The opposite of resistance is insistence

Overcoming resistance to writing requires more effort initially than it does later on, particularly if you build a writing habit and get into the swing of doing it every day without question, like brushing your teeth.

Before that — and sometimes even after you have a writing habit in place — one of your best tools for fighting resistance is insistence.

I suppose it’s a kind of willpower but I think of it more as a blazing piece of magic and determination that tells resistance: “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!”

Insistence means drawing a line in the sand and saying, “I WILL write today!” even if that looks like aiming for your rock bottom minimum of fifteen minutes or 350 words or whatever you’ve identified as your “no matter what”.

Insistence doesn’t have to be a ruthless warrior either. She can also be a gentle goddess, coaxing you to the page, kindly insisting that yes, indeed, you can write today, even just for five minutes. She’s the one that helps you set the timer and get the file open and start typing.

There are days when insisting that I write feels exhausting, like one more thing to do on my overly full plate. But there’s a deeper part of me that feels relieved and satisfied when I show up and do it.

Release the joy

I believe that writing is a calling. Something we can’t not do. It doesn’t come easy for all writers. For many of us, resistance is so overpowering that we begin to believe perhaps we just don’t care enough about writing to actually do it.

Here’s the thing. Where there is resistance, there also is passion, secret joy, energy, enthusiasm, and delight just waiting to burst out, to be freed from its prison.

You are the one with the power to release it.

Gently insisting that you will write today, even just a little bit, begins to break down the dam that holds back all that joy.

Is writing always joyful?

Will you feel joyful while you write?

Maybe not.

Perhaps it’s the pessimistic side of me but I often feel more like a terrified deep sea diver putting on her scuba gear when I sit down at my desk to write. And while I’m underwater I focus on doing the work, as if the sharks and other unseen terrors might be show up at any time. And it’s hard work too, extracting ores and hauling buried treasures back to the surface. It’s only once I’ve returned to the surface, pulled off my gear, and taken a breath of fresh air that the relief and joy erupts through me.

I’m okay with that. But sometimes, I need a little insistence to help me get past the fear of facing all that hard work. :)

 

What about you? How does insistence help you show up and do the work?

 

What about doing things just for the joy of it?

Last week I wrote about protecting ourselves from our dreams.

I want to continue the conversation around the notion of doing things just for the joy of them, even if they don’t “happen” the way we want them too.

This is a tough one for me.

I love to dream big and see the possibilities that can be available to us — to imagine things reaching the outcome I want them to have.

And yet, like we talked about last week, what if we don’t get those outcomes? Does that mean we’ve failed? Or that our dreams weren’t worth pursuing?

I don’t think so, though I have to admit I would be disappointed if I never sold a book or a screenplay.

But.

But, but, but.

What if I loved writing so much that I wanted to do it anyway, no matter what the outcome?

We’re always told that we should focus on the things we love so much that we’d do them for free, right?

I think there is powerful truth in that, but I have to confess that I’ve never really believed it up until now. And even today, on a day when writing has been much harder for me than I would like, I can tell you that I love it. And I would do it for free, without guarantee of outcome or success.

That’s a huge step for me. To acknowledge the joy of doing something so much that it doesn’t matter what happens with it.

Doesn’t mean I won’t try.

Doesn’t mean I won’t feel disappointed if it doesn’t “happen” the way I imagine.

But it does mean that I intend to enjoy it every step of the way.

Your Turn

What about you? What do love to do just for the joy of it? What have you been secretly longing to try that you suspect you might find that kind of joy in?

Tell us about it.

Warmly,

 Jenna

 

Coming Attractions

~> March 19th, 2012. The next session of my Writer’s Circle starts. Get my Free Writing Tips series too, and receive a coupon for a savings on your first 4 week session. Sign up here.

~> March 29th, 2012. My next Life Purpose Breakthrough Group. Details coming soon! One spot is already taken so if you’d like to nab one, email us now.

 

What I'm Up To

~> Ongoing. Writing in the ProSeries class at ScreenwritingU, which was recently named the #1 screenwriting class by InkTip. They’re offering a free class called, “21 Steps to a Professional Rewrite” this Sunday if you’re interested. Details. It’s a great class that provides a ton of value for screenwriters and may be helpful for novelists too.

~> Daily and especially Fridays. Sacred writing time. The Do Not Disturb sign is up.

~> Still haven’t watched Super Eight but squeezed in Cowboys & Aliens over the weekend. It wasn’t QUITE what I was hoping for but still fun to see.