*checks watch* It was that time a few hours ago. Okay, so more than a few hours ago. Okay, so I’m late. Again. You wouldn’t believe the day I’ve had.
As an aside, any day everybody in the house survives until bedtime is a GOOD day. I’m just putting that out there. I mean, it’s not like I was trying to write this post earlier with two toddlers demanding my undivided attention. Each, not together.
Anyway. To more writerly-important things: to the War of Art!
Last week I talked a bit about going pro, and how important that is. (speaking of- *pulls out To Do list, writes “go pro”) Book Three of Mr. Pressfield’s manifesto is … esoteric. There’s the distinct sense he’s writing to those who’ve already spent time in pursuit of their craft. It’s also a bit more mystical than I’m personally comfortable with. Mr. Pressfield subtitles Book Three, The Higher Realm, and it’s the most abstract of the three sections, though not by an enormous margin. In what is functionally the preface to Bk.3, he tells the reader he’ll be “writing about those invisible psychic forces that support and sustain us in our journey,” and about “angels and muses.” My read is he’s speaking literally, though he gives us his permission “to think of angels in the abstract.” I don’t throw any stones, as I know too many good writers who come down on both sides of that particular argument. Me? I wish I had a muse. I got a lump of probably slimy greyish-pink between my ears, and however that interacts with my personality. That’s what I know: the rest is Someone Else’s problem. I just wish Himself was a better writer’n me. *glares in sinner*
I get the feeling that a closer reread of Book Three is going to reveal it as the most challenging of the three sections. Intuitively, that’s how it should work, but recent life has been … distracting in the kind of way that results in short nights, poor diet, and wrestling with the black dog. Poor, neglected art comes far behind keeping the kids alive, and the wife on duty. In a similar manner, my expec- Y’know, that’s the cur talking. I’m not confident enough to lay out concrete goals. Not today, but it’s a near future requirement. Check back here sometime in the not-too-distant future.
Back to the War of Art (again). I’m still digging through Book Three. There’s a lot of meat, there, but I’m not sure which cuts I’ll be chewing on, and which I’ll leave on the platter for someone else. While I appreciate Mr. Pressfield’s discussion of Homer’s prayer at the beginning of the Odyssey, at least in the abstract, I’m uncomfortable dealing with that particular crowd on a personal basis. On the other hand, it stirs interesting questions about ritual, upon which I’ve previously touched with fumbling fingers. He brings in the concepts of self and ego, fear, authenticity, and territory and hierarchy. He spends most of the rest of the book discussing the last two, juxtaposing them. The artist should think, and therefore live, territorially. Attempting to fit himself into a hierarchical association will only lead to inauthenticity and hackdom. I’m going to dig into this for next week. For now, go write something.