How to Stop Suffering from "The Book I'll Write, Someday!"

clever catalyst conscious creator pleasure-magnet resistance true-heart visioneer Jul 05, 2019

"The Feels" can become barriers and self-sabotage; food for The Resistance Monster hiding next to the manuscript in your closet! Perhaps you’re like me, looking at retirement (finally) and an empty nest as a pathway to (finally) writing that book or producing a body of work. You set writing goals because you read that’s what the pro’s do. It seems easy enough on the first day and yet somehow getting past the beginning always manages to feel either like laboring barefooted up a mountain, or vaguely twizzling in little grey circles- {“I’m too old to start this now, I still have people who need me, I don’t know enough, I need another class, I don’t have time because now my parents need me.”}

I was stuck in book-writing limbo, too. I questioned, and felt annoyed, bored, and overwhelmed. Week after week I would sit down and try to work on my project. The honeymoon period was long over and the excitement of creating this “new thing” had vanished. I got to the point where I didn’t want to write another paragraph any more than I did the month before, and I was looking square in the face of The Resistance Monster. It laughed and scoffed at the idea of investing any more time, ever! Then it drove a spear into my heart for good measure.

Death-knell sounds. "There will never be a book."

"I'm ok with that," I said, meekly.

ENTER: Shiny new ideas, distractions, home projects, family needs, sorting sox and more fascinating or time-devouring projects constantly appeared, luring me to abandon the book in the closet and chase each one of them instead. {“Once I get _______ done, I will feel free to release my book from the box beneath the shoes I no longer wear.”} Left to my own devices, that would have ended it. For months I told myself and others that I was planning to write a book. Planning. Another word for "not writing."

Resistance is palpable. Somewhere in the back of the closet, I mean your mind, you know exactly what the problem is.

It’s “The Feels.”

The Universe and Expensive Coaches will give you a lot of advice about overcoming the thoughts and feelings that feed WR, Writer’s Resistance. One soft squishy method involves "Listening" and "Allowing." Honestly, Listening For Ideas and Allowing Possibilities are both a blessing and a curse; they offer the way through, and a way OUT! Possibilities need a hole in the side where you plug them in if you hope to get any go-juice there. Allowing is warm, fuzzy, and unwieldy like one of those huge State Fair Teddy Bears the size of Uncle Buck.

Having hired, then fired a writing coach who couldn’t figure out what to do with me, I realized I might not be my own best expert on dealing with resistance. In fact, I allowed as how I might be purposely sabotaging myself and my writing project so that I didn’t have to be vulnerable or courageous and could put the whole thing down and point to it as evidence that I have absolutely no business even trying to write a book because “it’s clear that I can’t.”

Failure. #ASureWayOut

Steven Pressfield says resistance is just fear. {As if the word “just” in front of “fear” somehow tames it!}

I don’t know precisely where you are finding yourself at this point in your life. Perhaps you suffer from acute writer's fear syndrome; I’m so sorry for the racing heart and your feelings of failure and distress. Simply reading this article brings The Feels up for you and that is not my intention! Even if you are (merely) consumed with low-level chronic feelings of apathy and dread as you plan to write, that is another form of “hiding out." But words like “just,” “merely,” and“only,” and other avoidance tactics are all insidious acts of Writers Resistance! {“I can skip a day/week/month of writing.”} Trust me, if you allow yourself to be drawn that way, you’ll find yourself stranded.

DO WHAT I DID- Today I know exactly what I need to do to re-start and then maintain momentum. Feel the Feels, place them in a holding pattern and write anyway! Tell yourself, “I’m just writing a shitty first draft,” and fill the page. The writing itself will change you, then heal you, and then you will simply find yourself, writing!

For more explorations I invite you to schedule an intro-session for yourself on my calendar. -It is my mission the help you Find Yourself Writing Your Book!