right now i’m reading “the war of art” by Steven Pressfield. it’s truly inspiring and the entire first section covers resistance. you know resistance, it’s the insidious huckster keeping us from creative expression.
pressfield explains, “resistance will tell you anything to keep you from doing your work. it will perjure, fabricate, falsify; seduce, bully, cajole. resistance is protean. it will assume any form, if that’s what it takes to deceive you.”
procrastination is the most popular form, but i’m not into that. i find doing the work much easier than avoiding it, because i feel so gross and disappointed when i don’t write.
since i’m eager to work each day, i thought i had this resistance thing beat. plus, i adhere to a schedule, set and meet deadlines, and publish regularly. i’m generally being a Good, Industrious Girl.
however, since starting “the war of art” i noticed occasional thoughts like:
- NOW is the time to fix the bracelet that’s been awaiting repair since 2011
- the clothes are dry, time to fold them!
- let’s just wipe down the bathroom counter and polish the mirror. it won’t take long.
then i leap up to perform the tasks. but it’s not limited to household duties. because here’s stuff i’ve convinced myself is worth stopping writing in order to investigate:
- definition of Messianic Christianity (a spiritually unified, pre-denominational, apostolic Christianity connected to its Hebrew Old Covenant roots (and therefore, Messianic) as it looks forward to the coming Messiah.)
- whether the name “Roz” is short for anything (it can be! for Roslyn, Rosalind, Rosalyn, Rosa, and, according to Wikipedia, “many other forms”)
- what the Book of Kells is all about (created around 800 AD, it’s an illuminated manuscript in Latin, containing the four Gospels of the New Testament and introductory texts and tables)
at first i thought these were intelligent brain breaks, interspersing hard cerebral labor with easy stuff, but now i’m not so sure.
but what’s worse is the respectability of these activities. learning and taking care of domestic business aren’t exactly drug addiction or violent crime. nor are they lengthy web surfing or indiscriminate TV viewing, two of the purest forms of resistance.
if i were to tell people, “i cleaned the bathroom instead of writing today,” they’d just shake their heads at me, oh, to have your problems, much like i do at my room mate when he explains how hard it is for him to gain weight (infuriating, incomprehensible, true).
but as with everything else, the awareness is all. i’m grateful for this discovery. it’s powerful intelligence about myself and completely actionable. from now on, i’m keeping paper and pencil right next to my mouse, so when a chore or Google search comes to mind i’ll make a note and handle it later.
what about you? do you experience resistance to your work? what form does it take? how do you address it?