November 8, 2021 - Resistance

Monday, November 08, 2021

Today was a strange writing day. It wasn’t that the words came hard. Actually, they came fairly easily… once I got started.

Getting started was the hard part.

I write in what are called “sprints,” which means I set a timer for thirty minutes of writing, then when that’s up, I set a timer for a 5-10 minute break. After the break comes another thirty-minute writing sprint, etc. Well, today, each time I took a break, I really didn’t want to start writing again.

Steven Pressfield, the author of The Legend of Bagger Vance, calls this resistance. He wrote a short book, The War of Art, explaining this phenomenon which is very common with writers. Long before I found his book, I remember conversations where fellow writers would ask questions such as: “Why would I rather clean the bathroom than sit at my computer and write my book?”

I mean, cleaning the bathroom ranks right up there with cleaning the oven or slopping the pigs. It’s not something you’d usually choose to do. But for some reason, there are days when anything sounds better than writing.

Once you know that you’re not a total freak and understand that this happens to almost everyone on occasion, you also know that the only way to deal with it is to tell that inner voice to shut up! and start typing. After you’ve gotten a few sentences down, it’s easier to keep going. But today, when I took another break, the whole cycle started all over again. :::sigh:::

I’m hoping tomorrow will go better, although it probably won’t. A virtual writers conference starts tomorrow, and I’ve got a full calendar of talks to watch/listen to. I wonder if I signed up for it so I wouldn’t have to write. But I can’t afford to take a week off from writing. Not if I want to “win” NaNo. Which is why I signed up for NaNoWriMo in the first place. I needed the deadline.

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A Clash of Kings
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