Steven Pressfield had called himself an author for years, but he’d never actually finished a book. He just went through life feeling smug, feeling better than those regular schmucks, because he thought of himself as an author.
But the psychological pain of not producing kept building until he couldn’t stand it anymore. He decided to finally beat that devil he calls “The Resistance”.
He created a situation with no escape. Rented a cabin with only a typewriter, and shut off all other options.
“I had a book in mind and I had decided I would finish it or kill myself. I could not run away again, or let people down again, or let myself down again. This was it, do or die.”
“I didn’t talk to anybody during [that year]. I didn’t hang out. I had no TV, no radio, no music. No sex, no sports. I didn’t read the newspaper. I just worked.”
After an incredibly difficult year of wrestling with those inner demons and avoiding all temptations, he did it. He finished his first book. It wasn’t a success, but it didn’t matter. He had finally beat The Resistance. He went on to write many successful novels.
He told this story in the great book “Turning Pro”, the third in his series of little books about the creative struggle, including “The War of Art” and “Do the Work”. Read all three.