Tag Archives: resistance

Resistance is Futile: And other writing myths

Moonday Mania

a blog for the readers and writers

I’ts hot! And to keep my mind off of the heat this summer, I’ve been blogging on the five top things I’ve learned writing romance. Today we’re on number four: There is such thing as resistance.

  1. As soon as I think I’m on a writing roll, life will intervene.
  2. The plot can be thought out in advance, but the characters are bound to have issues with whatever you’ve decided. So be flexible and roll with it.
  3. There is no such thing as the muse.
  4. There is such a thing as resistance.
  5. Writing is a muscle. Use it, or lose it.

Now on with today’s blog:

Resistance Exists

A few years ago someone gave me the fabulous book on resistance The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles, by Stephen Pressfield. It introduced me to the concept of resistance: the idea that once you decide to do something creative you immediately create roadblocks for yourself.

Now, I’m not going to go into all of that here, you should read the book. It’s truly a classic for any creative trying to achieve anything. Basically, we all throw up roadblocks when we want to succeed at any endeavor and Stephen Pressfield labels this “resistance”.

I can see this all the time, especially in my teenagers. The classic line at our house from our kids is: “The problem is…” and then they’ll list the reasons why whatever solution we’ve come up with is not going to work. Or just plain wrong.

But it’s not just the kids, it’s me too!

Whenever I face something difficult, it happens to me too. When I try to make time to get back to writing my book I find myself saying, “I’d get that done, but the problem is…” And what’s bad is that the problems are legitimate. I do have too many important things to do. Cleaning the house, cooking quality food, exercising—all of that is important. And taking care of family emergencies is super important and with two aging parents and two maturing new adults there are a lot of family emergencies.

Or, maybe it’s legitimate work that is book related, but not actually writing. Because you see, there are always tons of things to do that are not writing paranormal romance, but are very important. Like blogging!

The fact is: I’m not lying to myself, or to my spouse, or even to the world in general, there are reasons why I should not be doing any creative work. And they are all legitimate. But without the writing, there are no books.

Woah! Then how does anything get done?

If you let life intervene, nothing else gets done. That’s the simple truth. If I let all my excuses, valid or not, keep me from writing. And I want to write books, don’t I?

The real question behind resistance is not: are your excuses are valid? It’s: how badly do you want to create, or succeed, or take risks?

And the real answer is: How willing are you to face your fears?

Because that’s what it really comes down to. Legitimate or not, all those excuses are just excuses—reasons why we are not doing what we set out to do because, for whatever reason, we’re afraid. How do I know that my family issues, cooking, cleaning, whatever… are only roadblocks and not reasons I can’t write? Because I’ve seen other people do it. People with full time jobs, five kids (one of whom has a disability), and just as dirty houses write books. And some of them write way more than I do.

Excuses are resistance. They are my way of avoiding what I’m afraid of. Now, what exactly is that? Well, that’s another blog topic all together. Or therapy session. LOL!

How do I overcome resistance?

Back to Stephen Pressfield’s book, THE WAR OF ART. You have to do it every day. So that’s my challenge. I struggle with writing new fiction words on a daily, sometimes even weekly basis. Because real life interferes, and I let it. Stephen says you have to face resistance every day, and that’s the real war of art.

“Do. Or do not. There is no try.” Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back

I’m always saying, I’ll try to do this. But I need to apply my inner Yoda and just do.

What are you not doing? What are you avoiding in your life, creative or otherwise, that is a form of resistance? Have you read THE WAR OF ART? Have you tried, ahem, done the work? How did it work out?

Tune in next week for topic number five: Writing is a muscle, use it or lose it

***

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s newsletter and get your link to download your exclusive FREE book, please click HERE.

Rogue Enforcer by jessica aspen

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Overcoming Resistance

Moonday Mania

a blog for the procrastinator in all of us

“Resistance is futile.” That’s what the Borg say. It’s one of Star Trek’s most famous lines. And usually we’re on the side of the resistors, the rebels, the fighters, the good guys. But when we talk about resistance in ourselves we need to become the Borg—we need to target resistance and root it out.

Resistance for a writer comes in many forms, but mostly it’s how and why we procrastinate doing something we love to do, write. Everyone has resistance. I see it in my kids when they have something they aren’t confident of doing. I have it myself every time I have to make a doctor’s appointment. I don’t know why, but I don’t like making doctor’s appointments.

So I wait…

I put it off…

That’s resistance.

But how do we overcome it? How do we stop procrastinating?

boulder flatirons chataqua park

Climb those mountains of resistance.

In June I attended my Colorado Romance Writer’s chapter meeting and our workshop was put on by author Sandra Kerns. Sandra is my guest this week on Whimsical Wednesdays, so be sure to hop back over here and check out her blog telling you all about the cool research she had to do for her latest romantic suspense, Her Master Diver.

This is the description we had for the meeting. Now I grew up in Boulder, Colorado. If you needed motivation, affirmations, or your karma hijacked, that was the place to find out information. But I checked out the blurb:

“All the World is a Story – Tell Yours with Confidence.”

This is not your average talk about the advantages of critique groups/writing organizations/contests, etc. Here Sandra will share, and ask you share in return, issues that stop writers dead in their tracks and pull them away from their writing.

Writer’s need creative and affirming ways to stay motivated, in their seats, and doing what they love – aka writing! Sandra will offer ways she’s found that work for her – and others – to overcome issues we writers face every day.

I didn’t know if I’d get something out of it, but boy was it timely for me. If you’ve been reading my blogs lately, you’ll know I’m mired deeply into resistance. (You can read about it HERE and HERE.) Sandra had a terrific workshop based on using affirmations to get out of our writing issues.

Now, like I said, I grew up in Boulder and I knew all about affirmations, but I never thought to apply it this tightly to my writing. See, fellow touchy-feeley people, sometimes the universe sends you what you need when you need it. And this was it for me.

So I’ve started using affirmations to get me back on track. Here’s an example. Using Sandra’s technique I chose one issue I have been struggling with: that I don’t think I have time to write. Then I phrased it in a positive manner. “I have plenty of time to write every day.” Now I post this in a prominent place in my house (Sandra suggested the bathroom mirror) and repeat it three times every day.

That’s it. That’s how affirmations work.

And it is working.

I’ve revisited what’s slowing me down in my writing. For me, I know it’s managing my time (see last weeks post on Fall Resolutions) but it’s also doing the right things with the extra time I have. For instance, I’m writing this blog at 4am. I couldn’t sleep. I could be reading a book, or searching the internet for the latest gizmo to buy, but here I am working on my blog. If I’m not sleeping, I might as well be putting the time to good use.

Should I be writing on my latest fantasy romance? Maybe. But I don’t want a project that won’t let me get back to sleep once I’m tired. So I’m writing the blog now and this will give me more time later in the week to work on what I really need to be writing…the book.

How do you overcome resistance? Have you tried affirmations? They work for so many amazing things, not just writing, that I’ve used them to overcome many things in my life. What would you like to tackle in your life?

If you want to read about my issues with my writing goals lately you can click HERE and read the first post in this series.

If you want to read more about resistance and what it is then click HERE and read the second post in this series.

To find out about what I’m doing about my goals click HERE and read all about my Fall Resolutions.

If you want to know when my next book, Broken Mirror, A Fantasy Romance of the Black Court, comes out and be eligible for special offers then sign up for my New Release Mailing List HERE

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at https://jessicaaspen.com/what-hot-new-story-is-jessica-working-on/

 Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

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Recognizing Resistance

Moonday Mania

a blog for those of us who get off track

Hello! Last Moonday Mania I told you how badly I needed to reorganize my writing life. How I’d life and work had pushed me off track. And I promised this week to tell you how I’ve gotten back on the writing track. If you missed that post, you can check it out HERE.

the war of art by steven pressfieldIt hasn’t been easy. Like everyone else I let things distract me. Work. Kids. Life. But the worst distraction is resistance. If you’ve read The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, you know what I’m talking about. (I did a post on The War of Art a few years ago, HERE) Resistance is that thing you do to yourself whenever you come up with excuses why you shouldn’t be working.

Here are some of my latest:

  1. My family, house, parents need me.
  2. I don’t have enough time to do a good job.
  3. I need to be by myself, at my special spot, with my particular cup of deliciousness…and the sun needs to be just right.

Some of that is true. Okay, it’s all true some of the time, but some of these things are just roadblocks I put up so that I don’t sit down at the computer and work. And the way I normally get around these roadblocks is that I have a schedule. Here’s my typical week-day schedule before the new job and when the kids are in school.

  • 5am -Get up, make coffee, sit at computer and try to wake up while dealing with emails and social media
  • 7am-Get dressed, make husband lunch, eat breakfast
  • 8am-10 walk dog, take shower, get small things done around house.
  • 10am-3pm write (This includes my 45 minutes on computer and 15 minute breaks to move around, as well as a break for lunch)

After that, kids get home and I change gears. This has been a terrific schedule for me. I get a lot of writing done and I am able to exercise, pay attention to my kids and the dog, and I have the afternoon for doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping, or whatever I need to do.

But now I’m working in the mornings. And the kids are home for the summer. And it’s all gone to hell.

Do I have reasonable excuses for not getting the writing done? Yes, I do. I’m a smart person and I want to write. But writing is hard. It’s full of self-doubt and editing and those moments where I stare at the screen and think “What in the world comes next?”

Writing, for me, is best done between 10 and 3, by myself, at my tiny portable TV table in front of my back window where I can see nature and the sky and no one bothers me because the house is empty.

But that’s not my reality this summer.

Reality is two crabby teen-agers who get moving right around the time I want to get to work. Who ask me questions and make noise and want me to drive them places. Reality is the job that I’ve taken on that gets me home most days around noon, so I have to have lunch and time to recover. Right? And at that point it’s nearly 1pm and I’m tired and don’t want to start working at the book. Besides, the dog missed her walk and I have things to do.

You get the point.

My job isn’t that hard, and it’s not full-time. I have plenty of time and energy when I get home.

My kids are big, they can fend for themselves.

My things to do can all be reshuffled. Including the dog.

So, the first thing you need to do to resist resistance is to recognize it. Recognize that my objections are not insurmountable. I have time. I have hours in the afternoon. I have a way to get the dog walked, the house cleaned, and the teen-agers entertained. It’s called: get them to do the work. Get them out of the house, or get me out of the house. That only leaves me with one excuse.

Me.

After I come home from work I don’t want to start writing so I come up with all kinds of reasons not to. But they are all just excuses. So how do I get around my resistance once I’ve recognized it?

Next week I’ll let you in on my resistance secret. The way that I have encouraged myself to stop sandbagging and to get back to writing.

Oh, and Camp NaNoWriMo starts July 1st! I’ll be majorly writing then and you can join me! I’ll have some details on Camp NaNo next week as well.

Do you have resistance? Have you read The War of Art? What about Steven Pressfield’s Turning Pro? Want to listen to Steven talk about resistance…check out Joanna Penn’s interview HERE

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