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Just Write

One of the perils of being human is the unrelinquished desire to occupy your mind with everything other than what you want to accomplish. For the past five days, it was my turn to sit on my barren balcony and stare at a blinking cursor on my brightly lit screen. I’ve tried to write a new blog post for some time now, but the thought of putting ideas to paper has been daunting. Instead, I’ve been preoccupied by neighbors reluctant walks to their cars as they leave their garages in the morning, the zombie-like approach employees of the tall office building next door commit as they arrive to work, and the community garbage collector who drives around to pick up organized bags of resident trash. Anything, but work.

That which is worth pursuing will provide the greatest resistance.

I recently read a book by Steven Pressfield called The War of Art. It’s a non-fiction book about the persistence of resistance, or chronic procrastination. It uncovers much of what we know about avoiding the internal voices that bring desired creative pursuits to a halt. It’s a heavy read, with a lot of information, but it all boils down to this. Just do it. The greatest gift of all is to have the ability to pursue the creative mind freely.

When my neighbors left, employees arrived, and the garbage was exhausted I stared, once again, at a blank cursor. I had written some things down, but the delete key was a lot stronger than the will of my words. Some sentences remain in draft form but others have been thrown away indefinitely. To put it simply, I failed to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish.

Next week, I’m determined to write five new blog posts. I don’t know what they’ll be about, but they’ll live here, eat here, get fat here. Even if it takes me all day to write them, they’ll be posted before I go to sleep. Guaranteed.

I’m currently reading Anne Lamott’s book Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. It’s a wonderful book so far. One of the things I’m fascinated by is her ability to make sentences so vivid and colorful. In fact, fascinated doesn’t capture all of the proper emotions. Can I suggest envy? Either way, it’s inspiring enough to freeze me in my tracks, which is the opposite of what the book is intended for.

This is the unique juxtaposition between inspiration and hesitation. I want to pursue a writing style I find inspiring, but the thought of never achieving said goal discourages me from moving forward.

That which is worth pursuing will provide the greatest resistance.

  • Julia Romanow

    Great post Justin!!’ Most writers experience this because writing reveals so much about yourself and it is personal. Even when writing fiction, it is part of you and open to judgement by others. Keep believing in your gift and for goodness sake, KEEP WRITING!

  • B. Kennel

    Just put your fingers on the keyboard and GO!

  • Evette

    You are your own writer; unique in your own way. What Anne Lamott brings to life in one way, you bring in another. While Anne brings color to sentences, you bring life, hope, inspiration and comedy….do what you do best; in the way that you do. ;)