NaNoWriMo 2018: Resist!

Resist!

Do you have “writer’s block?” Do you find you’ve lost hours and hours to Pinterest or Facebook when you should have been writing? Do you wander the house doing chores like, dusting the crown moulding? Cause that couldn’t wait another minute, eh? If so, I’d like to introduce you to your nemesis…

RESISTANCE!

Four years ago I wrote a post about this very subject. Resistance is the theme of Steven Pressfield’s seminal work, The War of Art. If you haven’t read it… it is a powerful treatise on identifying and fighting resistance.

I like Steven. He is warm, and generous and reminds me of Joe Biden, often wise, sometimes funny, and once in awhile he comes across like your wacky old uncle Joe…read my resistance post here.

Remember, our enemy is not the lack of preparation: it’s not the difficulty of the project or the state of the marketplace or the emptiness of your bank account.

The enemy is Resistance.

The enemy is our chattering brain, which if we give it so much as a nanosecond, will start producing excuses, alibis, transparent self- justifications, and a million reasons why we can’t/shouldn’t/won’t do what we know we need to do.”

Steven Pressfield from Do the Work

What I’d like most for you to know is that you can work through resistance. You just need to show up and do the work, no matter what, no excuse. Put your butt in the chair and produce something, anything. That’s where NaNoWriMo comes in, 50 thousand words in 30 days leaves no room for doubt, or time for resistance,

Writing is like any other skill. You need to practice. It needs to become a habit to build upon your previous work. You wouldn’t expect to sit down at a piano for the first time, or hundredth time, and expect to be a master of it would you? Even when you do reach mastery, you never stop practicing. Right?

Whatever level you are at, whether it is the first time you’re putting pen to paper, or you are on your tenth novel, the process is the same. Write. Write some more. Do it again tomorrow.

There you go. What stops you from accomplishing your writing goals is resistance. What stops resistance is doing the work.

“Resistance is always lying and always full of shit.”

Steven Pressfield

Resources:

Joanna Penn interviewing Steve Pressfield

Steven Pressfield’s archive of articles about Resistance

 

 

Wednesday Woo: Resistance

Resistance: the refusal to accept or comply with something. That something for us is the need to write. It’s when fear, self-doubt and lack of clarity fight with your intentions.  You set goals, you make a schedule, but you don’t actually show up to do the job…that is resistance.

Rather than try to examine all the reasons why we resist accomplishing goals let’s concentrate on overcoming and moving past resistance.

Many of you have likely heard of Steven Pressfield’s book The War of Art. It generally has good reviews though some question his peculiar analogies and suppositions. In particular his assertion of why Hitler went to war rather than become an artist is kinda screwy, but I understood what he was getting at. If you can get past those wacky ideas, it’s, a quick, easy read full of ideas that may help you fight back against your inner naysayer.

Another worthy read on his website, –Resistance is Not Us by Steven Pressfield

One of my favorite self-help books is Standing at Water’s Edge: Moving Past Fear, Blocks and Pitfalls to Discover the Power of Creative Immersion. I read this when I began writing in earnest. One of the strongest ideas I took from this book is how important support is while you pursue a creative endeavor. Anne Paris’s website.

Eric Maisel is one of the best known creativity coaches out there. I’ve read and like many of his books, though some may be more relevant others. In particular I enjoyed and found helpful, Toxic Criticism, Deep Writing, and Brainstorm.

If anybody has a particular issue of resistance you need help with, post in the comments.