Sucker Punched

Folks, I have been knocked down hard by resistance lately.  I received my manuscript of “Light in Darkest Days” back from the publisher and read it through word for word, making a few corrections here and there.  When I got the proof of the cover, I was excited, and proud, and positive.  But when I sat down to proof the draft, I was nothing but filled with self-doubt.  All of the resistance voices have been in full force telling me it’s a waste of time, it’s terrible writing, it’s a horrible story, it needs these changes and that, why on earth did I make this effort to get it printed?  I am coming out of it, I think, but it is not an easy climb to confidence.  

I have returned to “The War of Art” and it is again, spot on.  I think it’s like an addict needing a meeting, or needing to read the  12 steps. I fell off the wagon, my friends, and am crawling back on.  

So here’s to smaller brains and bigger hearts.

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2 thoughts on “Sucker Punched

  1. I’ve given this a lot of thought since reading your blog above. Talked it over with Joy too. The question I pondered is this….are their two voices here?…one the inner editor and the other the inner critic/saboteur? Or are they the same voice?…the inner editor running on unchecked becoming the saboteur? I’ve decided that they are two different voices. My own writing process has taken on a very different methodology ever since I decided to not be in such a hurry, to slow down and take my time with things. This has caused me to write a lot more but also edit a lot more too. It’s almost like I spew it all out on the page and go back to it over and over and change things. In that process the inner editor is very active…”don’t rhyme here, that’s cheesy, you can do better, metaphor not strong enough, here try this etc”. This inner editor for me is the voice of healthy striving (Joy’s perfect words) and is extremely helpful. This same voice is the one in my ear when I’m fighting in karate classes and I do a move so well my instructor compliments me on it and I hear “yeah but I was still a bit off balance, I can do better”. But what I also find every now and then but not every time during those karate lessons and in the writing process too is the voice that says “you suck and you should just quit, why are you even doing this”….These are clearly two different voices to me. One says it can be better the other saying it’s not worth my trying at all. And so I think the challenge is to decipher the difference and listen to one and simply witness and ignore the other. The saboteur is a tool of resistance no doubt. Anything that paralyzes you or keeps you from doing what you dream is resistance. The editor is your friend even as harsh as the edits might be. In fact those edits may be what the saboteur uses as proof to create resistance…the saboteur sees you missed something or could have been better. It hears the editor say “you were a bit off balance” or “that metaphor is not right” and latches on like it’s thinking “ah hah here’s a way to get him to stop…see you could not find a rhyme for orange…you suck and you should quit…” Seems crazy to think that resistance works this way. But the fact is that resistance will work any way it possibly can. And disguising itself as your inner editor is a sly way to take the wheel and take your creative joy ride straight into the ditch…sorry my comment was longer than your blog…but you got me thinking…love you sister! See you soon – Jeff

    • I’ve been mulling this over. It is a slippery slope this reasonable editing voice vs. the evil resistance voice. I think when my head space is strong and confident and when resistance is at bay, I can edit with confidence. I start with either a place of resistance or not and editing with it is brutal. I also think there a million other factors that influence my head space of resistance, from stress to winter blues to having a cold or being angry about something else. Every slight weakness will be a wide open door for resistance to walk right in. I think this is the artist’s biggest challenge, to fight doubt even when all these other things about being human are making us frail. To create from a place of strength is hard to come by on a daily basis. Which is why I accept what you said, that it takes LOTS OF TIME. If I have to write a paragraph at a time, or skip a day or two of creating, that’s okay. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it’s a wonder it was built at all. Hugs, brother, and sister.

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