When I was in my early 20's I wrote "Nulla dies sine linea" on the inside cover page of every new writing notebook: "Resistance always has meaning". Then I made a true effort to Become a Writer in my mid-20's. At least, in my mind it was a true effort. It certainly felt like one at the time, and I received enough rejection letters to prove I'd made a bit of effort. Then I stopped writing. And I didn't read any fiction for 6 years.
That was a long time ago, and since then I have tortured myself by not writing every day. I have had long stretches of not writing for weeks, months, even years. And lately I have not been writing this blog and I haven't been writing any fiction. And I feel shitty and restless and guilty and small and angry when I don't write. So the question is: If not writing makes me feel like hell, WHY DON"T I JUST DO IT??????????
Because Resistance ALWAYS has meaning.
I am re-reading a book called The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield. It is a book I should never stop reading, one I should pick up every day so I don't forget. This book is about kicking Resistance in the ass and getting on with your work, whatever it is. The idea is that if you are trying to elevate yourself in any way; spiritually, physically, emotionally, morally, then you will meet Resistance. If your are trying to make art of any kind, if you are an entrepreneur, trying to lose 20 pounds, you will meet Resistance.
Now here's the cool thing: Fear and self-doubt are great indicators of the action we should be taking. They serve to illuminate our path. The more intensely we experience Resistance, the more we can be sure that it is important to us and to the growth of our soul.
So. What's a miserable non-writing writer to do?
Write, I guess. Show up and let go of the rest. Stand up for herself. Fight the good fight like a warrior every day. Make a commitment and then get out of the way of herself. Stand tall in the face of the greatest fear of all: the fear of success. And I don't mean money and certainly not fame. I mean the success that is born from showing up for your life and giving the world what you've got.
So here I am. I hope to be here more often. I leave you with this abridged quote from Marianne Williamson that is often incorrectly attributed to Nelson Mandela:
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
Are you getting buried under the weight of Resistance like I am? It always has meaning.
Let's get to work.