When the King of Horror, author credited with over 60 novels, 200 short stories, and countless films/TV series, the creative mind behind diverging stories like The Shining and The Shawshank Redemption, writes a book on writing, it is most likely going to be a master’s class.
In On Writing, King argued, “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.”
But before King became the prolific writer, synonymous with horror, he faced the starts and hard stops of the creative process, internally and externally. This psychological journey is what our second author calls “Resistance.”
A unique creative thinking and popular psychology book of short prose, The War of Art, explains why humans do not meet their creative potential. Pressfield determines that resistance creates barriers between the life we live and the unlived life. Resistance holds us back from living out our creative spirit, filling our heads with self-doubt.
Pressfield argues that resistance has no strength of its own. Every ounce of juice it possesses comes from us. We feed it with power by our fear of it.  In other words, while resistance can have external stimulants, such as the people closest to us, it mainly derives from our strong emotions of fear, anxiety, and uncertainty. These internal distractions are mental games that clog up our headspace or are expressed in actions we take, which ultimately lead to not fulfilling our creative potential.
How do you overcome resistance? First, according to Pressfield, we need to embrace the fact that we have fear, anxiety, and uncertainty because that’s part of the creative process. Then, looking more intently at these intense emotions, we discover that the reason behind it is our love for this thing we are hoping to create.
Instead of running away from that fear, the author urges us to run to that fear and tackle that most difficult thing. For King, that meant posting a publisher’s rejection letter on the wall or later, tackling his demons of alcoholism.
Both Pressfield and King invite creatives to organize their lives, identifying what causes the most significant distractions and resistance. As King would urge readers to shut their doors, turn off the phones, and begin creating.
Pressfield nudges creatives towards receiving inspiration from a higher source, which ultimately points to the desire for transcendence within all humans. Finally, King talks about the motivation behind creativity, stating with all his success that he has never once done it for the money but for the joy of creating and sharing it with the world.
Both King and Pressfield’s books provide deep psychological insight into the journey of creating something out of nothing.
As we stare into the overwhelming burdens of balancing vocational callings, families, personal lives, and this doctoral program, may we take encouragement, knowing that the satisfaction of accomplishment starts right where we are, beckoning us forward despite our nagging doubts and fears, knowing that what lies on the other side is worth it. May we take hope and strength, knowing that what we are doing now comes from a divine calling to make a difference in this world through the love of Jesus Christ.
 King, Stephen. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. ( New York: Scribner, 2010), 6.
 Pressfield, Steven. The War of Art. (New York: Black Irish Entertainment LLC, 2002), 16.