Resistance

I’ve got nothin’ this morning. Like, nada. If this is my morning constitutional, then today I’m in a post-colonic phase. I’m not constipated, I’m just, well, empty.

But I’ve still gots ta go! ’cause thems the rules: Write every day. No excuses.

So what do you do if you’ve got no material? Eat loads of crap, mental crap. Facebook is Macdonalds for your mind. Nothin’ makes you run to the loo faster than a Big Mac and fries; have a few bites of hysterical politics and a sip of soppy inspiration and your brain is good and full of excrement.

Scrolling through my feed this morning left me high and dry. Not much in the way of conversation topics. I did think about taking a note from a friend’s book and posting a shout-out to all my ex-boyfriends. I thought, well, that’s gotta take some balls, and then my mind went all the places, Natalie would go when writing an open letter to all her ex’s. It would be very funny, but probably, I’d have to leave polite society for good… so, I resisted the urge. You is good, you is kind, you is important. 

I stopped scrolling once I stumbled upon this beauty:

How to be a writer— Contemplate the oncoming darkness. Scream into the void. Tea.

That is about as close to truth as it’s gonna get today. Writing in a nutshell, folks. Consider yourselves enlightened.

I finished reading The War of Art yesterday. Good book; a real kick in the pants. Three-quarters of it deal with Resistance.

Resistance, explains Pressfield, is the repelling force whose sole aim is to prevent us from doing what we are born to do. It is invisible, internal, insidious and impersonal. It will use any and all means to do its job: Procrastination, self-dramatization, self-medication and victimhood. Your job, says Pressfield, is not to write a masterpiece, it’s not to paint the Sistine Chapel. Your job is to conquer resistance, every. single. day.  Show up to work and you’ll get paid. The Muse, he says, can’t resist the labourer.

And so, here I am, showing up to work. Doin’ my thang. This is only half of my daily grind though: I’ve committed to working on both non-fiction (this blog) and fiction, five days a week. Non-fiction is not so difficult (after reading this pile of poo, you might disagree), but the fiction is death by a thousand cuts. It’s HARD, so hard.

Writing fiction, for me, is full of existential angst. Each story is squeezed through a tunnel that shouts questions at it, like: Why is this story important? Who do you think you are? What makes you think you’ve got the necessary skills? It’s demoralising, especially when most often the answers are: It’s not important, I’m nobody and I definitely don’t have the skills.

I do have one valuable weapon in my arsenal— the ‘F—k you’ reflex. It’s that knee-jerk that comes super naturally to this wanna-be. I don’t take kindly to being underestimated, even by myself.

If every day is a battle, today, I win… 500 words. Done.

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