How I’m Beating Resistance, One Word at a Time

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My biggest writing hurdle has always been consistency. I get “inspired” to write for a few days, or weeks, then lose my motivation just as quickly, and avoid the blank screen for months, even years.

The longer I stay away, the harder it is to get back. I’ve abandoned plenty of half-written blog posts, and filled dozens of notebooks with my private handwritten ramblings, but my blogging has remained at a standstill for over a year.

Why does this happen?

Anyone who’s ever embarked on a creative endeavor knows the paralyzing fears and self-doubt that plague most all creators. In The War Of Art, Steven Pressfield even gave them a name: RESISTANCE.

The voices in our head are rarely positive or encouraging, and we believe the cruel lies they tell us. Our inner critic feeds our fears and tears us down until it’s easier to just give up than to create.

So what am I gonna do about it?

One of my strongest beliefs about developing good habits is that making small, incremental changes is far more effective for producing permanent results than big, drastic, all-or-nothing efforts. To quote one of Gretchen Rubin’s Secrets of Adulthood:

“What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.”

Slow and steady really does win the race. This approach has helped me manage my finances, health, and home for years, so why not apply it to my writing?

That’s it! I will steadily chip away at my fears / writer’s block / RESISTANCE by writing at least 100 words every day for the remainder of 2018. A hundred words isn’t too intimidating or time-consuming. They don’t have to be perfect. They just have to be written. 

Honest words. My words.

I will dig my way out of this deep, dark hole — ONE WORD AT A TIME.

And if you find yourself languishing in the same hole, I hope you’ll start digging too. 

~PEACE~

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Quote: Keep the Poet Alive

“The only way to love a person is not, as the stereotyped Christian notion is, to coddle them and bring them soup when they are sick, but by listening to them and seeing and believing in the god, in the poet, in them. For by doing this, you keep the god and the poet alive and make it flourish.”

~Brenda Ueland, If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit

What Are We Afraid Of?

What Do I Want?

  • I want to live in a tiny house.
  • I want less stuff.
  • I want to write.
  • I want to travel.
  • I want to take summers off and not have to work if I don’t feel like it.
  • I want to write on the beach in Costa Rica.
  • I want to eat GOOD FOOD – healthy, REAL FOOD.
  • I want to go hiking and take long walks with my dogs.
  • I want to take a nap whenever I’m tired.

You get the idea.

As I was thinking about this list before I sat down to write it, I realized that all of these things are easily within my reach. Everything on this list is absolutely 100% doable. I could have it all, and do it all, like, NOW.

So why don’t I?

Seriously.

What makes a downshifter’s dream life – a life that is smaller, simpler, quieter – seem so far out of reach for so many people? It’s not like we’re asking for millions of dollars. We want less. Less stuff. Less stress. But we also want more. More freedom. More control over our own lives.

Or do we?

What is it about freedom of choice that scares the crap out of most people? We all have it, but we fool ourselves into thinking that we don’t. We live the way we do because, well, we have no choice. That’s what we tell ourselves. It’s complete bullshit.

Why are so many of us scared to change?

~PEACE~

 

Commitment and Accountability

According to Gretchen Rubin, in her latest book Better Than Before, one of the best strategies for forming a new habit (and sticking to it) is the Strategy of Accountability.

“Accountability is a powerful factor in habit formation, and a ubiquitous feature in our lives. If we believe that someone’s watching, we behave differently. Deadlines help us keep the habit of working. Late fees help us pay our bills on time. Grades help us study. Attendance records help us get our children to school on time. When we believe that we may be held accountable for our actions — even when we’re accountable only to ourselves — we show more self-command.”

I am invoking this strategy by declaring publicly, right NOW, my commitment to publish a new post on Downshifter’s Journal every day during the month of May.

My posts won’t necessarily be long, or brilliant, or PERFECT, but they WILL be there every day for you, my followers, to hold me accountable!

I’m really looking forward to challenging myself, developing my writing practice with you, and making Downshifter’s Journal a daily part of my life (and, I hope, yours). Please don’t let me fall behind, and in exchange, I’ll try not to get all preachy, or bore you too much.

“Don’t be a writer, be writing.” – JamesClear.com

~PEACE~