Looking back, I see this guy sitting in front of his old laptop, the face hidden in his sweaty palms, desperately seeking strength to break his inner monster.
He gets up, stretches and groans, and paces around like a tiger in a cage before falling flat on the couch, overwhelmed and beaten by handwritten notes, an unstructured word document, and a fuming mind.
This is my story of writing The Little Book of Stoicism
For months, I’ve been reading and writing about Stoicism. I was hooked by this timeless philosophy that taught me how to deal more effectively with life’s challenges.
But the challenge of writing a book? That was a hurdle mean as Kilimanjaro. Rocky, icy, and endlessly high. What to include in the book? How to structure? How to name it? How to bake marketing into it?
Turned out, these struggles were just the beginning. The amateur opponents if you will. A series of end bosses were waiting right behind. Far stronger, meaner, nastier. The inner monster you need to break. Not like a horse, more like a firedrake as wild as you can imagine, with razor-sharp teeth, wings like a sail, and the breath of the dead.
In the morning, you get up fully motivated with a simple intention: Work on the book.
After a short morning routine, you sit down at the perfectly prepared desk, ready to write. All of a sudden, you get slapped left and right followed by a combo of kicks and punches. You get up and change place, scratch your head, lick your wounds, and can’t believe you’re in this bloody situation again.
Because you were in the exact same place the previous morning, and the ones before. That’s why you planned and prepared better this time. And yet, you’re here scratching your head again.
After the first blow and a short pep talk – “You can do this!” – you get up, dust yourself off, and try again.
I’m laughing now. Because I broke my inner firedrake and managed to finish a quality book.
The keys to success?
Grit. Perseverance. The willingness to fight and keep on going. Even on your knees. Never giving up.
And knowing that the inner battle is in the normal order of things. The biggest struggle isn’t in the content, it’s in you, the writer.
This is why I’m sharing this story. Knowing and accepting that you have to fight your inner monster is the first step to salvation.
Everybody is struggling. The best authors in the world went through unbearable pain to get where they are now.
“What is to give light, must endure burning.” As Viktor Frankl famously said.
I hope this short story gives you the strength you need to face and overcome your inner monster. You cannot go around, you must go through.
Written by Jonas Salzgeber
About the Author:
Jonas Salzgeber is the author of The Little Book of Stoicism and blogs for a small army of remarkable people at njlifehacks.com. He’s an expert in Stoic philosophy and passionate about self-made dark chocolate and buttered coffee with collagen.
The Little Book of Stoicism: https://www.njlifehacks.com/the-little-book-of-stoicism/
PDF free sample from the book: https://s3.amazonaws.com/njlifehacks/The+Little+Book+of+Stoicism+-+Free+Sample+Practices.pdf