for my effective and ineffective workflow.
Time management and motivation are two of my biggest struggles daily. King and Pressfield provided a new understanding of some of my triggers and offered guidance in unique ways. I have to admit, I was not looking forward to reading anything by Steven King. I assumed he is incredibly talented but I am not a fan of horror or fiction. I put that aside and tackled this book with an open mind. I am extremely glad I did and feel blessed to have read both of these amazing pieces.
The title, On Writing gave me hope. Faith persevered and this book was not only entertaining from a biographical angle, but it also provided motivation and new skills in writing while telling the story of the craft itself. I found the scene where King was critiqued by his first boss, John Gould, to be revolutionary. King also had a similar reaction that was humble and inspiring. Gould said, “When you write a story, you’re telling yourself the story. When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story.” Brilliant, I determined. I credited it in a certain non-applicable manner though. My first thought was, this is extremely good advice but I do not write stories so it does not apply. I quickly received a subconscious slap that was perhaps Spirit-led because it felt wrapped in love and discipline. I read it again and realized it has less to do with the topic and everything to do with the delivery.
I was reminded of a gentle but firm grip I placed on my son’s ears once when I needed him to fully recognize a situation. I could tell he was not grasping a deeper understanding of the lesson in the warranted circumstance, and I demanded eye contact. I find it funny to reminisce on positive parental moments because we see ourselves turn into our own parents. I appreciate my dad doing the same thing to me, and how God in his loving way parents us all too. He stops us and grabs our ears and our hearts at the same time and says “Be still.” He wants us to hear his voice. He guides us like a shepherd “and leaves the 99” when we “don’t get it.” I laugh to myself in my own ridiculous mind when I picture a shepherd finding his lost sheep and rejoicing in love, but also grabbing its ears and saying “if you can not hear my voice, you have wandered too far.”
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield and On Writing by Steven King are two must-read books for leaders. These pieces have increased my awareness in areas such as time management and writing philosophy and imprinted a positive addition in my quest to understand lifestyle optimization. These books offer an inspiring and thought-provoking look at the creative process, exploring how to overcome fear, resistance, and procrastination in order to make progress on goals. Through their unique blend of spiritual insight and practical advice, both authors provide readers with powerful strategies to help the forward motion of Christian leaders.
I enjoyed Pressfield’s dive into the psychological aspects of creativity and found it to be especially helpful in my own attempts of living out faith while leading others toward Christ. With its timeless wisdom about self-discipline, courage, and commitment, The War of Art provides invaluable tools needed for success in ministry or any other endeavor. It outlines strategies that can be used to identify and overcome internal obstacles so we can move forward with purposeful action toward success.
As Christian leaders, we understand the importance of developing our spiritual gifts and using them for God’s glory. However, at times it can be difficult to stay motivated and focused on what we are “called” to do. In his book The War of Art, Steven Pressfield examines this challenge in detail and offers valuable insights into how to overcome the resistance and “molecular decay” that stands in our way.
Robert Mckee describes The War of Art by discussing the concept of resistance as a “negative force, a dark antagonism to creativity, embedded deep in our humanity.” Pressfield references an internal force that often prevents us from achieving our goals or utilizing our talents fully for God’s kingdom work. “Resistance is like the Alien or the Terminator or the shark in Jaws. It cannot be reasoned with.” This resonated with me. He explains that every time you attempt something new or challenging there is a corresponding force trying to keep you from doing it. “As powerful as is our soul’s call to realization, so potent are the forces of Resistance arrayed against it.” This feels extremely real to me and served as a great reminder of the spiritual warfare that exists on our behalf.
Pressfield also associated resistance with exercise and New Year’s resolutions. He highlighted and confirmed the low success rates that I have witnessed each year in my fitness profession and my goals for my own life. The War of Art creates awareness of Resistance that takes many forms and is carried out with procrastination, fear-based decision-making, laziness, or any other form of self-sabotage behavior that keeps us stuck in place instead of moving forward with purposeful action toward our goals.
There are a number of pearls in these books and countless references in the Bible to draw from. I think when we recognize patterns within ourselves (and others) we can begin taking steps toward overcoming them in a professional manner. This will allow us more freedom as Christian leaders who are called upon serve faithfully according to His will rather than being hindered by self-imposed limitations due solely to our own fears, insecurities, or doubts.
 King, Steven, On Writing
 Ibid, 57
 Psalm 46:10
 Luke 15:3
 John 10:27
 Pressfiled, Steven, The War of Art
 Ibid, 130
 Mckey, Robert. Foreward to The War of Art, John Pressfield, 7
 Pressfield, Steven, The War of Art, 31
 Ibid, 18