3/29/2022: Fear & Resistance

I’m trying something new. Every day I’ll write for 10 minutes. I won’t limit what I write to any particular thing. It could be fiction, poetry, an essay, whatever. The goal is to write and then publish and share it. I need to get over my fear of publishing and I need to build a writing (and publishing) habit.

I almost gave in to Resistance, but I didn’t. To me, it’s a great personal victory. Nine in a row and counting.

I was almost afraid to write today. Our minds are such strange things. How could someone be afraid of something that can’t possibly hurt them? I was laying in bed and thinking, ”what would it hurt if I didn’t write today? I’m tired. Missing one day is no big deal.”

Steven Pressfield writes in The War of Art about a concept he calls Resistance. To him, it’s a literal force that seeks to destroy and sabotage. Regardless of whether it’s an actual force or just a metaphor for our self-destructive natures, it’s absolutely real. Some of us are better at ignoring it than others. Sometimes we have better motivation than at other times.

I’ve experienced Resistance during my day job as a software engineer when I didn’t feel confident in my ability to accomplish a task. I’d delay and putter and put it off as much as I could or did work that was tangential to it until maybe someone else would take the burden from me or deadline pressure would force me to do something. It’s not the most efficient way to write software, oddly enough.

I know of people that rely on deadline pressure to force them to get their work done. Accountability is important, but when something isn’t your day job or there isn’t some kind of material benefit or harm to achieving a goal, how do you push through and get it done regardless?

I’ve given in to Resistance many times over the course of my life, as we all do. Tonight, I recognized the impulse, and decided, “I can write for 10 minutes.”

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