Fight Off “Resistance” with this Proven, Easy-to-Tap Technique


Mindy McHorse

Have you ever heard of that terrible writer foe, Resistance?

In Steven Pressfield’s, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles, Pressfield names every self-defeating, self-destructive, self-sabotaging behavior we writers engage in.

Put it all together and you have what Pressfield calls Resistance. Fellow copywriter Marcella Allison once wrote,

“Resistance is like a force field around what you want. The closer you get to your goals, the more it repels you. If you’ve always dreamed of being a writer, or a photographer, or a musician, or engaging in any type of creative endeavor whatsoever, then I can practically guarantee you’re going to meet with Resistance.”

Resistance usually shows up in the form of procrastination. Sometimes it masquerades as self-doubt.

A lot of the time it takes the form of fear.

This is probably why Resistance hits writers so hard — many of us are isolated from other writers. Sometimes that’s by choice, but more often it’s because true writers are rare. We’re scattered across the globe, often working independently in our offices and neighborhood coffee shops.

That means we don’t naturally hobnob together to share war and success stories.

It’s just the way things are … but does that mean it’s acceptable?

I say no. Nope, no way, no how, nada.

See, Resistance feeds on isolation. If you’re not part of a pack, it’s easy for Resistance to pull on some sheep’s clothing and lure you into a frenzy of distrust. You wind up with so much uncertainty when it comes to your abilities and achieving the writer’s life that you stop moving forward.

Resistance loves this. Sensing your weakness and vulnerability, it attacks. And that’s when you give up.

Sad little story, right?

Not entirely … because there’s a simple, radically easy way to throw Resistance off your path. It’s a lot like luring bears away from an attack with the sweet smell of honey. Or like knocking the fabled Goliath on his bum with the tiny, simplest little rock.

As a writer, that protection is unbelievably easy to bring about. All you’ve gotta do is open your mouth, extend your hand, and connect with another writer.

Better yet, connect with whole groups of writers. Masses of ’em!

Form a group of support from other writers that encircles you like armor. Fellow-writer advice, support, motivation, and tips can propel you forward in your career in ways you can’t even fathom.

I’m getting ready to interview author and copywriting expert Sean D’Souza for Barefoot Writer Magazine. He really gets this group power thing. In his report on How to Win The Resistance Game, Sean writes, “In Africa there’s a saying: If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go with a group.”

He goes on to explain that groups can help with:

  1. Release of Pressure
  2. Exponential Learning
  3. Support

I see this all the time in the Barefoot Writer Member Facebook group. Fellow members post openly about when they’re feeling down and dejected, and the rest of the community jumps in to pull them out of their rut.

It’s beautiful.

Having been lost and confused multiple times in my own writing career, I know firsthand how much of a lifeline help from a group can be.

So if you ever come across the opportunity to be part of a writing group in any form … especially if you haven’t yet reached all your writing goals … grab that chance by the horns and go with it. You’ll never regret it.

Thoughts? Questions? Please share below.

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Published: March 24, 2016

14 Responses to “Fight Off “Resistance” with this Proven, Easy-to-Tap Technique”

  1. Ah yes, resistance! My greatest resistance is the responsibility one. I often feel quilty if I don't have everything else done before I sit to write. Then, I am to tired to have any creativity left. I am better than I used to be, but until I can make more writing than teaching, the balancing act is a necessary evil. I am really looking forward to break!
    I like the idea of joining a writers'group. I will check out the Facebook idea.
    Thanks Mindy for the encouragement. It's well timed in my world.

    Sarah ZamzowMarch 24, 2016 at 2:51 pm

  2. I am a new member but this is where I can comment. I agree with Mindy Mchorse that it is very important to get together with other writers when possible and I have several good writer friends. I would like several good ideas on how to share with each other when I often are alone - thankyou for any comments, Susan

    Guest (Susan Robe)March 24, 2016 at 3:23 pm

  3. Thank you so much, Mindy! This came to me on a day when the very "condition" of Resistance hit me especially hard. Until I read this I wasn't able to define why I sometimes feel this way. Now I know what the cause, and the cure, is. I'm grateful for your insight.
    Paul Black

    Paul BlackMarch 24, 2016 at 4:05 pm

  4. It was all the way what Mindy Mchorse talked what Resistance can play havoc to our writing career. I personally experienced this that I was about to complete part 3 of AWAI's course and complete the sample exercise and then I left it incomplete months back. Again I have become serious and started this month from the beginning I.e. Part 1. Hope this time I will make it through to the end. Any suggestions and advise please ?

    Guest (Krishnan)March 24, 2016 at 7:46 pm

  5. Mindy, your email couldn't have come at a better time. I spent yesterday telling myself that I couldn't become a copywriter, although financially, I am desperate to find something I can do from home. My doubts have come about because I live in Australia which makes it difficult (again financially) to attend days like Joshua's 10+ hours which sounds wonderful and also, because I am
    63 y.o. I have definitely self-sabotaged my efforts in other past endeavours.Thank you for some clarity today.
    Carol

    Guest (Carol N)March 24, 2016 at 11:14 pm

  6. Hey Mindy, first I want to say I love your writing. I just recently started exploring the idea of writing. I have spent the last 30+ years in warehouses and shipping docks driving forklifts so this concept of a "writes life" is completely foreign to me. So, the resistance "gremlin" is a constant voice in my head. Tanks to the variety of emails I receive from AWAI, articles that I read, and the programs I have purchased the gremlins are quieter. Thank you again, your writing encourages me.

    James

    Guest (James Cole)March 25, 2016 at 12:06 pm

  7. Hi, Mindy! Just want to tell everyone out there that having a group of supportive writer friends can make the difference between moving forward in your career, or getting lost in the "I can't" mindset. I've been lucky to be a member of a Mastermind group that formed prior to Bootcamp last year, and solidified while we were there. We are spread out all over the U.S.and Canada, yet we are each others' cheering section, editor, friend, sounding board and critic. We pick each other up, and cheer each other on. We are all moving forward because we have each other....it's worth the effort to form a group like this!

    Joyce HMarch 25, 2016 at 1:15 pm

  8. 30% of college graduates, are unemployed, or working at McDonalds,...so the competition to sit, write, and have someone appreciate that writing enough to pay you, is very fierce, and only a tiny number of people, talented, or fell into some niche, actually ever earn a dime, much less a dime more than they have to spend, plus the time and effort, to earn that dime....you elites are the paid writers, that is the nature of capitalism, it only feeds a few well, everyone else gets trickled on, if they are lucky,..nuff said...

    Guest (BEAR )March 25, 2016 at 6:51 pm

  9. I'm so new to this all that I don't even know what questions to ask yet. I learned something from each comment....so thank you all. Carol, you are still a young'un. I am a 65 y/o retired nurse. My family has always been long-lived, so maybe I still have a few years to learn what I need to learn to succeed at this adventure.
    MarilynnB

    MarilynnBMarch 25, 2016 at 7:38 pm

  10. I have a book which has been written many times in my head. I have been working and reworking it there for the last 20 years. Yes, really, the last 20 years. So far 10 chapters have been written and at least 15 more need to be drawn out.

    My fears include: it isn't good enough, compared to other writers I am just a hack. The book in my head is so much better than the one on paper, and lastly, what if it is better than I fear it is?

    I have all the reasons to finish it and all the excuses not to. Maybe I am just afraid that it is actually very good.

    Guest (Nelson)March 26, 2016 at 4:40 pm

  11. I've met the enemy...and it's name is Resistance! I have Steven Pressfield’s book. It's time to re-read it. Thanks for the great pointers Mindy!

    Cheryl WilliamsMarch 26, 2016 at 5:35 pm

  12. I believe the best "release of pressure" w/o which MY writing can't go on is going to Facebook onto which I don't care -- nor can even tell sometimes -- whether my posts are but felled in an empty woods.

    Response is great; Fb "Likes" are even better. But by logging in daily to test my writing duly placates pressures otherwise too overwhelming when merely ignored.

    Guest (Chris Morris)March 28, 2016 at 10:00 am

  13. Thanks Mindy. I agree with Sarah. By the time I've done what I feel is required, I might have time but very little energy. Resistance takes many forms. It seems that I've been very skillful at using them.

    Knowing that other folk have the same struggles is really helpful.

    VerbieannMarch 29, 2016 at 3:28 pm

  14. I know exactly what you mean !! Artistic community is essential ! Haven't really had a decent one since college--- and now I live in a town of 600 . Mindy , if you know of other writers and members living up here in N. Vermont , I'd be so grateful if you could put us in touch ! So we could hobnob, and write together maybe .

    Guest (Barbara McCarty)March 30, 2016 at 3:16 pm


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