Steven Pressfield’s Do the Work is for you if you’re finding it difficult to finish–or, even, to just start–to write your brand-building book.
Don’t blame yourself if you’re having trouble writing your brand-building book; blame the Resistance, the uncompromising force inside you that fights change–even when the change is in your best interest.
In the words of Seth Godin, 13-time bestselling marketing author who has championed the work of Steven Pressfield:
“Do the Work is a logical outgrowth of the writing in The War of Art, but it’s quite clearly a manifesto, a short, powerful, memorable rant on what it means to do work that matters. This book is so important, I’d like everyone to read it again and again.”
Seth Godin helped bring Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art into the mainstream of marketing and branding, when he described Resistance and the risk-avoiding Lizard mind in his provocative Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?
Why you need to read Do the Work
Do the Work is a short book with several important messages for anyone completing any type of creative projects, not just those writing brand-building books.
It’s available in multiple formats, (hardbound, softbound, audio, CD, and Kindle), that transcends it 112 page length.
Chances are, while reading Do the Work, you’ll probably recognize your own Resistance at work causing you to freeze, or doubt yourself, at precisely the moment when life-changing success is within your grasp.
I know I did, and I’m thankful for the clarity, perspective, and advice that Do the Work offers me, and everyone else battling Resistance. Do the Work’s concept of Resistance makes previous, facile descriptions of writer’s block and fear of failure look sophomoric by comparison.
Do the Work looks beyond the obvious. Pressfield describes how Resistance takes many forms, and is often misdiagnosed as fear, self-doubt, procrastination, addiction, distraction, timidity, ego, self-loathing, and perfectionism.
Pressfield emphasizes that Resistance may be always within us, but the strength of the Resistance varies depending on the importance of the project. The more you have riding on a project, the stronger the resistance you’re likely to experience.
Tips for overcoming resistance
Do the Work describes several ways to overcome Resistance, including:
- Simplicity, i.e., viewing a writing project as a 3-act play with a beginning, middle, and an end. He points out how even complex works, like Moby Dick, can be reduced to one side of a single sheet of paper.
- Commitment to action. Taking action is the best antidote to combating stress at the start of a project. Taking action also opens the way to unanticipated assistance and support that you might never have expected would occur.
- Filling in the gaps. After describing the benefits of a 3-act structure, with definite steps within each act, he introduces the idea of scenes within each act. After that, all that remains is to fill in the gaps by providing the necessary advice, dialog, or details.
As he puts it:
Any project or enterprise can be broken into beginning, middle, and end. Fill in the gaps; then fill in the gaps between the gaps.
As projects approach completion, Resistance often becomes increasingly obvious. The cure is to:
Get to THE END as if the devil himself were breathing down your neck and poking you in the butt with his pitchfork.
Don’t give Resistance an opportunity to make an appearance:
Don’ Stop. Don’t look down. Don’t think. Suspend all self-judgment.
There’s more, of course.
Suffice it to say that Steven Pressfield’s Do the Work is a concise treasury of inspiration and practical advice for entrepreneurs and self-employed professionals wondering why they’re having such a hard time writing their brand-building book. Does any of the above strike a chord with you? If you’ve read Do the Work, what was your favorite part? Most important, how do you overcome your own inner Resistance? Share your comments, below.
Roger C. Parker is a 40-book author and book coach who wants to help you write a book to build your personal brand. Roger’s Published & Profitable blog contains over 1,100 ideas, tips, and author profiles.