05 Aug They’ll Tell Us Why Our Dreams Will Fail
ONE OF THE MAJOR underlying themes of my book Arrows of Youth is overcoming resistance.
Resistance tries to take root in practically every aspect of our lives; it’s our inner voice and the exterior pressure which tells us we’re not good enough, that we don’t have what it takes, that we’re not worth loving or worth fighting for.
Most applicably, it told me I’m foolish to write a book with no experience, or that my dream of becoming a travel writer will forever remain a dream.
Throughout the book, I at some points seem to overcome the resistance; but then, I’ll be reminded of my faults or the hardship I’ll have to endure to make my dream a reality.
Resistance means we care; we see resistance as fear, fear that perhaps we don’t have to take. Or, fear that we might actually succeed.
Resistance told me I shouldn’t seek to instruct, or put myself forward as a purveyor of wisdom; that this was vain, egotistical, possibly even corrupt, and that it would work harm to me in the end,
writes Steven Pressfield in his classic, The War of Art.
That scared me. It made a lot of sense. What finally convinced me to go ahead was simply that I was so unhappy not going ahead. I was developing symptoms. As soon as i sat down and began, I was okay.
I opened my eyes to a blustery morning in Neskowin, Oregon, one of the last stops on my winter road trip through the Pacific Northwest.
The standing lamp in the corner of the room gave off a comforting orange glow. The sound of icy rain pattering the deck put me in a trance. I opened my computer and began to write.
Amid telling the story of the last couple of days, I got sidetracked and searched online to garner some information on travel writing, as the book I’d been working on would tell the story of my trip through California and the Pacific Northwest.
“You want to be a travel writer? So does everyone else.”
I read the article headline with wide eyes and an increased focus; the negative article grabbed my attention. Although I knew I shouldn’t read it, I couldn’t stop.
My energy deflated. My mind started to run: Why are you doing this? What are you doing up here in stormy Oregon by yourself?
Do you really think you can write a book that somebody would want to read?
The article continued to spew negativity about how great the job of travel writer sounds, but how horrible it really is — underpaying, unglamorous, and competitive.
I had to leave the room and refresh my mind. I threw on my oversize coat and stepped from the dusty room out into the cold and pouring rain. The thoughts never ceased as I stepped along the muddy beach.
I looked up at the sky and felt the hail hitting my face, the sky a wash of white, blue and grey.
You’re out here because you’re not them, I thought, clearly talking to myself as there was nobody else on the beach — nobody else in town, for all I knew.