One of the definitions of resistance is “the impeding slowing or stopping effect by one thing on another.” It is derived from the latin words for “hold back”.
According to author Steven Pressfield when we are writing resistance is experienced as fear and the degree of fear equates to the strength of resistance. The more fear we experience, the more certain we can be that it’s important to us. If it meant nothing to us, there would be no resistance.
Resistance can come up in many different ways. It may show up as overwhelm, confusion, perfectionism, or overanalysis. It may look like avoiding your writing or distracting yourself from your writing. It may just feel like there’s always something more important to be doing than your writing. Then, feeling guilty that you have not done the writing that you wanted to do. Blech.
I experienced this resitsance in my writing for many years both with writing/editing 100s of grants/scholarships/papers with my colleagues and even thicker resistance associated with writing my blog to express what I had to share personally. I became an expert in refining and polishing my writing due to my fear of sharing and being judged.
You might be wondering, as many of my clients do at first, what does writing even look like without resistance? Well, it looks like starting to put words on a page, easily entering into a flow of writing and making calm, steady, consistent progress within a container of time that you have purposefully chosen. There’s no activation energy required. There’s no avoidance. It’s just sitting down and writing.
Learning how to move through resistance is fundamental to creating this vision of writing for yourself and it is just one part of my Write with Confidence System.
Here’s the first 3 steps on how to begin moving through your resistance with more ease.
Step 1 – Accept that having resistance is part of the process.
Step 2 – Ask: what am I really scared of here?
Step 3 – Ask: what might I do to support myself?
By practising these steps and bringing understanding and kindness to your process, you will begin to move from being externally motivated to internally motivated.
I have experienced this for myself and witnessed it with my clients. For one of my clients, it was “saying yes to coaching” that was his first step in accepting his resistance of “I am not very good at writing. I don’t understand why it’s so hard. I just can’t seem to measure up.” We began to look at why he was afraid and for him it was about external approval. Once he recognized this through our work together a dam opened up for him both creatively and with respect to time. Within 3 months, he had written his paper and it was later accepted without revisions.
Of course, moving through the resistance is easier said than done and if it were easy we would all be doing it. So, the question becomes, are you willing to receive the support required to do this work to sustainably feel better about writing?
If yes, then your next step is to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to schedule a quick call where we will talk about what’s happening for you and whether the work I do is a good fit for you.
I do not know of any other support that’s offered in this way tailored to the academic community who are struggling with avoiding, distracting or resisting their writing.
This is not a “boot camp”, a fast fix or tips and tricks on how to make writing easier. My Write with Confidence system brings together practical tools to do both the inner and outer work to support you to bring more peace and ease to your writing and your life.
Looking forward to hearing from you soon!
Ps When you are ready to commit to creating sustainable change for yourself, email me at email@example.com and ask to schedule a quick call where we will talk about what’s happening for you and whether the work that I do is a good fit for you.