Have you ever stood on a cliff? Really, on the edge of a cliff where people jump into the water below? This is the example offered in the book. I can say that, yes, I have stood on the edge of a cliff with a beautiful pool of water below. I jumped without hesitation, cuz I’m crazy like that. But I watched others pause. Some did the “count to three” and…jumped. Normally with a guttural scream. But then there are those who “want to jump” but their body locks them in place. Seriously, this is your body’s desire to save itself. Can’t blame your body for that, right. But that is not only a form of resistance but also fear. Now, you can override your brain and force yourself to jump anyway. Just like you can push through other forms of resistance and fear.
Well aren’t you lucky! You got 2 posts dropped at the same time yesterday. That could be I was generous or scheduled 2 to drop at the same time by accident and poor record keeping. Hmmm, let’s go with generosity.
When we are faced with our own resistance we can and should work through it. We need to exercise caution when doing it. Here are a few steps to use to resolve your issues with care.
Step one: Recognize
It is key, as writers, that we learn what is standing in our way. Yeah, I know, this list is simple and looooong: distracted, lazy, unskilled, or we lack willpower. These and more are the same thing- variations of resistance or writer’s block. Even when we are stuck, we have the ability to recognize it. Now name it.
- Writer’s Block: Sitting down to write and being unable to do so.
- Procrastination: Putting it off and putting it off… “I really should be writing my posts but…I can do it later. It can wait a bit.”
- Postponing: This is the belief that “milestones” must pass before you can do anything. I will write that book after I retire. I will write that book once the holidays pass. I will write that book when…
- Distraction: I must check the mail, run to the store for milk, watch
- that DVD that has to go back to the store, fold socks, clean out the refrigerator, clean out the junk drawer in the kitchen… The list can go on and on.
- Perfectionism: Setting demands that will be nearly impossible to reach. Rewriting and rewriting and rewriting means you get nowhere. You can’t move forward with your tale because you are stuck perfecting one section.
- Hypercriticism and Excessive Pessimism: This is the all-or-nothing to nothing-or-nothing thinking. This is the everything you write is and will always be flawed. You only see what is wrong. This is being stuck in a negative mindset in all things- yourself, your work, friends, situations, and life in general.
- Denial and Excessive Optimism: This is the thinking that you are perfect. It is an unrealistic view of yourself. You won’t take feedback or consider that you may need help with your work.
- Overscheduling: Keeping yourself too busy to focus on your writing.
- Underestimating Yourself: Being too safe. Only writing things that are far too simple for your skill set because you are afraid to put yourself out there and try writing things you are truly passionate about.
- Confusion or Forgetting: The feeling of confusion and having difficulty figuring out your storyline. It becomes the feeling that you will never be able to figure out the plotline of your story, so you give up.
- Sabotage: Self-destructive activities- this is one opportunity when you allow your saboteurs to attack and you don’t fight them off. They sidetrack you from your writing.
We will touch on Resistance a bit more tomorrow.
Get ready. Get some new nibbles and wash out your cuppa.
Yucky dirty cuppas are gross.