In his book, The Obstacle Is The Way, Ryan Holiday writes, “The obstacle in the path becomes the path. Never forget, within every obstacle is an opportunity to improve our condition.”
The same goes for the creative process.
I have found this within my own writing practice and within the writing practices of other artists. Time and time again, what feels like an individual challenge turns out to be a collective one.
Overcoming an obstacle serves not just the artist but also their community.
This is true of Julia Cameron who, frustrated by the ways she got in her own way as a writer, developed The Artist’s Way to help other creatives get unstuck and back to making their art.
This is true of Christin Lee who, frustrated with a lack of workspaces that she enjoyed writing in, founded Room Project.
This is true of myself who, frustrated with the way my money stress prevented me from being able to show up and write, decided to focus my coaching practice on helping creatives build financial stability.
This is true of countless other writers, artists, and creatives that I have read about and talked to.
Sometimes, the obstacle isn’t in the way of your work, it is your work.
Of course, the challenges you’re facing probably won’t be your only work. As much as I love helping writers rewrite their money stories, I still want to have time to do my own writing. That is also important.
This can be “both and” work.
And I am curious to know if by focusing on your artistic obstacles, you are more able to do the original work you set out to do in the end.
So, what’s in the way of you doing your best work?