Should You Force Yourself to Write When You Feel Resistance?

I’m assuming you love to write.

Sometimes it’s bliss, it’s ferocious and delicious. You’re on fire.

Other times, nothing comes. Or it feels flat. You write because you have to. You force it.

So maybe you pour yourself more coffee. if it doesn’t help you write faster, at least it will help you get frustrated faster.

Resistance is getting the better of you.

Sometimes your resistance isn’t the enemy

It happens to everyone, first of all. Resistance tends to bring a sense of isolation.

  • “I suck and I’m the only one who has this kind of pathetic challenge.”
  • “I can’t believe I’m fighting with myself about this yet again.”
  • “Ack! I blocked off all day to write my book and all I do is distract myself with social media. I feel the urge to create but I can’t seem to get out of my own way.”

Shame. Guilt. Anger. Depression.

But what if I told you that your resistance might have something to offer you? Some good advice?

Resistance isn’t always the enemy, something to be mown down, wrestled against.

Maybe you have a calling to write and you’re feeling resistance because you’re afraid that what you write will be “made up” rather than “authentic.”

There. That’s something to feel into.

Follow where that leads. Behind the resistance, you feel a love of writing, and a celebration of your actual integrity. Your resistance is coming up because you want to make sure you’re acting in integrity with your deep inmost yearning to create.

Anyone can force themselves to write, but you don’t want to do that. You like to write because you crave the feeling when it all works out, yes, but you also write because you believe in something. You believe that good writing emerges when you feel connected to a sense of wonder and discovery.

If you force yourself, maybe you can write something good despite how it feels.

But if you don’t want to, then the suggestion is to listen to your resistance to see whether it knows something. It’s a side of you that you might have in common with other people.

You don’t have to feel alone or isolated because you feel resistance from time to time. It’s possible that the reason you are having a hard time is not because you’re not good enough but because you are in the middle of a process — you’re listening to your inmost self and you want clarity about what compels you.

Try this

Feel behind your resistance. What is your sense for its wisdom? It might appear like wisdom in disguise.

How can you reassure this part of yourself that you value its input? Maybe simply sit with yourself for a moment or actually address this part of you and say thank you. You can engage it in a bit of freewriting.

Then see how that wisdom can help you both get what you want. Can you act as a mediator between your conscious agenda (the project you are working on) and the subtle wisdom offered by your resistance?

Using the example where your resistance wants to ensure that you are writing something that is in integrity, see if you can uncover a way to write from that place. You aren’t trying to recreate anything that has ever been done before, but rather spontaneously experience one of the many faces of flow. You know it isn’t always easy, and you are up for the challenge. You just want to be clear that you are aligned with your vision.

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