IFH 168: How To Be Creative – The War of Art & Turning Pro

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How to be creative? This is a question that surprisingly has a simple answer. DO THE WORK! In this episode, I’ll be going over a remarkable book I’ve read that has truly changed the way I think about life, the creative process and making films. The book is [easyazon_link identifier=”1936891026″ locale=”US” tag=”whatisbroke-20″]The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles[/easyazon_link] by Steven Pressfield.

If you have writer’s block, can’t break through the fear or just want some tips on how to be creative this is the episode you need to hear. I’m also running the FIRST EVER Indie Film Hustle Contest. Steve Pressfield sent me a bounty of books to give away to the tribe. All you have to do to enter is “mail me”, not email, but actually mail me a letter or video telling me your breakthrough story, when you decided to do the work and stopped being afraid of following that dream

Winner’s story will be read on an episode of the IFH Podcast. You can send letters or videos to:

Indie Film Hustle Contest – Pressfield
c/o Alex Ferrari
916-C W. Burbank Blvd. #257
Burbank, CA 91506

I can’t wait to read your stories. So stop reading this and listen to the podcast already.

Alex Ferrari 1:56
Now today guys, we're going to talk about a book that I just read a little while ago. And it kind of really kind of changed the way I look at things and look at the creative process and I wanted to share it with you. It's called the War of Art by Steven pressfield. Now, Steven pressfield wrote a movie or book that was based on a movie or movie based on a book called The Legend of Bagger Vance, directed by Robert Redford, and starring Matt Damon and Will Smith. But since that those days of being a writer, and he still writes fiction, as well, he's written a score of books on the creative process. One of the most popular ones being the War of Art. So I picked this book up after watching some videos online that people talking about it. So I picked it up. And it kind of changed everything for me as a as a filmmaker as a creative. And and I wanted to share a little bit of a few tips that he talked about in the book. And at the end of the episode, I'm going to be running the first ever indie film hustle contest, to get a free copy of the War of Art, plus a handful of other books that he has written as well. So stay tuned to the end for that information. So guys, the first thing I want to talk about is the biggest lie anybody tells you is that they're not afraid that they're not scared. There's a lot of guys and girls out there who just like, I'm not afraid of doing that I'm not afraid of doing that. It's just this, or it's just that, you know, kind of like when we were younger, or even now, if you're you know, if your guys you're afraid of walking up to a girl, because you're afraid of being shot down or looking like a fool. But everybody else in your crew always says, Oh, you know, I'm not afraid, I'm not afraid. She's just not pretty enough. Or, you know, she's just not my style or whatever. But they don't go up and talk to her. So you know, most people tell you that they're not afraid, but you have to understand it, everybody is afraid. Stephen talks about a story about the legendary actor, Henry Fonda. Who, even at the age of 75, before every show, he would throw up before every live play that he would do, he would throw up, he was scared, even at his status in life. After 50 odd years of acting in some of the greatest movies of all time, he was still afraid. But the big difference is that he's a professional. And I want to talk a little bit about the difference between an amateur and a professional, which is one of the big themes of the book. And amateurs mindset is to conquer fear first and then act. So all these other things have to be in place before actually go out and do something. Now the professional mindset is different. They know they're afraid, but they keep going. The Pro knows the fear will always be there. But once there they understand the difference. There, they get to work. And that is the big difference between an amateur and a professional. You have to understand that a professional has true love. They have true love in what they do they have true love in the process, not the outcome, but the process, the grind, the everyday showing up for work. That is what a professional does. They asked Steven pressfield once, oh, what time you know, when do you write all the time? Or do you write when inspiration hits. And he had one of the greatest stories ever, he's like, I only write when inspiration hits. But fortunately for me, inspiration hits everyday at nine o'clock in the morning. And that's where he decided to summon his muse. Now Muse obviously comes from Greek mythology, where they inspire you, they're there, to just dazzle you a little bit of fairy dust on top of you, to give you that inspiration to make the great movie to write the great script, the paint, the great painting, whatever that creative inspiration is, the Muse is there. But she is very, very difficult to have come around. So for for the professional, the professional understands that, if you show up to work every day, at a certain time, and you do that work, whether it be for an hour, 30 minutes, two hours, three hours, whatever that extended amount of time is, the Muse will know Oh, there there, there he is, there she is, I'm just going to shoot, okay, that's where they're going to be every day. And then the Muse works through you. That is what Steven pressfield says. And it's a really great, great concept. Because you're always waiting for inspiration to hit. Well, unless inspiration knows where you are all it's according to Steven pressfield, they won't know when to throw you that inspiration. You just have to go out there and do the work, which has been a big theme of this podcast and of indie film hustle in general, the professional understands that they are in love with what they do, they do it because they have to do it that there is no other choice for them. They don't do it on the weekends, they don't do it on the side, they figure out a way to reconstruct their life, to be able to do the work to be able to do the work that they were put on this earth to do. And that is one of the biggest themes of this insane book. Now understand fear is good. I love fear. Fear is a great motivator. But it's only bad when it stops you from moving forward. Now pressfield calls fear resistance. And that resistance is a war that you fight every morning when you wake up. Some days you win. Some days you lose, but the professional wins more than he ever loses, or she ever loses. When you wake up in the morning, and you're gonna go I have to go work out because I've got to get into shape. Resistance is there to tell you. No, you'll be fine workout tomorrow, just let's go have some breakfast. You're really tired. And that conversation happens in your mind. Tell me it does it. I'm sure this happens to a lot of people listening to this right now. Or you wake up in the morning and you're like, oh god, I don't want to go up there, right? I don't even know what I'm going to write about blah, blah, blah. And then the resistance tells you No, no, you're right. You shouldn't write right now. You know, why don't you go out, go to Starbucks, get a coffee, sit down, do some people watching. Maybe something will hit you and you can start writing. That's not what a professional does professional shows up, gets up at nine o'clock. And when that voice hit, they go, I don't care. I'm going to do this no matter what. Resistance is tricky, you know, resistance or fear. Whichever way you like to look at it is a very tricky thing. resistance will tell you things that you want to hear and make very logical arguments towards it. But it's not helping you move forward. Let me ask you a question. And I'm sure this has happened to many people listening to this podcast. How many times have you had this huge dinner, you're absolutely stuffed. And then they bring out the cheesecake? Now you know you shouldn't need it because you've definitely gotten more calories in that day than you needed. But inside your mind. someone tells you Hey, why don't you eat that? It's okay, you work out tomorrow. And then you go Okay, fine. So you eat it and then later that night when you're taking your clothes off and you're looking in the mirror before you go to bed. That same voice will tell you look at you, you fat pig. Why why'd you eat that cheesecake? Don't you know better? It's amazing but your mind or resistance is a very tricky, tricky trickster. If you will, the one concept that pressfield talks about a lot in this book is that the scarier the fear, the more beneficial it is to your journey, and to the growth and development of yourself. The more true you are to yourself, the scarier it becomes. Do you think it was easy for me to launch indie film hustle, to launch a podcast, and hope that everyone liked what I had to say, or I could help people out there? It was scary. It's still scary. You know, I have critics like everybody else. But you can't stop because of it. And I decided to break through. And every morning I show up to work, I show up and I do content, I write content, I put things out for you guys. I create courses, I try to do what I can for any film, hustle. You know, I write my, my scripts, my scripts, I get projects ready. Every day I show up. But it was scary. It was extremely scary. And looking back at my whole life, the scarier the proposition, the more growth and reward I got from challenging that fear, challenging that resistance. When I moved from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and moved to LA, it took me a year and a half, almost two years of research and backing back and forth. And how am I going to do this and blah, blah, blah. It took me a while before I finally pulled the trigger. Because it was such a scary proposition. I was moving across the country knew literally two to three people in Los Angeles had no job prospects, and I literally was just going to show up, and things were going to happen. And I did, and that was the best, this probably arguably the scariest thing I've ever done in my life. And yet, it has been the most rewarding and one of the most rewarding things I've ever done in my life. And to give you another example of something that I'm doing in my life, that was scary. And, and to see if I could do it is that i've you know, I don't know if you guys have seen or not, but I was a little bit on the heavier side was probably one of the heaviest I've ever been. While I was making this as mag and and shooting that movie was very difficult physically for me. Because I was you know, had that big rig on top of me and doing all that kind of stuff. And you know, as you get older things, you know, start getting a little tougher to do but they don't have to. So what I decided to do is something that was pretty scary to me. But I thought the fear of my health and not doing well and with with my health and not being able to do as much as I want to do physically was scarier than the proposed thing that I'm doing. So I am currently on a 30 day juice cleanse. Now I know a lot of you are going Oh God, Alex, you're doing a juice cleanse. That's so LA. Oh my god, how why would you do something like that to yourself? Well, the reason I did it is first of all wanted to see if I could do it. And I'm almost done with it. I'm almost out a month. And I just so you guys know the mental fortitude that you need to do to just drink juice all the time. For for 30 days straight while there's pizza. And there's snacks because I have you know, two, you know young twin girls with you know, have all sorts of little things in the house and they're eating, you know, going to birthday parties and seeing cake and things like that. It takes a hell of a training. And if you can make it through that, I always I felt like if I could do this, I can do pretty much anything in and I've lost about 20 to 25 pounds, I feel better than I've ever felt before. I all my pains that I had in my body went away, my strength has started to come back. My art My mind is very clear, very sharp, I'm actually able to do more work. That's probably why you've seen an uptick in productivity on indie film hustle, because I'm doing only juices and again, I'm not drinking apple juice the entire time I'm actually freshly making juice every day from greens and carrots and apples and all sorts of different fruits and vegetables. And I've done a lot of research before I jumped into that and by the way, I am not repeat not suggesting that anyone do that if they want to try to lose weight or anything like that if you want to get more information. The movie that really got me started on it is an amazing documentary called fat Sick and Nearly Dead. You can watch it for free. I think anywhere, I'll put the links on the descriptions on Netflix on Amazon, even on their website, they're giving it away for free at this point, it's done so well. And it's kind of changed a lot of people's lives. And you know, this is not something easy for me to talk about. I've never spoken about this ever, especially not publicly to a large audience. But it's something I think I'm doing. And it's honestly scary to talk about this. This is not something I've ever want to talk about. Most people don't want to talk about that. But I'm doing it because I feel that I could help somebody I could hear I hope that it someone listening will hear this podcast, and maybe do something that will inspire them to change the way they do things in life. And follow their dream, whether that be as being a screenwriter or a filmmaker, an artist of some sort, or just trying to lose some weight and get healthy. So you could do more with your family, your kids and achieve more in life and have a better quality of life. But this is a scary thing. But you know what, as I sat here, as I believe it or not, as I sat here debating whether or not to talk about this resistance came into my mind. And it started to come in really strong. And this is a great example of, of like a live version of resistance in inaction. So as I was thinking here to talk and debating, should I talk about this? All the things started coming up in your head, like, what are they going to say? What are they going to do? People are going to criticize you they were they said this or that. And I said, You know what, it's just it's more, I can do more good by talking about it than not talking about it. So I am putting myself out there for you guys for the tribe. And hopefully, that example will help you guys do what you need to do, and move forward in your careers and in your life. So the main lesson that I think you guys should take away from this is you just got to do the work guys. And you got to show up whether inspirations there or not every day doing whatever that might be that you want to get done, just do it. I've interviewed and spoken to remarkable and legendary screenwriters, and all of them, all of them do this, they all just show up every day and right no matter what not one of them has just like oh, I just have a couple square, I have one or two scripts, all of them have like 20 scripts, you know, or you know, done, and they're being shopped around, and they're making a living doing it because they just keep doing it keep working. So don't fall into the trap, fight resistance, and just break through. And you've got to love what you do and just go do it. This is a very simple, very simple concept, but very difficult to do. But once you break through the world is yours. So guys, as I promised, I'm going to be giving away copies of the War of Art that Mr. Steven pressfield himself sent me to give you the tribe. And he also amazingly, gave me a just a ton of other books to give you guys. So I'm here to give a man I'm like Santa Claus, I'm handing out knowledge left and right. So the books that I'm going to be giving away are a copies of the War of Art. Another book, which is amazing set called nobody wants to read your shit, and why that is and what you can do about it. And another book is the authentic swing, which are notes from writing his first novel, and the knowledge which is a novel based around about the time that he was a cab driver in New York, and he had fallen to resistance and not writing and what he did to break through and how he became the author of the War of Art. So if you want a free copy of these books, and you want to enter this contest, all you have to do is mail me not email, I want you to actually old school mail me write it, type it up, whatever put it in an envelope and send it and I'm gonna leave my address in the show notes. The show notes are indie film hustle.com forward slash 168 address will be there also links to everything we've talked about. In this episode, the big fat, the big, fat, sick, big, fat, Sick and Nearly Dead documentary. I'll put there as well as links to all the books that he did. He did another great book called turning pro which is amazing. Another one called do the work. All of those I'll put in the show notes. But I need you to mail me a story. I want you to tell me a story. You could put it you could shoot it on video and pop it on a see a DVD and send it over or you can write me a letter and tell me a story where you broke through. You decided to not fall victim to resistance and are doing something every day. To change your life to change your filmmaking in your creative life and moving forward toward your dreams and goals, and the best stories will win and I've got a hand I got a bunch of these books. So the faster you guys can get these these stories out to me, the faster I'll get you these books, okay. And there might be a surprise or two just might be a little surprise or two, that I might toss in the into the box, as well for you guys. And the winners. And the best stories will be read on the podcast and let me know in the letter, if you want to use your first name, last name, or no name and make it anonymous, but I will share them with the tribe on the podcast. And if you want to promote anything, you're doing any movies or anything like that, put it in there. And I'll give you a shout out as well. So remember, if you want to be part of this contest, just head over to indie film hustle.com forward slash 168. There, you'll get the mailing address, send me over their story. And winners will get these books and get some knowledge thrown at them for free. And if there are anybody internationally that wants to be part of this that are not in the US, or Canada, please send it over. And I might not be able to send you all the books, but at least this would be able to send you one or two of the books if you win the contest. So it is open to the entire world. And I will ship it out to you guys. And I want to thank you so much to Steven pressfield for sending us this amazing bounty of books to hand out to the tribe. So Steven, if you're listening, thank you very much and I hope to have you on the show soon. Thank you guys for listening, and remember to fight the resistance. So guys, as always, keep the hustle going. Keep that dream alive. And I will talk to you soon.

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