You read that right. Resistance isn’t bad. Resistance isn’t pointless. Resistance is a compass.
I have been resisting my book lately. Let’s say, the whole winter. I don’t have seasonal depression, but I truly believe that I have seasonal lack of ambition. I don’t think I’ve always had that, but I did this year.
So, why exactly did it creep up on me? Maybe it didn’t. Maybe I was resisting something. I had finished my NaNo story, and now it was time to edit it. But, it was “too cold.” That cold drained my energy. I didn’t want to do anything but stay warm (*eye roll*).
Oh yeah, and my work schedule. That got changed on me and I had a hard time adjusting.
Ok, that one is true.
I’m a night owl, and working at night helped me with my creativity. I would come home, do whatever I needed to, then sit down and write. I could write well into the early morning, because I didn’t have to go to work until later the next day. It was perfect! I had a fantastic schedule that I could work with, and everything was going smoothly, and I was progressing.
Until I was switched to morning shift.
They took a night owl, made her go to bed before she wanted to, and had her get up at 4am (when she’s usually going to sleep), and work until 1:30pm (or there about). I would come home, and take a long nap, only to find myself getting up at 6 or 7, and then going right back to sleep.
My sleep pattern was off, I was tired all the time. I had no free time to myself.
This helped my mother out as well. After I came home, she would take me with her to help her with her job too. Get up at 4am, get home by 8pm. Sleep. Do it all over again the next day. On my days off, I would still be working with my mother. The only days I could have off were Saturday and Sunday, but I was scheduled every weekend for at least four months straight (and there’s no sign of that changing).
I love working with my mother, don’t get me wrong. I don’t want her working 10-15 hours some days. Plus, we only have one car, so it works out that I work in the morning, and she takes it in the afternoon. With me. It’s just that, sometimes, I want an actual day off.
My schedule changed. I was exhausted. I felt like everyone was running my life, and I had no control over what I wanted. What did I want? I wanted to go back to the way things were. I was only supposed to help with morning shift, not be the new secondary morning shift worker. I wanted to go back. I wanted a day off. I wanted to sleep. I didn’t want to be angry and frustrated anymore.
What I really wanted was to figure out how to write again.
I resisted writing all winter, and now when I had my energy back, my schedule changed. Everything changed.
Until I decided to end my pity party and send all of the guests home. I cleaned up, rearranged what they moved, and I made what I was looking for.
I used almost anything as an excuse. Yes, the change in my work schedule did throw me for a loop, but I let it throw me longer than it should have. Resistance. I resisted working on my book. That’s the bottom line.
I resisted because I don’t want my story to suck. I have a tendency to put a lot of my idea on pedestals. They look so grand in my head. I see everything so clearly, so perfectly. My book is amazing! But, what if it’s not? What if I can’t make it even a little bit ok?
Resistance showed me what I needed to do. The thing I’m resisting the most, is the thing I need to do the most. I need to work on my story. It has so much potential, and it won’t be even a little bit ok if I don’t make it a little bit ok.
To end this post on a happy note, I am currently in the process of finishing up typing what I hand wrote. I have to finish that before I start editing because, well, it’s the beginning of the story. And even as I type it up, I see so much good in it. It’s poorly written, but that’s ok, because it’s still written.
What is something that resistance has shown you? How did/do you get through resistance? What you learned from it? Post a comment below!
This post is inspired by the DIYMFA Book Club writing prompt, “Resistance Is Your Compass.”