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Kill the dragon Resistance every morning and work on your art

Detail of Betty the cat by Pamela Hodges

This morning I didn’t kill the dragon Resistance. Resistance said to me, at 4:00 a.m. when I woke up in my warm bed, “Oh, Hodges, it is so cold downstairs, why don’t you stay in bed. And really now, you don’t have a clue what to write about today, so why even bother. You are a horrible housekeeper. The walls are covered in dirt from Martha rubbing on them, and the kitchen counters are covered in dishes. Again. Your painting’s in the basement are awful. Why don’t you just quit?”

There’s a secret that real writers know that wannabe writers don’t, and the secret is this: It’s not the writing part that’s hard. What is hard is sitting down to write. What keeps us from sitting down is Resistance.

Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

I listened to Resistance and stayed in bed until 6:00 a.m. When I came downstairs I didn’t write. I read Facebook and my e-mail. Two hours later I went downstairs to paint. Now I am writing.

Can you see the dead dragon beside my desk? I can. The weird thing is he will come back to life tonight when I should be going to bed. He will whisper in my ear again, “Hodges, I wonder what weird stories are on the news tonight? Do you think there might be a story about a cat with two heads? And you really do want to know about the man who escaped from the shark? Don’t you.”

And tomorrow morning the dragon Resistance will be there again. He will taunt me and try to get me to continue in my bad habits.

Resistance never goes away and it never diminishes.  The dragon must be slain anew every morning.
Steven Pressfield – Waging the War of Art- An interview with Steven Pressfield

The little voices in your head that try to get you to give up, have no real power over you. They only have the power you give them. Ignore them, slay them, step on them, and then continue on with your work. You are the master of your mind. What you think about will be what you do.

Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.
― Henry Ford

Did you kill the dragon  Resistance today? Did you work on your art? Did you write, paint, sing or __________?

Please tell me in the comments. I would love to hear what you did.

Painting by Pamela Hodges

About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

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  • Valorie MacDonald

    Oh, Pamela, the Bible by the fireplace sounds like a winner! I walked in the door the other night… the night after I had, with..so..MUCH..trepidation.. shared my blog link here with you… and slayed a dragon (in my life that = hitting publish!) Then last night dealt with the dragon part deux, showing my super hip, super creative, super smart, super spunky 19 yr. old daughter my blog! And since, have not stopped with the smaller peskier dragons, ie. working out a schedule for upcoming posts so I can prioritize what to right next, etc. There will be plenty more dragons and dinosaurs and perhaps a sea monster or two, as I go about tackling the greater world of WordPress (I have ZERO tech skills, no joke. So this is an ongoing battle!) And I think a sign is a great idea… or even a BIG STICK TO LEAN IN THE CORNER…I could have my other super incredible, creative, etc. daughter design it for me (she turns 12 on halloween, and is the one who would NOT let me delete my blog after I accidentally hit publish prematurely!) Maybe it can declare simply, DragonSlayer;))

    • Valorie, you will slay the dragon. If you want to. You have the power to decide. Your words need to come out. Only you can tell your story. Your daughters sound fun. Just like their mom.

  • Rhonda

    so true . . . so true . . . so true

  • La McCoy

    great way to say this!

  • kathunsworth

    I am enjoying the process of watching your artwork involve each day and come alive. The colours are vibrant and your style is so, so cool. I can’t wait to see them all in an exhibition. I have my creative muse working three angles at the moment doing a sketch for a competition, picture book images are going well and planning my month for the NaNoWriMo. My energy levels are on high and ready for anything. Keep up the fantastic work Pamela I love being in the creative zone with you, it is such a buzz!

    • Good Morning Kath, or good-night for you.
      I love hearing about your creative projects and seeing what you draw.

  • Did the dragon get to the blue painting? I’m going to write the slogan ” Kill the Dragon” on a piece of paper and stick it on top of my screen. You are a genius Pamela. And brave 😉

    • Good Morning Patricia,
      Today I don’t feel brave.
      But the dragon must die every day. Courage is not the absence of fear, we just do our stuff with fear in our back pocket, or maybe fear is in a plastic bag with the top closed.
      I like your idea. I will write, “Kill the Dragon,” on a piece of paper as well and stick it by my computer.

  • Sandra Gardner

    Pam, lovely post and writing…I feel it and I’m inspired! Going to slay that dragon now … Thanks for inspiring me.

    • Sandra,
      Oh, I love your photograph. Did you slay the dragon? After I read the comments I will go and step on the dragon and paint more cats.
      Thank you for reading, and your are welcome.
      What did you do after you slayed the dragon?

  • Love seeing the progress of brush to canvas. Thanks for bringing us along.

    I also love this post because it is putting a name to the dragon we have to slay. Yes we have the naysayer voices we fight, sometimes in our own heads. But we make a decision somewhere along the way.

    Reminding us that resistance is part of it is helpful. I love the War of Art and the value he gives us. But we can sharpen each other by reminding one another of these truths.

    And you my friend draw us pictures. The dragon slain in the corner. The warm bed beckoning us to remain there.

    Love your writing. Love your art.

    • Anne,
      Thank you for the encouragement. Betty loves that you are keeping up with her portrait. Betty is the cat.

      My bed was warm this morning too. Tomorrow morning I will set my bible and a warm blanket by the fireplace. It will give me something to fight the dragon with tomorrow morning.

  • Oh my gosh, I can’t begin to tell you how much I love the cat with the beehive hairdo, pearl choker and cateye glasses. She’s the cat’s meow and the cat’s pajamas.

    • kathunsworth

      Me too! Kathleen we must have similar tastes in art, she is sooooo cool.