A good conference is like a good cookbook, if you take away a couple of good ideas/recipes that you actually implement/make, then it was worth it. Don Miller's Storyline conference was a good conference. A lot of the speakers offered inspiration that landed with butterfly brevity and flitted away. A couple of things stuck. First Don mentioned an author and I wrote in my journal (Steve Pressville-vale?) Later in the conference binder I found a quote in print and learned that it is Steven Pressfield. And the book I might want to start with is The War of Art. I downloaded it on my Kindle and then started reading it this morning, right after calling Verizon about my damn phone plan, taking a break only to hand my daughter resumes I printed for her before a job interview, then finished it under some pressure from my dog whose pleading eyes made it clear that it was time for a walk.
Wow! It is an amazing distillation of my experience with resistance to the work of creation. Inspiration is just one small aspect of the process and a fun distraction. This book is much more practical. I also laughed because as I read The War of Art I recognized it is another act of resistance: reading about writing instead of writing.
The first evening of Storylines Anne Lamott said the same thing: you have to put in the time. Write the shitty first draft. Revise. Write more. When so many people who have actually produced a lot of great stuff you like to read say the same thing, they may be speaking the truth.
Pressfield's message broke through and is already making a difference. I recently made two commitments to myself: 1) to ride my bike for at least 30 minutes a day for 30 days, and 2) to write 5 days a week in the month of March. When I finished the book I started to get sucked into the world wide web. My daughter called to tell me how her job interview went and I practically shouted, "Got time to meet me at the Cloud Forest Cafe for a coffee?" I leaped on my bike and raced into town with my computer. She shared her interview experience and then left me with my decaf, my computer and free wifi.
I slayed two small dragons this morning with one fell swoop. Thanks Steven.