Writing Wednesdays

Writing Wednesdays

Donald Trump and Your Next Project

By Steven Pressfield | Published: November 11, 2015

One of the questions I get asked a lot is, “How do I decide on my next project? I have so many ideas, I don’t know which one to choose.”

Will he be the Man?

Will he be the Man?

My usual answer is, “Pick the one that scares you the most.”

The reason this works is you’re using your own Resistance to guide you. Since Resistance will always be strongest in the case of the project that’s most important to the evolution of your soul, you will feel the most fear when you contemplate working on that project.

Voila! That’s the one you should choose, just like an actor or actress always picks the role that challenges her the most, the one that will make her stretch the furthest.

But sometimes (I know, I know), we’ve got ten potential projects rattling around inside our skulls and we can’t tell which one we’re most scared of (or which one we like the most.)

What do we do then?

My method is to pick the two or three most promising and start working on all of them.

It’s kinda like the Republican primary race.

Will Trump come out on top? Ben Carson? Marco Rubio? Will Jeb Bush rediscover his mojo at the eleventh hour?

We can’t tell yet.

It’s too early.

But bank on this: with the passage of time, a clear winner will emerge.

Same thing with our three (or more) competing projects.

Yeah, right now we can’t tell if it’s A, B, or C. But a month from now, C’s gonna start feeling a little shopworn.

We’ll narrow the race to A and B.

Eventually the fog will disperse and we’ll pick one (let’s say A).

Six months from then we’ll look back and say, “I can’t believe I ever took B and C seriously. It was so obvious that A was the best!”

So if you’re tearing your hair out trying to choose between competing projects … relax. Take the pressure off yourself. Keep working on all of them, just like the GOP candidates are out there jetting back and forth between Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Time will tell.

The weaker will drop out.

The cream will rise to the top.

(Me, I’m voting for Hillary.)

Posted in Writing Wednesdays

24 Responses to “Donald Trump and Your Next Project”

  1. rofada
    November 11, 2015 at 4:33 am

    thanks for your sharing sir

  2. November 11, 2015 at 6:10 am

    You don’t even know how much I needed to hear this today. Thanks!

  3. November 11, 2015 at 6:28 am

    Good points, sir, but Hillary? Really, lol. Thank you for your service. Semper Fi

  4. JD
    November 11, 2015 at 6:34 am

    Thanks, Steve. I guess I’m lucky in that there’s always some project that scares the hell out of me. That’s the one I pick!

  5. November 11, 2015 at 6:37 am

    This technique is perfectly suited to those of us with RBADD (Really Bad). I’m with you on Hillary, but in part because the Republican Party primary has thus far been to politics what professional wrestling is to athletics.

  6. Mary Doyle
    November 11, 2015 at 6:51 am

    Needed to hear this today, and I’m with you on Hillary! As always, thanks!

  7. November 11, 2015 at 6:58 am

    Yes…resistance as a motivator. I have been going through this very thing! Thank you for your post, Steven.

    Love the analogy… 😉

  8. November 11, 2015 at 7:00 am

    Love the post and will distribute to all my students. And, go Hillary!

  9. Jerry Ellis
    November 11, 2015 at 7:02 am

    Now, Steve, are you really trying to tell us that today YOU picked a topic that scared you most to write this hint of a story? Hey, man, I’m just “messing with you” as we say down South in Alabama. I haven’t dropped by your site in months, and I always enjoy what you have to say. A friend of mine turned me onto you a couple of years ago. I’m currently in Rome, Italy, my second home, working on my tenth book. Keep up the great work, Steve. So many people NEED to hear what you have to say.

  10. Dave Newton
    November 11, 2015 at 7:16 am

    Nice use of available raw material to make your point. Plays well as I struggle with my Resistance-Karma this morning. Scary thought: Trump’s the best of the lot. How about a Hillary-Bernie ticket?

  11. William Baranowski
    November 11, 2015 at 8:38 am

    Thank you for the approach to following the Republican race.

    Though I admire your courage in stating your preferred candidate, I disagree with your choice. At least it wasn’t the avowed socialist. Disappointed.

  12. Mary Gianoli
    November 11, 2015 at 9:05 am

    I thought you were a Bernie Sanders supporter. What happened?

  13. November 11, 2015 at 9:25 am

    I really liked today’s post. I’m a self published author & trying to decide right now on book 2 of my mystery series. I have 3-4 ideas percolating, but one in particular keeps bubbling to the surface. (Big surprise, it’s the one I’m not quite sure I can pull off.)

  14. Mike Rodgers
    November 11, 2015 at 9:25 am

    Seems like I remember a post a few weeks back where Steve said he was supporting Bernie. Today, it’s Hillary. My guess (and my hope) is that Steve is only rattling peoples’ chains with these political “endorsements”.

    But if I’m wrong, there’s solace in the fact that a person can have great writing insights but not-so-great political beliefs.

    Thanks for the reminder to confront Resistance head-on in all of its various forms and the practical instruction on how to do it in our daily lives.

    • November 11, 2015 at 12:48 pm

      You’re a smart guy, Mike …

      • December 3, 2015 at 12:46 am

        And you’re an evil man, Mr. Pressfield… But I love ya anyway! 😉

  15. November 11, 2015 at 9:28 am

    Timely, this! Thanks for the post!

  16. November 11, 2015 at 10:38 am

    Good advice … That said, did you need that last line re: voting for Hillary?
    You may have lost a few followers with that last line.

    • November 11, 2015 at 12:56 pm

      As long as I didn’t lose YOU, John …

  17. Sonja
    November 11, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    So true!

    Hillary girl myself! :)

  18. November 12, 2015 at 1:42 am

    Perfect! What a synchronicity! …one day before reading this post I’ve done exactly that. Also some projects “just start to feel wrong” when you go through their images and characters. And the project you start working on may lead to something entirely different. I have this tendency and “resistance” to shred a project to pieces while writing (it’s not good enough) till it’s a completely something else.

    My writing mentor Gil Dennis once told me the following anecdote when I was frustrated about a project that kept changing while I was writing:

    “Dostojevski sat down to write a book about a saint, we know this work under the title THE IDIOT”.

  19. November 12, 2015 at 5:38 am

    Interesting idea. As for the politics…10 years ago I became a CrossFit acolyte. I did the workouts, read the blog nearly everyday. Every third day is/was a rest day, so the blog topic frequently became political/current events.

    No Hillary fans there…much more Ayn Rand Libertarian & Conservative…and there were always a few folks that said, “I didn’t come here for politics! I quit.”

    I had to quit listening to the news, talk radio, reading most newspapers back in 2008 because my confirmation bias was making me intolerant of others’ political views.

    I now just think it is all rather silly. I think this blog, and the products of each artist on here matter much more than whoever sits in the White House.

    I’m a photographic negative of the current occupant. While I thought his reelection portended the end of Western Civilization (…a bit of hyperbole, but I wasn’t happy) I now know that the sun still rises, traffic still snarls at the Tacoma Dome, and I’m still trying to grow my race.

    Frankly I think we should go to a lottery, and not allow anyone with a JD to serve in any capacity…they can only be counselors to leaders.
    bsn

    • December 3, 2015 at 12:53 am

      I’ve been ruminating on the demise of American civility (especially regarding politics) for awhile now. I know my own thoughts quite well and am sometimes amazed at the reasoning of others. Mostly I avoid political discourse as it tends to divide rather than assemble people.

      The division is exacerbated by the rhetoric (if one can call it that) of leadership and the sound bite favored by the media. I often shake my head in disbelief at what is said.

      I love the comment regarding the rising and setting of the sun. I think I’ll leave civilization and go spend the remainder of my life in the American Desert, watching said sun, chasing the light with my cameras, and ignoring the media. 😉

      I also refuse to get bent out of shape by other’s political positions. Provided we have other common ground, the person is worth far more than their politics.

  20. November 25, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    Steven,

    I would hope that people would not be angry with your saying that you would vote for Hillary. I see political opinions sort of like any other delusion we deal with. People think that there are bugs on their body and they are totally convinced that they are there. Nobody can make them feel different no matter how much proof they have that there are NO BUGS on them. They literally see them and they even convinced others that they are being bitten by the same bugs. We “fire breathing right wing conspirators” can no more convince you that Hillary is the spawn of Satan than I can that your favorite color for your bedroom should be bright yellow.

    The bottom line is that you are a great man who brings wonderful value in everything do and write. I don’t care if you support a person for a political office that I find distasteful. This does not diminish my respect for your opinion nor does it cause me any lack of sleep. You are entitled to pick your favorites. And so am I. You keep on writing and do your thing. You are entitled……