I am smack-bang in the middle of the hardest part of my current project.

No longer the fresh excitement and boundless possibilities of the new, nor yet the fragrant and tantalising promise of completion, just the work; the seemingly endless and repetitive no-mans-land of the daily grind.

But still everyday I get up, brew my coffee, and get after it.

This post is about why.

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Sometimes, the work feels like a war.

There are times when my body is tired, or broken, or both.  Times when my spirit is thoroughly unwilling.  Times when the well feels empty, when I have nothing to say; when my fingers are stiff and cold, my voice is silent, and the whole world seems haar-bleached, fog-bound, and grey.

But I am a veteran at this game.  I know her rules and I know her secrets.  I have witnessed long the tricks and wiles of my opposition.  I have been making music, writing things, and performing them live ever since I was 7 years old.  In terms of this I am an old lion; and I know well my jungle in darkness.

I have learned over time that how I am feeling in the moment bears no relation to the quality of what may be produced in any given session.  Thoughts, emotions, and the body are generally poor indicators of the day’s potential.  The things I make when I feel bad and the things I make when I feel good are indistinguishable in terms of quality when I look back on them in the cold light of morning.

When understood properly this one fact removes nearly all excuses.

In any pursuit of worth resistance is a constant.  This is not a bad thing.  It is the resistance that the electricity encounters whilst travelling along the wire inside the bulb that creates the light which illuminates our world.  The surfer is nothing without the wave, the pilot nothing without the onrush of air; and the greatest fighter in the world is but a dancer if deprived of an Opponent.

Creating things of worth and sharing them with others in order to elevate the world is one of the ways that I have chosen to justify my small part of the life that we all share in this fragile, chaotic, and beautiful dance of existence.

It is a good war.

It is my war

What’s yours? ;-)


My name is James Radcliffe and I am a 100% audience supported independent artist.

I put almost every waking hour of my life into what I do.  If you find any worth or value in this post, my writing, or my music please consider supporting my mission by purchasing some of my music or spoken word recordings.  You’ll get some beautiful art, you can choose the amount you’d like to pay, and 10% of each purchase goes straight to a worthy charity.  Every single sale makes a difference in my world and allows me to carry on making things like this.

You can also support me by Spreading the Word.

Reblogging, retweeting, and posting links to what I do on your: Blog, Twitter, Facebook, etc really helps me out.  Since I started making art publicly my audience has grown, not because of any mainstream press coverage, but mostly due to grassroots word-of-mouth recommendations from awesome folk like you.

You guys are the reason I do what I do.  You are my people and we are in this together.  Any victory on my part is a shared victory in my opinion, so let’s shake the very foundations and make something world-sized and worth celebrating, together.

I truly hope you are well.  Best wishes, and great big man-sized love.

J


P.S. I am a big fan of the comments section and the conversations that spring up there.  If you have any thoughts, questions, or just want to chat – hit me up using the box just below and let’s get to it.

187 thoughts on “ This Is My War ”

  1. I have found it isn’t so much the boring grind as much as it is how we think about the boring grind. That’s how we can whistle while cleaning a toliet, dance as we dust, hum our favorite tunes when we do the boring. But most of all, we can thank God we have the ability to do the mundane, the boring, the muscle work. Our battles are with our thoughts, not our work.

    Blessings

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent! My war is pushing up against the resistance and fighting it. Yesterday we had a winter solstice fire ceremony and I surrendered. It’s just so much easier to surrender than to keep fighting; that’s exhausting. Someone asked the Dali Lama why doesn’t he get angry and upset with the chinese, and his answer was bc it feels better not to.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a cool answer. But he is a dude ;-)
      Thanks a lot, Ms Halpin, I am really glad you liked it.
      Winter solstice sounds like fun – tonight I am going to something called the ‘Street of Light’ in Edinburgh which also looks pretty cool.
      Have a great time, speak soon,
      – J

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You sound an awful lot like myself. I spent many years playing music. Piano bars, bands,dragging my kids around the country, teaching, writing music etc. I can’t do that anymore. My health got the best of me. Oh well. That’s life. But . . . then I entered my most creative phase because I stopped trying so hard. It is just my piano and me -all improvised. Just a physical form of my emotions. You can hear it on Jamie’s blog. There is a link at the top. I write a lot for him or you can hear what I think is the best on sound cloud. I, too, have to plug me and my blogs. I write poetry to some of the music on the blog posts. And . .,. I’m writing a book. oh wow – the hours! I understand what you mean by the hours of work, and here I thought I was retired. 3:33 am but I’ll be back in the am ( late am) and find your work. Good night.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey there,
      Sorry to hear about your health – one of the coolest things about music and writing is that you can take them anywhere tho, I am really glad that you are still keeping at it – well done you.
      It sounds as if you are keeping yourself plenty busy enough. Thanks for taking the time to write to me, keep up the good work, and speak soon,
      Big hug,
      – J

      Like

      1. You can look at everything as either a positive our a negative. We’ll all have health issues and the last thing well end us. It is what we learn about ourselves through the ride. The fact that I’m alive is amazing. It taught me appreciation and also – do what makes YOU happy, and that will make the people around you happy. If it doesn’t . . . You can’t change them. I have family who have never heard my music – ever – yet one sister told me recently “I know you play good.” I said, “How?” I sent her links she never responded too. There comes I time when I feel I should give up on these people. Some people can’t understand when they don’t have anything of importance in their own life.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Yes, it is, but I’ve realized recently I have to stop expecting people to even desire to understand what I’m doing, or even desire to listen to what I’m doing and those are usually the people closest to you, who you think it would matter to, so I have to stop beating myself up. It’s like wanting people to love you when they have no idea what that means.But it gives me the fire to keep writing, so maybe that is what I should appreciate.

            Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ll be at my desk tomorrow doing some showing up myself. Grad school has kept me so busy, I’ve not had the time needed for doing deep creative work. So glad for the break now. I can meditate and write for hours. Yey.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love your metaphors about the creative process. I am always trying new ways to share insight into the sometimes-slog that is making something where there was nothing before. I’m a theatre teacher and director (and writer sometimes), and love to share the journey with my students especially. Your fighter/dancer thought is beautiful. Thank you! -HM. p.s. Another great Creative Process example is in the new children’s book ‘The Most Magnificent Thing.’ Just in case you like kids’ books. *smile*

    Liked by 1 person

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