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Battling Resistance

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My last blog was about distractions, so the irony that I haven’t written another one since has not escaped me. I could list all the reasons I haven’t blogged, catalog all the valid excuses that have kept me away from my keyboard, but that’s all they are: excuses.

The real reason is much more insidious and harder to admit. I’ve had a major attack of the Doubt Gremlins, those sinister voices in my head that ask me what I think I’m doing calling myself a writer, that remind me of all the times I’ve failed before and that quietly question who I think I am, that others should care at all what I have to say.

Sadly, the Doubt Gremlins never travel alone and they don’t travel light. They sneak in during the dead of night, bringing their evil friends procrastination, perfectionism
and self-doubt with them.

This time, I didn’t see them coming, so their full frontal attack caught me off guard and I didn’t fight back as I should have. Not right at first.

But then two things happened, related things that helped me take up my sword and get back into the battle.

The first is a series by writer and blogger Jeff Goins called, 15 Habits of Great Writers. His daily blogs, delivered to my inbox, spotlighted the enemy and gave me practical,hands-on, doable tasks to root out the Gremlins.

Jeff’s blog reminded me of a great book every writer needs in his or her tool kit: The War of Art by Steven Pressfield (affiliate link). I’m rereading it and it kicks butt, every time.

Pressfield puts the doubt gremlins and all their evil friends into one category. He calls them “Resistance.” He says Resistance is the force we have to battle every single day so we can do the work we’re called to do.

Excuses won’t get the work done. A perfect office or that elusive perfect sentence won’t get it done.

No, the battle has to be won every single day. It starts with a simple commitment to one thing and one thing only: Do the work. Sit your butt down and do something.

With baby steps, I’ve bee endeavoring to get back in the game. My sword still feels like so much dead weight, but I am swinging it anyway. Take that procrastination. I’m writing. So there, self-doubt, I’m publishing my blog anyway. Even if it’s not perfect.

I am doing the work–the work only I can do. And every time I do it, I get a little bit stronger.

How’s your battle against Resistance going this week?

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    The Conversation

  1. Carrie Destler says:

    Excellent article! Thankyou for putting in writing what most writers feel at one time or another. It is a constant struggle to come up with that perfect scene, sentence or sometimes just a word. If you want something badly enough, then persistance is the key. Just one word at a time and eventually we’ll get there 🙂

  2. Kristal Lee says:

    Hi Connie,
    Thanks for sharing. I’ve been battling the procrastination bug. Will check out Jeff’s blog and put Stephen’s book on my TBR list.
    Have a productive day!
    ~K.

  3. Beth Trissel says:

    Hello Connie. Great post. I hear you, and today you have inspired me to write the first line of my new historical. 🙂 Thanks.

  4. This post is so timely for me, Connie. I just turned in edits for my newest contracted novella last week and planned to start writing the first draft of the book I plotted out. But I didn’t write a word this past week. I did manage to put up three blog posts though, so that’s something.

    Thanks for the inspiration. I hope to get started on that new book sometime this coming week.

    • Connie Mann says:

      You’re so welcome, Susan. Sometime, just starting is the hardest part. Start with just one paragraph. For me, that usually leads to the next one. Wishing you good progress this week!

  5. Thanks for this. I have been battling resistance for the past month, and I’m stalled out on page 54. I’ve even scheduled a retreat to get myself back in gear, but haven’t put another word to paper.

    Today I will write …something…and see what happens.

    Promise!

    Funny how things happen when you need them. I think it’s called serendipity.

  6. Kathy Harris says:

    Very well said, Connie!