Something inside us, often when we’re very young kids, tells us, “Play drums!” We know at that moment what we’re supposed to do in life. We may not know if we’ll be performers, teachers, inventors, manufacturers. But we know, beyond a doubt, one reason we’re on Earth is to play drums.
And then — WHAM! The whole world, it seems, conspires against us. In a world where so many people go through life without any direction, it would make sense for our families and friends to celebrate our finding a goal. A positive goal about which we’re passionate. Committed!
But, no. The Dream Stealer’s negatives start early: “Drums are too loud.” “You can’t make a living playing drums.” “Drums are okay as a hobby, but you need to think about what you’re going to do for a living.” Blah, blah, blah.
Some drummers are blessed with the opposite life experience. They really do have the support and encouragement of family and friends.
For drummers who didn’t or who don’t have that life experience, I have two books which should be of immeasurable help. The books are not written specifically about drumming and drummers. But author Steven Pressfield, drawing from his own life struggles as a writer, offers words of wisdom that can help any drummer feeling as if they are about to drown while swimming against the tide.
For what it’s worth, Mr. Pressfield’s books, not long ago, helped pull me through tough times. I still enjoy revisiting them. In fact, I was listening to “Do The Work” on the way to the post office this morning. That’s when I realized it made sense to share these books with Life Beyond the Cymbals readers.
Again, Mr. Pressfield’s books are written primarily to an audience of writers. But as a writer and a drummer, I promise these books are helpful to just drummers.
The book descriptions are Mr. Pressfield’s descriptions. I agree with them.
What keeps so many of us from doing what we long to do? Why is there a naysayer within? How can we avoid the roadblocks of any creative endeavor—be it starting up a dream business venture, writing a novel, or painting a masterpiece?
The War of Art identifies the enemy that every one of us must face, outlines a battle plan to conquer this internal foe, then pinpoints just how to achieve the greatest success.
The War of Art emphasizes the resolve needed to recognize and overcome the obstacles of ambition and then effectively shows how to reach the highest level of creative discipline. Think of it as tough love . . . for yourself.
Do The Work isn’t so much a follow-up to The War of Art as it is an action guide that gets down and dirty in the trenches. Say you’ve got a book, a screenplay or a startup in your head but you’re stuck or scared or just don’t know how to begin, how to break through or how to finish. Do The Work takes you step-by-step from the project’s inception to its ship date, hitting each predictable ‘Resistance point’ along the way and giving techniques and drills for overcoming each obstacle.
There’s even a section called ‘Belly of the Beast’ that goes into detail about dealing with the inevitable moment in any artistic or entrepreneurial venture when you hit the wall and just want to cry ‘HELP!’
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