Resistance shows up in numerous different ways and often as the voice of the inner critic.
If you regularly put off the moment to start writing, feel overwhelmed with doubts and hear challenges such as, “Who are you to write a book?” – resistance is at work.
Resistance is the opposite of inspiration and is a natural part of the creative process. If you want to write, you need to learn how to manage your creative anxiety.
Here are 7 ways for writers to overcome resistance:
1. Clarify Your Vision
Knowing your “why” for writing and publishing your article or book is very important. You need to see and work with the “big picture” to clarify your vision of authorship.
This involves diving deeply in to your mission, passion, motivation, objectives, and what you want to aim for, and writing all of this down.
When resistance shows up, read your notes and click in to “big picture” mode. Remembering your true purpose will help you to overcome resistance.
2. Strengthen Your Belief
We have to believe in ourselves as writers. When we burn that light brightly, resistance pales in its shadow.
Initially we may need to “act as if” until we have some grounds on which to build a firm belief. Strengthen your belief by doing your writing regularly to build confidence in yourself as a writer.
You can’t just think your way to overcoming resistance, you need to take action and repeat regularly.
3. Expand Your Awareness
Recognise and be alert to the many different ways resistance shows up.
Notice where you feel it in your body. Where is it in your heart and in your mind? Breathe in to those areas and set the intention to release the energy of resistance each time you breath out.
Bring your awareness to resistance so that it isn’t able to be in charge of you without you realising it.
4. Name Your Resistance
In ancient cultures, it was understood that to know the name of something gives you power over it.
Some people personify resistance and literally name the inner critic. For others, it’s enough to say, “Oh, there’s resistance again.”
Once you’ve named it, simply acknowledge it – which opens up the space for you to work through it – and begin your writing anyway.
5. Accept Your Resistance
The attitude of acceptance allows you to see resistance as part of the creative process and learn to feel comfortable with the uncertainty it brings.
Be willing to face the unknown that goes with creating any piece of writing and have the courage to release any layers of judgement you may be carrying around writing.
Become fully present in moment as this is a gateway to accepting everything fully just as it is. There is no resistance present when you are present in the moment!
6. Prepare Yourself to Write
Many writers have a preparation sequence or ritual they engage in before starting to write.
For example, you can clear your writing space, get your materials ready, wash your hands, light a candle or some incense, and spend 5 or 10 minutes sitting quietly before you begin.
When you repeat a series of actions each time you write, you create an association between these actions and doing your writing. This signifies to your unconscious mind that it is time to write. Keep it short and simple.
7. Take Action!
When it’s time to write, write, because that’s what writers do!
If you have applied some or all of the above, your resistance should be evident but diminished in power and intensity.
Each time you overcome resistance by doing your writing anyway, its ability to hold you back is greatly reduced.
Use these strategies to enjoy the freedom of showing up to do your writing regularly, and before you know it, your article or book will be written.
What are your techniques for overcoming resistance? Share your experiences, comments and reactions below.
© Julia McCutchen 2011. All Rights Reserved.
If you want to use this article in your ezine or on your website I’d be happy for you to do so as long as you use the complete article, including the copyright line, and include the following paragraph in its entirety:
Julia McCutchen is the founder & creative director of the International Association of Conscious & Creative Writers (IACCW). A former managing director & publisher, Julia is an intuitive writer’s coach, mentor and professional publishing consultant. She has over 20 years’ experience of publishing and a track record that includes UK no 1 and international bestsellers. Julia is the author of The Writer’s Journey: From Inspiration to Publication. Visit www.juliamccutchen.com for a range of FREE articles, audios and videos for writers and download a FREE Sp ecial Report, Discover Your Authentic Voice – on the page and in the world at www.iaccw.com