Friday, June 24, 2011

The New Three Rs

In my quest to be published, and the pursuit of my wedding weight, (stop shaking your head), it’s good to have big dreams.  I have stumbled, okay crashed into a new set of the three R’s.  
Write, Resist, Run.
Writing, although not exactly an R, but having been used by our education system for years, I borrowed it.  Anyway, the first R, writing means, 
Every day I must write.  Something.  Anything.  Preferably new, creative, wonderful, and with perfect grammar.  There are those big dreams again. 
As luck would have it, I am taking a workshop with Devon Ellington, Write in Company with Savvy Authors, which I would highly recommend by the way, not just the workshop but any of Devon’s workshops.  Anyway, the main premise, of Write in Company, along with many other jewels of knowledge, is to write 1000 words each and everyday, no matter what.  
I thought, that’s nothing.  I can do that with my eyes closed.  I have taken Candace Havens, Fast Draft, done May Bootcamp, how hard could a simple 1000 words be? Ha.  It had to be on one project only!  And new words!  And there’s the rub.  I like to flit around, revising, writing, revising, and of course stalling.  I was stuck about 2/3 through my current WIP.  So sitting down to get those 1000 words I crashed into the second R.
As luck would have it, I had just finished reading a fantastic book recommended by another wonderful, successful author and workshop leader, Shirley Jump.  
The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield.
I love that title.  Most people who aren’t artists think art is so cozy and creative, and comes down on fairy dust.  Steven Pressfield knows better.  It’s a war.  A battle.  And he calls the enemy, guess what, Resistance. 
As luck would have it, in my weekly yoga class, the theme was,  yes you guessed it --  Resistance.    We had to hold a pose, longer than usual, okay really long,  until our muscles and mind let go. 
Which brings me to the third R - Run.
My typical response.  Just get the hell out and never come back, to the yoga class, to the workshop, to my WIP.  But the coincidences were piling up.  I’d paid for the workshop, the yoga class with my teenage daughter beside me, oh yes, and there was that almost finished WIP. 
So I squirmed and wormed and pushed back against the resistance, like the yoga instructor, Devon, and Steven Pressfield said I would.  In the end I just had to acknowledge that second R, and like Nike says, Just Do It.  So I did.  Wrote the words each day no matter what, held the pose, ate the vegetables steamed... 
I’d love to say that miraculously the resistance went away.  No such luck Resistance is a tricky devil.  It circles around, comes up with new strategies, hits when I’m weak.  So each day, I name it for what it is, the enemy and come up with my own battle plans.  And sometimes that is simply to name it, ignore it, or breathe through. 
I’d love to hear how you handle the 3 Rs.


  1. My resistance comes in the form of negative self-talk. A year ago, I responded to a challenge among my crit group to write a full-length romance suitable for publication. Three months later, the third draft was finished, critiqued, and revised and ready to submit. Sent it off and forgot it. In the meantime, NaNoWriMo popped up and two of the characters from novel #1 called to me. Twenty days later 95K words finished and it's not half bad. Then enter a new "sweet publisher," Astraea Press. The works I'd just completed weren't sweet but the call for subs was out there and I had a strong urge to write for it. A month and a half later, my submission to this publisher was accepted. That book turned out to be my debut novel and it's doing well. The other two? Reject and revise letter received on the first. But my new publisher told me "I want anything you write." I explained it wasn't sweet and she convinced me to make a few adjustments. I did. As of this Tuesday, I am about to be published x4 with pretty decent sales for a new writer. But I'm stuck on my current wip because my self-talk is getting to me. It was a fluke...sales will can't do it one will you REALLY think this story is any good... If you figure out how to beat could teach a class in it and I would be your first student!

  2. All I can say is WOW! Your out of the gate success is phenomenal. Just goes to show that Resistance is a strong and persistent enemy if it's got a hold of you after such hard work. I would recommend Steven Pressfield's book. I found it pertained to resistance in all areas of my life. Another thought. Are you maybe burnt out? Four books! That's a lot of writing and a lot of words. Maybe a rest, a change, a relaxing reward. And tell that inner critic to take a hike.

  3. For me resistance comes in the form of censorship—NOT from within but from those I deal with. Because I deal with sexuality issues as a Sex Therapist & Clinical Sexologist, I find myself hitting constant resistance (censorship) from others. I’ve started jotting down all the different forms it takes--you'd be amazed. I was floored by the most recent form of censorship as I wasn’t expecting it from someone who’d commissioned my work, but then I remembered the incident with the mega car dealership a few years ago and how that company had me up on stage prepared to speak to a room full of adults on how to improve their love lives only to drop the curtains 2-minutes into my discussion. Their excuse, “technical difficulties”.

    So what do I do when it seems never ending? Well, at times I get sad and the negative talk starts and I wonder why I should bother when I hit so many walls. I’m stubborn and I have a hard head but even I get tired of banging my head against the wall. But then the Universe steps in and unexpectedly I get an email or call from someone telling me how one of my seminars helped them embrace their life; how their relationship with their partner is better than ever because of reading one of my books; or how an article I wrote on sexual diversity made them feel “normal”. Hearing that gives me hope again and fuels my passion to help others. To share the information they need to help them lead a fuller healthier happier life! Their words turn my bouts with censorship into a fight against injustice and ignorance.

    As one of my books’ sponsors recently told me, “The best revenge is success”. And so I plan to be successful and carry on my work. Plan to allow myself to get angry at how one person tried to destroy my work and keep it from the hundreds of thousands that could benefit from it. So for me, resistance meets anger which turns into determination. Besides, if not me—who? If not now—why?

    What will it be for you? How will you show the critics and yourself that you have joy to bring into the world?

    Live with passion,

    Dr. Charley Ferrer

  4. My resistance is constant. My father passed away in 2006 and I said "ok time to lose the extra pounds that I put on 2004-2006" but I moved into the family home I inherited. And sometimes I feel like my Dad is still here and I question my inner resistance. Is it me or memories of arguments with him? Why am I holding back? I started a Mastermind Group with Jac McNeil at Highland Coaching and this year has been about Self Discovery. I lost 100 pounds over the past 2 years. I'm almost at my goal weight. Why am I encountering the most resistance now? I have a contract with Dellarte Press. Where's the MS? My resistance can sometimes be ME not asking MYSELF the right questions...

  5. Dr. Charley, great comments, thanks. I too have used "the best revenge is success." And I've come to realized I can measure success in smaller increments, not just the big one, like being published or getting to my goal weight. Each day that I write, each time I submit a manuscript or short story, each time I make a healthier food choice, and each time I get on the treadmill, these are successes and I am beating back resistance. Maybe it is only inches at a time but it is always a healthier choice than the alternative.

  6. Tara, thanks for commenting. 100 pounds that is absolutely mind-blowing and a contract for your manuscript you are my idol. I love that you know yourself so well to be able to say "my resistance is me not asking myself the right questions." How true. The one question I often ask specifically for each situation "what is not working here?" The answers I get are often surprising. I do agree sometimes the closer you get to the goal, the hard it seems. Could be that old "Fear of success" coming to take a shot. But you can tackle that too. And sometimes I remind myself it's not always about the goal, the end point but about the journey and what I learn along the way. Good luck with your goals.