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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.

What’s Your Writing (Resistance) Story?

It’s not a new idea: I just heard it in a new way.

In Oprah’s Next Chapter, life coach Tony Robbins says, “We are defined by the stories we tell ourselves… Is your story empowering you… or is your story causing you to fall short?”

I wondered, “What story am I telling myself about my writing?”

Almost immediately, I heard this voice inside my head say, “I’m not ready.”

And immediately after that, I heard “Well you better get ready!”

You Can’t Give Yourself a Guarantee of Success, But You Can Give Yourself a Guarantee of Failure

Limiting life stories are at the heart of most writing resistance. There’s no guarantee that rewriting your story will forever banish writer’s resistance, but it’s a certainty that if you don’t rewrite the story that holds you back, the resistance you face will be harder to move through.

I know there’s no guarantee that if I get ready, my book will reach the thousands and thousands of writer-readers I want to help. But there is a guarantee that if I don’t get ready, I will not be able to effectively share what I’ve learned with all the writers who could benefit from it.

If I fall back into telling myself I’m not ready, that I don’t how to promote my book, I don’t know what to do, I don’t know which of the many options I should pursue first, I don’t have the contacts and resources I need, then Around the Writer’s Block‘s pub date of August 2 will come and go without my book having the impact it could have.

What I do know is I need to get ready. So everyday from today until August 2, I will take at least one action a day to get ready for my book to reach and support as many writers as possible. (If you’re curious about what I did today, I asked my agent about getting review copies to the people who plan writers’ conferences.)

But I really hope you focus your curiosity, not on what I’m doing, but on asking yourself these questions:

  • “What is the story I tell myself about my writing?
  • “Does this story empower me as a writer?”
  • “What would be an even better story to tell myself about my writing?”

Please share your story in a comment.

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2 Comments on “What’s Your Writing (Resistance) Story?”

  1. Rachel V. February 21, 2012 at 7:37 pm #

    Hi Rosanne,

    Wow! I watched the Oprah show with Tony Robbins yesterday and had the very same takeaway: what story do I tell myself about my writing? I think for me it’s “This is a lot of work and nobody really cares anyway.”

    Writing – and especially developing a writing habit – takes effort. And yet, when I thought more about it I realized that no one told it would be easy. (Or difficult for that matter.) The second part of my reaction that “nobody really cares” is that fear of not being good enough. But I know I care about writing, or I wouldn’t show up to do it! And as it happens, I recently asked a friend to “hold” my novel, chapter after chapter. I know they care about my writing too. I think I’m on the path to rewriting my writing story.



    • rosannebane February 22, 2012 at 10:39 am #

      I’m delighted to hear you’re rewriting your writing story! Good insights! Asking a friend to hold your novel is a great strategy. And by the way, I care a great deal about your writing and can’t wait to read your novel. Where are you in the drafting process with it?


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