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hookI tell myself this several times a day.

A friend sent me a link to Steven Pressfield’s website and this article posted 2 days ago: “Resistance and ‘Hooks.'”

A lot of you may know Pressfield. He wrote, among other things, The Legend of Bagger Vance, and a book that jumpstarted my writing like none other, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles.

I blogged about this book over a year ago here.

Hooks: things that distract you and fool you into not working, excuses to cave into resistance.

If you’re involved in any sort of creative endeavor—writing being only one of them—I really think Pressfield is a breath of fresh air.  Here is a portion of his post.

A “hook” is an action or statement designed to provoke a response.

A hook is always hostile and always bears evil intent. (See this prior post, “The Principal and the Profile.”)

If you’re a working artist, people are throwing hooks at you all day.

Hurling a hook is a symptom of Resistance.

One of the critical skills the working artist needs to acquire is how to avoid being hooked by hooks.

Okay, what’s an example of a hook?

1. Someone tells you they read your short story and they find your attitude “extremely insensitive and offensive” to ­­­­­­­­­­_________________. [Pick a group/victim.]

2. Someone approaches you and tells you they hate your work. You have no talent, you stink, you should not be afforded the forum to show your stuff in public.

3. Someone tells you that your words/actions/images have hurt them deeply. They are suffering acutely because of your cruelty, whether conscious or not.

4. Someone tells you they’re in love with you. You are perfect, you walk on water, they were meant to be with you and can prove it if you give them the chance.

Hooks can come at you from complete strangers or from those who are closest to you.

What do these hookers want? They want your attention. They want you to engage with them.

Click on the link above to see the rest of Pressfield’s post. And you may be intersted in a related book of his, Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life’s Work.

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Pete Enns, Ph.D.

Peter Enns (Ph.D., Harvard University) is Abram S. Clemens professor of biblical studies at Eastern University in St. Davids, Pennsylvania. He has written numerous books, including The Bible Tells Me So, The Sin of Certainty, and How the Bible Actually Works. Tweets at @peteenns.