The other day I wrote about Steven Pressfield’s concept of resistance: the inevitable, implacable negative energy force which springs up unbidden whenever you commit yourself to a positive project that will benefit you, your family, your art or your community.
It’s also called writers block, but it applies to any entrepreneurial, physical, creative or spiritual undertaking that you feel called to do. It leads to procrastination, addiction and dissociation.
Pressfield’s key message is that resistance is always going to be there one way or another. You can’t wish it away, so you must have a plan to deal with it.
That’s all very well in theory, but how are you supposed to do that when you’ve got a monolithic, debilitating drag on your creative energy, which is reinforced by a lifetime of bad habits?
Here are some of the things that helped when I was writing my novel Trucksong. It still felt like every sentence was hammered out of rock with a chisel, but the good news is that day by day, you will get a little bit further along the rock face.
In the beginning, I set an incredibly low word count for myself, one that I was guaranteed to meet without any trouble.
If I got in the zone and went further, that was fine, but all I needed to do was spend 10 minutes on the novel each day.
You’d be surprised how quickly those small daily targets add up, and how powerful it is to connect with your work every single day.
Even if you’ve not working on a novel, you can take this approach of using the power of small increments to get better.
Use a habit tracker
Create a visual cue for meeting your daily target.
Jerry Seinfeld talks about how he made a mark on a wall calendar every day he wrote a joke.
Pretty soon he was on a streak, and was motivated to keep writing so as not to break the chain.
You can also use the Pomodoro Technique.