“Good things come to those who wait. But the best things come to those who do.”
It’s easy to sit and daydream about all the things we want to achieve in life, and sometimes, if we’re lucky (or fortunate or blessed, however you wish to call it), we eventually do get what we dream of with the passing of time.
Yet, I’ve realized that most times, we have to wake up from our daydreams and just get to work – whatever work may be for you.
A new book that I’m reading, The War of Art by Steven Pressfield (thanks to Bjork’s recommendation), talks about overcoming resistance, which is basically the force that goes in the exact opposite direction of our dreams and calling.
According to Pressfield, the greater the resistance you encounter, the greater your calling tends to be. So let that be of some comfort to us artists and creative workers.
Do you aim to be a painter?
Then stand in front of your blank canvas with a color palette in one hand and a paintbrush in the other, and just start to paint. It doesn’t matter if your first few paintings aren’t Picasso masterpieces (did you think Picasso became famous with his first piece?), what matters is that you’re taking the plunge and deciding that you want to head in the direction of your heart.
Visit museums and study the paintings your admire; try to imitate their work, and better yet, try developing your own style.
How about you, the one who wishes to dance professionally?
Stop sitting on the couch watching Jason Derulo’s music videos all day, and go register for dance classes. Practice until your butt hurts, and keep right on practicing anyway.
A wish is only a wish until a combination of energy and effort translates it into action.
Are you an aspiring photographer?
Don’t just wish you could snap gorgeous pictures and instead of just staring at beautiful photos, get yourself a camera (a mid-range to high-end DSLR camera, if your budget allows), and then shoot everything in sight, daily if possible, if not, as often as you’re able to. Take courses, read resources like Tasty Food Photography and Plate to Pixel, and most importantly, practice, practice, practice.
Over the next few months and years, one click at a time, you’ll eventually see that your photography skills have improved even without you realizing so. Trust me, I’ve seen that happen firsthand myself. Compare my photos from May 2012 when I first started the blog to my pictures today, and I’ll let you be the judge.
And then, I speak to all the writers just like myself, who may often feel trapped in a case of “writer’s block”.
It’s easy to say that we’ll write when inspiration strikes (like in the middle of the night, or when we’re vacationing in the Amalfi Coast, or wherever Paradise may be for you) – but more often than not, “inspiration usually comes during work, rather than before it”, if I may quote Madeleine L’Engle.
In The War of Art, Pressfield states that resistance often comes in the form of procrastination – leaving for tomorrow what we can finish today.
Are you guilty of procrastinating? Have you been delaying the draft you should have written two weeks ago? Sometimes, more often than not, I am. Is it your dream to write a book, but somehow have never even gotten close?
Pick up the pen and your blank moleskin notebook with me. Start taking notes and scribbling short paragraphs. Do you prefer something less old school? Type a piece on your smartphone when you’re on the train home, then email bits and pieces to yourself when it’s done. Don’t let situations or physical locations determine if you can get some writing done.
Need more inspiration while writing? Read good writing blogs like Copyblogger and Eat This Poem, subscribe to writing forums, get in touch with people in the same field, and soak up good literature like a thirsty Bedouin in the Sahara desert.
Real writers know that the toughest thing to do is not writing; it is sitting down to write.
So block out a period in your schedule and dedicate it to writing. Commit to it, and just write.
Today’s recipe has nothing to do with the post – because while I could have waxed lyrical about cornbread and its significance to the people from the South of the United States, I felt an urgent need to put into black and white these thoughts that had been forming throughout the day.
What I will say though, is that this thick, comforting skillet cornbread is good company for writing, and also a great celebratory snack when you’re done for the day and have kicked resistance in the butt.
Best with a generous helping of butter and drizzled in honey.
Let’s conquer resistance together.
- 1¼ cup of coarsely ground cornmeal
- ¾ cup of gluten-free flour blend (I used storebought, but you can use your own mix)
- ¼ cup of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 3 teaspoons of baking powder
- 1⅓ cup of milk
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten, room temperature
- 8 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted
- Pre-heat oven to 425 deg Fahrenheit (220 deg Cel)
- Place the cast iron skillet in the oven
- In a large bowl, mix together the cornmeal, gluten-free flour blend, sugar, salt and baking powder
- Whisk in the milk, eggs and butter until well combined, leaving 1 tablespoon of butter for the skillet
- Remove cast iron skillet from the oven (carefully! It's hot!) and reduce oven temperature to 375 deg Fahrenheit (180 deg Cel)
- Spread the remaining tablespoon of melted butter all around the top surface of the skillet
- Pour cornbread batter into the skillet, and place it in the center rack of the oven
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
- Allow cornbread to cool for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.
- Serve warm with butter and a drizzle of honey