Sadly, I am not referring to the small military force led by General Leia Organa, today. Instead, I’m talking about a concept outlined by Steven Pressfield in his book “The War of Art.”
The Resistance is just about any activity, thought process or life event that pulls you away from your art or your “Calling”and stops you from creating it.
It can be small things, like reading Facebook or deciding to clean our your fridge instead of sitting down and writing that short story. It can be big things, like taking on a project that does not relate to what you actually want to do. The Resistance distracts us from the things we want to achieve. It gives us excuses not to do the things we love and pursue the dreams we want.
The Resistance can also look like a self-created drama. I tend to know a lot of people who want to be writers, by they have dozens of excuses for why they have not started that blog/written that short story/outlined that novel. They will hem and haw about how they have no time or how they have no money. They will go into dramatics about how too many things are just terrible in life and they have no inspiration.
J.K. Rowling was a single mother living on state assistance when she started her famed Harry Potter series. Stephen King was a High School teacher who wrote in the evenings and on weekends (and subsequently got so many rejections letters for his novel “Carrie” that he started to collect them) before people started to buy his work.
Many people have ideas for stories, but it’s only the people who do not give into the Resistance, who soldier on, that actually finish their work. Writing and other creative endeavors are often solitary practices, but just like any other worthwhile endeavor, you must show up and do the work.
If you often find yourself avoiding your desk or avoiding chances you have to write, I would recommend Pressfield’s books on the matter. His no-nonsense approach is a great way to get you to examine what your Resistance is and how you can stop giving in to it.
The War of Art is the best place to start, but my personal favorite is the next book in his series about creating, Turning Pro.