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Creativity coach, writing and creative process instructor, speaker, author of Around the Writer's Block: Using Brain Science to Write the Way You Want (Penguin/Tarcher 2012) and Dancing in the Dragon's Den (Red Wheel Weiser), Teaching Artist at the Loft Literary Center.

Still Lazy After All These Years?

Some writers don’t realize that they’ve got writer’s resistance. They think they’re lazy or undisciplined, untalented or don’t really want to write.

All of this is Saboteur-speak, the self-destructive lies we tell ourselves when we’re in the clutches of the Saboteur.

It’s important to recognize resistance for what it is: natural, normal and most importantly, completely solvable.

Still Resisting After All These Years?

Some of you may think that changing the question from “Still lazy?” to “Still resisting?” doesn’t improve matters much.  You might think that the key part of the phrase is “after all these years.” You might worry that since you haven’t done all the writing you want to do by now, it’s not going to happen. Let me assure you there is a solution and there is time to apply it.

I get sad when I think about how many talented people give up their writing dreams because they didn’t understand resistance. You don’t have to be one of those people.

Even if it’s been years since you’ve written the way you want, you can let go of disappointment and come back to writing. You just need to learn to accept and resolve your resistance.

Accept Resistance?

Yes, that’s right. You have to recognize and accept resistance before you can transform it.

So you’re resistant. So what? I’m resistant too. After all these years, I still face resistance almost every time I sit down to write. The difference is that now I sit down anyway. I do what I promised myself I’d do because I know that resistance is a normal state, not something to be feared or a sign that something’s wrong.

It’s an unspoken take-off checklist. “Computer on? Check. File open? Check. Feeling resistance? Check. Write anyway. Check.”

When I’m in the research stage, it’s “Resource available? Check. Pen in hand? Check. Feeling resistance? Check. Research anyway. Check.”

When I’m in a discovery stage, it’s “Paper and markers handy? Check. Central idea for brainstorming? Check. Feeling resistance? Check. Mind-map or cluster or freewrite anyway. Check.”

Not sure exactly what to do? It doesn’t matter. Just do something to get started. Once you’re in motion, you’ll figure it out. If that doesn’t work for you, post a Comment to ask a question and I’ll help you. If it does work, post a Comment to tell us and we’ll all congratulate you.

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