Resistance is Insidious
“Resistance is insidious,” said Steven Pressfield in the opening section of The War of Art. I started reading it yesterday because I felt this calling to it. You know when a certain book title, or TV show or movie comes up again and again. For me, it usually happens within several unrelated parts of my life. It’s like that particular book or speaker is trying to get my attention. I’ve learned to be more responsive to those signs because so far, they’ve never failed me and I find something I needed there.
I was reading the beginning which really lays out his definition of resistance and some of its characteristics. I found it fascinating but I was definitely reading it with distance. It felt like something useful for other people.
After all, I started a novel last week and I’ve been faithful to my word count goals. I’ve rolled out of bed consistently at 4:30 am to write my 2,500 words, Monday through Thursday. Resistance doesn’t live in this house anymore! I started a vlog. I’ve committed to posting on my blog. I’ve played around with creating a website for my author identity. I’ve investigated editors and interacted with them. Resistance may be a struggle for some but not me right now.
Sure. That was a fun story I told myself.
Then, I woke up this morning struggling with tiredness because I didn’t sleep well. I had these disturbing dreams that had these themes of danger on roadways. The odd thing was that the other people in my dreams seemed unaware of the danger that seemed so obvious to me. But I wrote my 2,500 words which always feels good.
I continued my morning and wrote my morning pages and had my big realization! Resistance certainly does live here. I reflected on how another aspect of my editor search has been this sense of urgency and obsession I’ve felt around it. I imagined interacting with one of these potential editors and the script I wrote in my head had me apologizing for my work. I also imagined that she would find it to be mediocre and I’d have to start editing while writing new pages. Overall, I felt anxious and apologetic.
Yuck, right? Especially because i created that. I haven’t finished my first draft. There is no urgency around securing an editor’s services. I hadn’t even shared my work so why was I apologizing for it? Why did I assume it would be found mediocre? That, my friends, is resistance.
So, I have stopped my furious editor search. I have asked myself to take it easy. I am changing my focus to being kind and encouraging to myself. My only job right now is to write a kickass novel that I would want to read. Period. There is no other pressure or urgency. No one is judging it and if somehow they were, who the hell cares! And to resistance I say: you need to move the hell on to someone who doesn’t have the guardian angels I have! They let me know you were roaming around and they took care of your insidious ass!