DON’T RESIST RESISTANCE
Creating demo examples for the lesson I will be teaching at my next Santa Monica workshop.
© 2017 David Limrite
“Take something. Do something to it. Do something else to it.”
Jasper Johns, Artist
I’ve got a very special treat for you today. I asked my good friend, author and inspiring creator, Christine Mason Miller, to write a guest post for us on any topic she felt would interest you all. Christine and I are wonderfully aligned on thoughts about creativity. She thankfully said “yes” and chose to write about ‘resistance’. It is a fantastic piece of writing on the subject. So, please dive in and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. BTW, her latest book “Moving Water: A Memoir” is beautifully written and well worth the read.
Don’t Resist Resistance
“Don’t cheat the world of your contribution. Give it what you’ve got.”
There are very few certainties on the path of creative expression, but one of them is so certain and powerful it has the ability to stop us in our tracks before we’ve even begun. I’m not talking about anything as obvious as self-doubt or lack of experience. I’m talking about things that, in the midst of a creative journey, usually arrive at our doorstep disguised as something completely benign and, well, normal. Boring even.
“I really wanted to write today, but that laundry hamper full of dirty clothes isn’t going to clean itself. Maybe another time.”
“I have been eager to try out my new paintbrushes for weeks, but there’s also a new show on Netflix everyone keeps telling me about, so I think I’ll go check that out.”
“That dance class looks like a lot of fun, but I’m just too busy these days organizing my closets.”
It all seems so reasonable, doesn’t it? So understandable. If I told someone I never got around to writing my book because I have a husband and a dog and all that, no one would fault me. In fact, if there were any other would-be authors - who hadn’t gotten around to writing their book either - who got wind of my excuses, they would be the most kind and sympathetic listeners. Because then they’d be off the hook too.
And in the end, who wins? Resistance.
Clever fellow, Resistance, slinking into our homes and brains and attention spans, offering the gift of a free pass to not take creative leaps, and instead let our visions and longings rest comfortably in a cozy nest of “Maybe someday,” which eventually turns into “Never.”. Not only do we not have to do the work to make them real, we also get to continue enjoying them in their never-actually-realized perfection.
“That play I was going to write? It would have been amazing. I just know it!”
We have to decide, and the decision is simple. When facing your creative dreams, whether it is completing a novel or finishing one painting (just one!), the only thing you need to say is yes or no. Are you in or are you out? Are you committed to seeing it all the way through, even if it turns out wildly different from what you originally envisioned? (Spoiler alert: It will turn out wildly different from what you originally envisioned!) Are you willing to stand up to Resistance? Again and again and again?
Mark my word: Resistance will be there, plotting against you every step of the way. This is, believe it or not, a good sign, because Resistance doesn’t bother with ideas that aren’t interesting, meaningful, compelling, or transformative. Resistance shows up when we’re onto something good, when we’re diving into rich territory. Resistance means we are going in the right direction.
Don’t resist Resistance - invite it in, give it a cup of tea. Say thank you for pointing you in the direction you need to go. Serve it warm chocolate chip cookies. Then dive into your work - at the easel, on the keyboard, at the barre. Take your creative leaps. Sink deep into the process. Give the world what you’ve got.
Christine Mason Miller is the author of Moving Water: A Memoir and a guide for aspiring authors. She has been inspiring others to create a meaningful life since 1995. Signed copies of Moving Water, are now available at www.christinemasonmiller.com and Amazon.com.
[FREE FOR ARTISTS]
THE ART OF CREATING:
11 TIPS TO MAKE YOUR ART BETTER
Discover 11 Key Tips to improve not only the quality of your art but the art making process as well.