Resistance and Self Dramatization
“Creating soap opera in our lives is a symptom of Resistance. Why put in years of work designing a new software interface when you can get just as much attention by bringing home a boyfriend with a prison record?”~Steven Pressfield, The War of Art
Steven Pressfield knows how to crack me up. No I can’t relate to this section of his book, but I’m sure there are plenty of creatives out there that do.
I do love his way with words and laughed out loud at much of this. In fact I may have watched TV episodes of some sitcoms that sounded just like this craziness:
“Sometimes entire families participate unconsciously in a culture of self-dramatization. The kids fuel the tanks, the grownups arm the phasers, the whole starship lurches from one spine-tinging episode to another. And the crew knows how to keep it going. If the level of drama drops below a certain threshold, someone jumps in to amp it up. Dad gets drunk, Mom gets sick, Janie shows up for church with an Oakland Raiders tattoo. it’s more fun than a movie. And it works: Nobody gets a damn thing done.”
Can you imagine this scene?
More importantly, would you ever think this is all about Resistance?
Just hold that thought for a moment.
The idea that artists, or anyone in the middle of an important endeavor, would raise hackles like this only to put off doing their work is way out there.
But is it, really?
Since I’ve been studying this Resistance thing, it’s become easy to imagine how many ways there to not work. Really, the thing we most want to do is the thing we try hardest NOT to do.