Yesterday I listened to a dialogue between Debbie Millman and Seth Godin on art-making, resistance, anxiety, how the internet has changed our working lives, and vulnerability.
I think it may have changed my life.
Usually at this point I would say something like ‘Make a pot of coffee, find a quiet place, and soak up their wisdom without being interrupted.’
If you are like me, however, you will need to be accompanied by a good notebook, a nice ink pen, and several pots of coffee, to do the whole thing justice.
Their dialogue contains more revelatory moments than I dare to mention, but for me the whole thing centred around two key points.
One, that you will never feel ready to make the art [insert your passion here] that you feel called to. Waiting for the right conditions is a waste of time. And two, that the more you feel called to do or make something, the more you will feel what Steven Pressfield calls Resistance. And however successful or well-known you are or become, it will never go away. Never.
The best that we can do, Godin says, is to recognise that it is there, welcome it, then dance with it.
His final statement about this was in response to a question from the floor: how, exactly, do you do this? I make a habit out of it, he replied. After five-thousand-and-whatever blog posts, every single day for however many years, my brain knows that I need to write a blog post when I wake up. It’s not a question of thinking maybe I will, maybe I won’t. My unconscious has already decided for me. It’s a decision.
So I say: treat yourself. You can listen to the whole thing here.