For the past twelve months, I have been writing a novel, which I intend to self-publish. I spent the previous twelve months jotting down ideas in a notebook – these notes got me to the stage I’m at now: five chapters in, and progress has slowed. The thing is, I have a story with a beginning, middle and ending. What I am finding difficult, is sitting down to write it.
Last year, I bought a book by author Steven Pressfield called The War of Art, and I’ve finally got round to reading it (apparently I was too “busy” until now). The book promises to help readers “break through the blocks and win your inner creative battles.” Pressfield does this by defining the invisible force that causes creative people to procrastinate: Tweet, check Facebook, masturbate, smoke, drink coffee, play computer games (Steam, anyone?) – ANYTHING but writing!. He calls this force Resistance:
“Resistance cannot be seen, touched, heard or smelled. But it can be felt. We experience it as an energy field radiating from a work-in-potential. It’s a repelling force. It’s negative. Its aim is to shove us away, distract us, prevent us from doing our work.”
Chances are, if you have broken off from your daily routine to read this post, you are experiencing some level of Resistance right now. So what can be done about it? (more…)