Sunday, September 8, 2013

Working through Writer’s Resistance

It has been a very turbulent few months in my life: from a car accident to sickness, from stress to fatigue. The latest illness put me on the couch for four days, giving me plenty of time to read, think, and re-evaluate where I’m headed in life.

As many of you know, my interests are scattered all over the place, yet as I lay there, condemned to the couch, I questioned the point of the many directions I’ve taken in the past years. And it hit me hard, what the heck am I doing?

My dream has always been to be an Author, and I don’t mean a one hit author either. I've pushed hard, accumulating story upon story. I've strove to understand the format of putting together a novel. I've succeeded in publication with a few short stories, two novellas, and even a children’s book. But, for the last year, I’ve been stuck.

Okay, well not entirely stuck. I have been working on my next novel, Broken Memories, but not nearly as much as I should have been. When the year began, the goal was for a February completion, then an August completion, and now here we are in September and it’s still unfinished.

I could say that life has been busy. I could say I haven’t had the time to work on it. I could even say I’ve been busy with other things, more important things. But the truth is I’m resisting the completion. Why?

Oh, I could come up with all types of reasons, such as Procrastination, Distractions, Over-scheduling, and all of these would be true. But, I think it all boils down to a hidden fear of failure, or perhaps it may be of success. No matter which way you weave it, the situation is merely a state of mind.

Most writers are in this game alone, for the most part. No one is going to stand behind you cheering you on to write that next page. Unless you have a contract, or a deadline of sorts, it is all up to you to get your butt in the chair and those fingers on the keyboard, or pen to paper. Only you can make your dream become a reality.

The most productive method I’ve found so far to push me through these ruts is the ‘Magic Fifteen Minutes.’ You basically devote ‘at least’ fifteen minutes a day to writing. Sometimes that will be all you write, but other times you’ll get caught up and end up with a couple of hours’ worth of writing. The main point is getting yourself in place for the process. Every step of story writing, drafting, editing, polishing, and so on, presents you with a new set of resisting qualities. Push through fifteen minutes and see if it can snap you out of your own resistance.

As I write this blog post, I’ve been back to writing for about a week, and God, it feels good. Maybe this time, I won’t fall off the horse. There’s still hope to finishing my novel by the end of the year, and it is my intentions to do so.

How do you push through your moments of resistance? How do you resist? Does your house become spotless? Do you take up yet another hobby? Are you over-researching an aspect of your story?

Feel free to share your comments and stories. If you have an angle on this topic, or any other writing topic, you’d like to share as a guest blogger, contact me. Other voices are always welcome here at Footsteps of a Writer.


Anonymous said...

I write but I am scared to submit. That is my holdup. I don't like the research of submitting and I am afraid of rejection.


Cher Green said...


It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.~Theodore Roosevelt

Rejection is necessary steps to success. :) Take a deep breath, submit, and forget about.

I know easier said than done, but think of each rejection as a stepping stone.

Cherie Reich said...

I'm glad to hear you're writing again! I think I need to get on the 15-minute train. I'm getting some things done, but I'm not writing as much as I should be (doing too much editing). I can always tell when I'm not writing enough or the work is getting hard because my muse decides to throw ideas at me. Such a distraction! Keep on writing! You'll get there. :)

Cher Green said...

Cherie, Thanks. I know what you mean about the muse throwing ideas. I've had to jot down a few story ideas while on my 'extended' breaks between writing.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I've been feeling this exact same way for quite a while now. I've heard from many other writers they feel the same way too. And now you are saying the same thing. I wonder if it's in the stars. No kidding. I know there is activity going on in space and why shouldn't it disrupt our lives. But where there is turmoil, there is eventual peace and continuity. Here's hoping it arrives soon.

I read everything and anything, books, blogs, articles. I practice T'chi. I surf. Anything that works to instill peace, eventually runs over into writing.

Cher Green said...

Joylene, A little peace and continuity would be nice. :)

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