Resistance is Futile!
Resistance is Futile!
My Borg friends will understand this statement. If you are not familiar with the Borg and you are an aspiring or published author, you will probably recognize a better version of this statement: “Resistance is Inevitable!”
In February, I attended the Platform Conference featuring Michael Hyatt. I had the opportunity to sit at the table with Michael (yes, we are on first name basis — at least for my part!) and I had a follow up “coaching” session with Michael four weeks later. What I learned from that conference is priceless. Authors today MUST build their own platform as publishers no longer provide marketing and publicity for their authors. I am also now a member of Platform University and I strongly recommend Michael’s book, “Platform” and considering a membership in the university.
But, what I wanted to talk about in this post is Resistance. Michael devoted an entire hour to this topic and frankly, I didn’t want to hear it. Let’s just say I was resistant to the idea that my writing career meets resistance. That is a huge chunk of denial!
I would recommend buying the book and reading the entire section on Resistance but I’d like to hit a few highlights of how resistance presents itself in my writing:
There are two sources of resistance: external and internal. I have very little control on the external sources of resistance. These are often related to the changing world of publishing. But, these sources can also be very close to home: children, day jobs, aging parents, health issues, etc.
But, there are some forms of internal resistance we should consider:
1 — Writer’s Block. I have NEVER suffered from writer’s block! Ever! For me, it is a matter of finding enough time to sit down and do a “creative” dump of all the ideas whirling around in my mind. But, in March, I took a week off to write and for four straight days, I sat in front of the laptop and did NOTHING! Blank! Empty! So, how do you overcome the resistance from writer’s block? I realized that in my study, I have surrounded myself with creative “cues” that unlock the creative forces in my mind. But, in a strange location those cues are gone. I had to develop another way to stimulate my creativity. So, I just started writing on the blank page — just putting down thoughts and ideas as they flew through my brain. Soon, by day five, I was cooking with gas!
So, what do YOU do to break the writer’s block? Share some tidbits with the rest of us.
2 — Procrastination. Well, I’ll talk about that later.
How do YOU overcome procrastination?
3 — Fear. This is a BIG one. Who am I to write? Where do I get off thinking I can be a published author? What will people think about me when they see what I’ve put down on the page? Do I dare bleed all over the page?
Fear is the biggest culprit for me. Fear of rejection. Fear of criticism. Recently, out of nowhere, an email arrived from someone I’ve never heard of. Turns out this person had somehow gotten their hands on a script adaptation I wrote back in 1988 of a play called “The Living Last Supper”. When I was handed the original play by my fine arts minister at the time, I was told the play was out of print. I was asked to adapt the clunky, sort of King’s English version to a more modern sounding version and to shorten the dialogue so a group of inexperienced deacons could play each one of the disciples. I adapted the script. It was so successful, our church performed it for eight straight years. During that time, I was asked for the script and I shared it, ALWAYS informing the person that it was an adaptation of the original play.
Well, this stranger took me to task for plagiarism. He accused me of passing off my adaptation as the original play. How in the world did he even get a copy of my script? I hadn’t dealt with that script for over 16 years! But, the man insisted I do the “right thing” and withdraw the script and put a disclaimer on my website. So, I did. I did so out of outright fear! What if this man ruined my albeit tiny, but growing writing career by calling me a plagiarist! I realized I had to do the right thing and correct a wrong I was not aware I had committed. But, it was still MY responsibility!
And, here is the final solution for Fear. I always stop and ask myself, “What is the Lie?” Am I a plagiarist? NO! Am I worthless? NO! Can God use me for His work? YES! Fear can be conquered so simply by asking this one question. And, here is why. Who is the Father of Lies? SATAN! Who is the Father of Truth? GOD! And, from fear and anxiety and procrastination and even some of those external sources of resistance, the TRUTH will set us FREE!
Oh, by the way, I seem to recall a little verse that says something like this:
But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. James 4:6-8 ESV
(I want to be sure and give the proper source so I will not be accused of plagiarism!)
How do you handle fear? Share some of your wisdom with the rest of us!
Posted on April 18, 2013, in Breaking News, My Writing, Speculative Fiction and tagged borg, deception, Fear, Lie, Michael Hyatt, plagiarism, Platform, resistance, Satan, Truth. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.
1.) Writer’s Block — Sometimes I find it helpful to watch a TV show that I like or read a comic book I’m interested in — something quick and easy that doesn’t involve hours of investment. As I watch or read, I ask myself how I would have written that story, what changes I would have made, or even how it would translate to a different setting or genre. That usually gets my juices flowing enough to start putting something on the screen.
2.) Procrastination — I don’t know that there is a cure for this. The only time I managed to overcome this is when I just gritted my teeth and forced myself to work. Not saying that’s the best solution, or even a good solution, but right now it’s all I have. I’ll come up with a better solution tomorrow…or maybe next week…definitely by the time I’m 80.
3.) Fear — Still haven’t quite gotten over this one. No matter how good I think I am, I always find someone better than me. And immediately the thought is “Well, if that’s what I’m up against, then why bother?” But I like what you said about asking where is the lie. I’ll have to keep that one in mind.
I find I struggle with a fourth internal problem — Writer’s ADD. Sometimes it seems like I can always think of great ideas for projects that I am currently NOT working on and think of nothing for the projects that I currently AM working on. Case in point — I have developed plots for three graphic novels and a werewolf novel that is 2/3 complete. I came up with those graphic novel ideas while I was working on the werewolf novel. So I started working on those. And, lo and behold, in the middle of working on those graphic novel ideas, inspiration hit me so that I could finish a chapter on the werewolf novel. I wish just once I could sit down and finish a project without being distracted by all the other neurons floating in my head. Any help with that internal problem would be appreciated.
Thanks for sharing with us!!
Michael Hyatt talks about this in his book. He calls it the discipline of finishing. “Just grind it out and ship it!” That means sticking with one thing until it’s done. Hard to do for me, also. The ideas are plenty and when they show up, they’re like little gremlins just screaming for my attention. “No, pick me! Work on me! I’m the best idea!” The hard task for me is saying “no” to all those good ideas so I can say “yes” to the one God idea I need to work on right now.