Stephen Pressfield calls it resistance.
It’s been a while since I read his book, WAR OF ART, but I think he also refers to it as evil.
His view: Resistance is the thing which prevents a person from creating art. It shows up when a person sits down to write (or anything a person desires to create or change). For me, resistance looks like the need to do dishes, yard work, TV, life crisis, email, sleep, things for or with my kids, etc. — all legit seeming excuses which prevent me from fulfilling my soul’s desires to create.
Five a.m. I am resisting the urge to get up.
As I lay here, I think about Pressfield’s feeling that resistance is evil. Then I recall all the people I know who have said that they “love” writing or even worse the people who say writing is “easy.”
I used to love writing, too. That was when I had no discernment, before I realized that most of what I write is crap. I also thought it was easy — when journal entries of my day’s thoughts were all that I wrote. I never allowed anyone to read what I wrote. First clue.
Yesterday, I received an analysis of my current entry into the Bluecat Screenwriting Contest. For the first time that I can recall, it was generally very positive. The analysis is divided into two parts: what the reader liked and what the reader thinks needs work. The last line of the analysis ended, in part, “you’re a wonderful writer…”
Still laying in bed, the time now 5:09, I think about that for a long while. The script I entered had not only been through several complete page 1 rewrites, but required nearly 7 years to ruminate.
Yes, I worked on other things in between, but, seven years before it was worthy of positive analysis and, though this year I also received some relatively positive feedback from the Academy Nicholl Fellowship, I still was not good enough to place as a quarter finalist in that contest, either.
This isn’t resistance I feel as I pull myself out of bed. It’s the knowledge of how hard it is (for me) to be a good writer, let alone a winning writer.
Yet, here I am.
This is this a.m.’s warm up.
Wish me luck.