In Steven Pressfield’s famous book “War of Art”, resistance is the common enemy of the artist and writer. It makes you sleepy. It tells you to skip the work for today or not go to the gym (Yes, resistance is the enemy to your body.) If you ever feel it, here’s what you do. Call in your personal superhero.
If you need to sit down and write that essay, the chapter of your book, or a blog post – like this – resistance will tell you to sit on your butt and surf the net. It will tell you to daydream or focus on what you’re going to do tonight. It will beat you up every time you succumb, leaving you unproductive and making you feel like you just ate a bucket of fried chicken – sluggish and ready to hate yourself. Don’t let this happen. Teleport your own inner Captain America.
Today is one of those days for me. All week, and earlier today, I was revved up, getting my words into gear, studying and researching while keeping my eyes on the prize. Yet, now I’m burned to the core. Ready for a nap, drinking coffee in the late afternoon so I can go to the gym and at least use the elliptical. (No spin for me – not until I get my bike shoes.)
I’ve done a little work. For instance, I’ve researched the writer’s market. I’ve added more names to an email list I’m devising – so I can connect with like minded writers who can give me the low down on how they conduct their business so I can gather wisdom from the wise.
Meanwhile, I have actual office work to do – expense reports, travel plans for my bosses. It will get done. It always does.
But I’m run down today, folks. The writing was sparse. It happens. Best not beat myself up about it (nor you – if you’re going through the same struggle).
Nevertheless, here is an example of showing up. My inside Wonder Woman just got really pissed off at being held in a closet with duct tape and a scarf around her mouth. She just took the hard end of her boot and kicked down the door. I decided it felt better to get online and blog something – anything – then to dwell in the darkness and not do it at all.
You over there. Conjure up your Spiderman and scale the walls toward your Word document and write the thoughts drifting in your head. You’re wrapping old man “resistance” in your web, flinging the middle finger at his face. Tell that sucker – okay – I may not get the most done today, but I’m showing up. I’m writing the blog post. I’m adding a paragraph to a chapter in that book.
And you know what, old man resistance? I’m coming back for you tomorrow. Watch out for my tapping fingers and my productive brain. Look out for my bon mots or lousy first draft thoughts, soon to be honed into a usable piece of work. Screw you. You may rule today, but you won’t get the holy grail of my dead mind.
I’ve got my Terminator eye on you. You are in my crosshairs, dusty devil.
I will be back.