The Resistance

Related image

Nah, not that one unfortunately.

I’m taking about the resistance to writing. Sometimes it’s obvious, and sometimes it’s more subtle. 

For example, I started a book this week (hurrah!), and on the first day, all was grand. The second, all was less grand. I snoozed in the afternoon, and then on the second night, I couldn’t sleep, therefore ruining the third day. 

Oh, it’s just your sleep patterns, April. Nothing to do with resistance to writing. 


This is my brain being an asshole. After the first day, the writing was difficult because I didn’t know what happened next. In the morning of the second day, I felt really, really sick (nauseous, for all you non-Brits) and so I stopped writing. Then I felt sleepy, and so I snoozed. And yesterday, on the third day, I was so tired I ‘never got going’.

This is resistance. My brain is conjuring up fake illness to stop me from writing. And I want to know WHY. 

I know I’m not completely lazy, because I can point to the million+ words I’ve written in the last couple of years. I can actually get the job done (even though it’s a bloody struggle most of the time). 

So WHY?! 

I love writing. I believe it should be fun. But I think I’ve robbed the fun out of it by taking it too seriously. I’ve conflated ambition with lack of enjoyment. In other words, I’ve bought into the pervasive myth that all hard work must be a struggle. Fun and Work do not go hand in hand (Presbyterianism and the Industrial Revolution saw to that) and because of this societal belief, I think that my work cannot be fun. 

Writing is my work. Therefore writing cannot be fun. 

But here’s the thing: writing is fun! It’s making up stories, ffs! Yeah, sure, the nth proof-read can be less fun, as can expanding rushed scenes or formatting for publication, but all in all, this gig is fun. I mean, if this ain’t fun, what is? And more importantly, if I don’t find it fun, why on Earth am I doing it? Not for the money, that’s for sure! (Or the stability, the pension, the perks, the prestige, or the social interactions…)

know writing is fun. I’ve soothed my Fear, so I know I don’t have to write a gazillion books a year. I know I have time to explore and play and all of that… I KNOW all of this, but the knowledge is stuck up in the airy, cerebral management office, and hasn’t sunk down to the fiery furnace in my brain that actually pulls the levers and gets stuff done. 

How do I fix this? Form a union, send better memos? I don’t bloody know. 

Answers on a postcard.


EDIT: I have since found this article. Problems 1 and 4 most apply to me. I’m going to attempt the solutions…