It wasn’t until I sat down to write when I found out that my greatest enemy aside from myself is what Steven Pressfield calls Resistance. (Yes, with the capital R.)
Writers call it writer’s block, but I don’t believe it exists; it is just an invention of one’s laziness and procrastination. Writer’s block is an excuse to escape writing. I believe there exists something fiercer and stronger than writer’s block, and unless you remain ignorant of what it can do, you’ll find yourself frustrated, confused, and engrossed with its deception that prolongs your procrastination.
I am currently re-reading (for the second time) Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art, and I would like to share these nugget truths from the book to help you on your writing stint and other nobler aims.
“There’s a secret that real writers know that wannabe writers don’t, and the secret is this: It’s not the writing part that’s hard. What’s hard is sitting down to write.” What keeps us from sitting down is Resistance.”
As a writer, there are days when I don’t feel like writing. However, I don’t consider such phenomenon as writer’s block because it only involves my emotions, and as far as I know, emotions are naturally fleeting.
However, Resistance is a different story. It exists and lasts for a long time as long as you allow it.
It’s invisible, internal, and insidious, as Pressfield puts it. It’s not about the congested ideas in your head that stops you from writing on that blank page. Unconsciously, you succumb to Resistance’s while by allowing your mind to think of other things, then you start making excuses in your head, justifying your “shoulda-woulda-coulda” list until you leave your desk. It keeps you from sitting down.
Resistance keeps you from starting a nobler act. It paralyzes you to achieve desired goals and dreams. For writers, I’ve realized that to overcome Resistance they must remain seated. Be seated, be on guard, and type the first letter. That’s exactly what I’m doing as I type this post.
Mind you, its dominion governs one’s existence and pursuit of transcendence.
Here’s what Pressfield’s Resistance Greatest Hits:
- The pursuit of any calling in writing, painting, music, film, dance, or any creative art, however, marginal or unconventional.
- The launching of an entrepreneurial venture or enterprise, for profit or otherwise.
- Any diet or health regimen.
- Any program of spiritual advancement.
- Any activity whose aim is to tighter abdominals.
- Any course or program designed to overcome an unwholesome habit or addiction.
- Education of every kind.
- Any act of political, moral, or ethical courage, including the decision to change for the better some unworthy pattern of thought or conduct in ourselves.
- The undertaking of any enterprise or endeavor whose aim is to help others.
- Any act that entails commitment of the heart, the decision to get married, to have a child, to weather a rocky patch in a relationship.
- The taking of any principled stand in the face of adversity.
I bet you experience Resistance one way or another. Now tell me, which among the 11 hits have “hit” you badly from the past?
[Photo credit: Creative Commons/SBT4NOW]