Monday, August 9, 2010
Resistance is Futile
Introducing a wonderful new feature here at the Daily Dose with the arrival of the Bloody Pen Sisterhood. These lovely ladies are my critique partners and will be blogging from time to time on what they are writing, reading, thinking or just feeling. Today's introductory blog is from the fabulous Kim Quinton. She's a terrific writer and a soon-to-be-published author with so many great stories to tell!
Resistance is Futile
Resistance is futile… Yeah yeah yeah, we all know where that’s from. Maybe I’m dating myself!?
Resistance took on a whole new meaning for me over the last several weeks. I was lucky enough, as an aspiring writer, to spend a wonderful week in at the RWA national conference in Orlando. It was exhausting, overwhelming, invigorating, inspiring, helpful, intimidating, educational and fun. Yes, a conference can be all of those things at the same dang time.
One of the first workshops I attended was given by a wonderfully generous author, Colleen Thompson, titled How to Finish The Damned Book. I thought it would be a good way to kick off my week since I am currently in the middle of a manuscript and have another waiting to be edited. I didn’t expect an epiphany moment. There was the usual goal setting strategies, always helpful, nothing new. Then she went off on a bit of a tangent about Resistance. Other people might call it making excuses to not get your stuff done, but it’s more. Hearing it spoken focused me in on the problem. And it was like “Ahhhh Yes, resistance... I know it well..” It was not a new concept, but one I had struggled with on major projects before. I can now put a name to it and recognize my behavior for what it actually is.
I can now recognize the lies I tell myself to stay in my safe zone. I can’t possibly write twenty pages a day and take care of two young kids at home. Or I can’t possible adhere to a strict diet because I won’t have the energy to keep up with everything I need to do. I can’t… I can’t… because.. because.. because….
There are dozens of tiny lies I tell myself every day. Once you identify that as your minds’ resistance to change or stepping out of your comfort zone, however compelling the “reasons” it throws at you, the power behind them shifts. Once I recognized where my resistance was embedded, I got real with myself. I started recognizing the lies and telling myself the truth. For me it stemmed from a fear of failure coupled with a fear of success. I know! What did I do to deserve that kind of special limbo?
It’s much safer to stay the aspiring writer that is always editing and never submitting, or always going to workshops and learning the craft but never completing a manuscript. If I spend the time it takes to polish this manuscript, I’ll have to take time away from my kids. That’s a real hard one to take. Mommy guilt is especially effective. But hey, since Nora can say it, so can I, it’s all bullshit.
It’s not any harder or easier for anyone else. Everyone has complications, issues and obligations. I know my family and my life and writing can and does fit in. I can finally move on and make those goals and know I can keep them. Not just with my writing, but with every other aspect of my life.
Where is your resistance embedded? What lies does your mind tell you? Can you identify your truth?