But paying attention to writer’s block and other forms of resistance is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you have to know what your writing resistance looks and feels like so you can respond appropriately. But on the other hand, there are dangers in paying too much attention to resistance.
You need to pay just enough attention to resistance to recognize it and take action so that it doesn’t continue to interfere with your writing.
Full-fledged writer’s block is easy to recognize (you want to write, sit down to write, but can’t), but resistance comes in many other forms including:
- Procrastination (deciding you’ll write later today or tomorrow or later this week)
- Postponing (deciding you’ll write as soon as you finish another big project)
- Distraction (remembering 10 other things you simply must do before you write)
- Perfectionism (refusing to move on until one small component is perfect)
- Overscheduling (keeping yourself too busy to write)
- Criticism and other forms of sabotage.
Notice what forms of resistance come up most often for you. Stay alert to how your resistance might change over time.
Responding to Resistance
The best response is to simply notice that you are or might be resisting your writing (“Hmm, my schedule is awfully full. Am I resisting my writing?”) It’s important to do this with equanimity, not judgment or blame.
Ask yourself what you might need to get back to writing the way you want to write. Consider what brings you joy, what gets you enthusiastic about writing, and give yourself what you need.
What Not to Do
We’ll take a look at the dangers of paying too much attention to resistance and what to not do in the next post, “Really! Pay No Attention to that Writer’s Block Behind the Curtain.”