The wheels came off my writing last week. Simple as that.
I’d been making good progress on my manuscript. I’d been working every day, letting the story flow through me, not looking back. And – miracle of miracles – I’d avoided falling into the trap of reviewing what I wrote (and thus, wanting to revise). I was successful in pushing myself forward, just putting down on paper whatever came to mind.
But then I stopped.
There’d been no emergencies, no hiccups in the daily routine, no emotional upheavals.
I just stopped.
At that moment, I recognized it for what it was: Resistance.
But while I looked Resistance in the face and acknowledged it, I did little to stop it. I basically let Resistance barge its way in, like a relative who arrives to spend one night and ends up taking ownership of the house.
How many times have I read about Resistance in Steven Pressfield’s wonderful book, The War of Art?
How much do I need to study it before conquering the bastard?
Here’s the secret: the bastard will never, ever, go away. One can only defeat Resistance on a day-by-day basis.
As is sometimes the case with Mr. Pressfield’s teachings, I somehow needed to hear that come out of his mouth rather than read it in print.
Mr. P. was the guest on last Sunday’s “Super Soul Sunday” program on OWN, Oprah Winfrey’s TV network. She and Mr. P. sat in the shade of a pepper tree on her farm in Maui, where they talked about several concepts from The War of Art.
I would have appreciated the interview more if Oprah hadn’t interrupted Mr. P. so often (a trait that niggles my annoyance button), but we still got a few of his powerful, practical nuggets of wisdom for breaking through Resistance.
Resistance is the gravity that presses down on us, keeping us from reaching our higher, more noble self. Think of Resistance as a wall that has been constructed to block your way each time you try to rise up out of yourself to achieve a new level of creativity.
Resistance is strengthened by the molecules of Ego. Remove Ego from the equation and that wall called Resistance becomes much more porous and easy to slip through.
The interview is worth watching in its entirety; you’ll find it here.
I wish that Steven Pressfield had his own television show. There is too much “inspiration-driven” content out there that dissolves into the ether the moment a program ends. Mr. P. is a natural teacher and is a breath of fresh air, with practical, no-nonsense, “get your ass in the chair and do it” advice. It’s the wisdom that most of us need to help us get out of our own way and make a difference in this brief lifetime.
My novel is waiting. Time for me to tell my Ego to take a hike and say hello to my higher, Nobler Self.
Today, I will beat Resistance. Today, I will be a Professional.
Today, I will write.