“No! I don’t want to write another newsletter. You can’t make me. No!”
And yet, the deadline draws near. I can’t escape the deadline. And I don’t want to fail to follow through on my commitment to publish it once a week. But sometimes my inner child just has these fits…
So, I’ll go out and weed in the garden. “It really, really needs it,” she says, “And isn’t it nice out here?”
Or, I’ll do dishes. “Can’t leave the kitchen a mess,” she tsks.
Or, I’ll sit and read for a while. Because my inner child loves stories.
All of this is often my inner child’s way of escaping what she thinks is going to be hard work. Aha! Notice, that I said HARD WORK.
That’s the thing, see. Resistance, according to Steven Pressfield in his popular book, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles, is what shows up when you and I show up to write or do our creative work.
After all, work has all kinds of nasty connotations to it…hard, difficult, dirty, messy, backbreaking, exhausting. Gee, who wants to do something like that?
Pressfield says that in order to defeat Resistance, you have to take on the mindset and behavior of a professional.
Aaaaacccck! My inner child just went screaming from the room. To her, that’s almost as scary as being an adult.
Sigh! Now how will I wile her back into my studio? Perhaps with promises of treats after I finish the newsletter?
Nope. That didn’t work. She peeked in at me but ran off again.
Hmmm. What if I tell her that we’re not going to work? We’re going to play. Oh-h, inner chi-l-d…
Yep. That did it. Here she comes.
See, sometimes taking on the demeanor and behavior of the, ahem, p-r-o-f-e-s-s-i-o-n-a-l, is what is needed. Otherwise, we’ll fail to meet deadlines and follow through on commitments. But, we can do those things and, at the same time, ask, “How can I have fun doing this?”
I asked myself that question when I sat down to write my newsletter and suddenly words came spilling out. It was as if I had just asked my inner child and the Muse to a tea party with favorite stuffed animals and mother’s hats.
It’s what I keep asking myself when that other part of myself that begins with a ‘p’ reminds me I need to sit down and work on my novel.
So the other day, I sat outside on the patio, sipping tea, listening to the wind in the trees (no, not willows, that’s another book by another author), and watching the frogs sitting at the edge of our fountain (and no, neither one was driving a car). My inner child was happy because she was enjoying being outside, and my Muse was happy because she and I were weaving a story.
So, the next time you inner child is shouting, “No! I don’t want to,” ask instead, “How can we (fill in the blank)…
And have FUN doing it?