Early Words Quiet the Resistance

It was from The War of Art that I learned to name the Resistance. The Resistance is a malevolent, intelligent force of nature. It stalks the artist tirelessly, an eternal being who will never give up, never falter, never slow.

I recognized it. I saw the work of the Resistance in my life. I felt it. And The War of Art allowed me to understand it and give it a name.

It was from The Artist’s Way that I learned to love the Artist. The Artist is the creative aspect of self. It requires care and feeding, and will shrink away from neglect and mistreatment.

I recognized it. I saw the mistreatment I had put the Artist through and the impact that had on the Artist and me. I felt it. And The Artist’s Way gave me the tools I needed to undo it.

Another name for the Resistance is the inner critic. A nicer term might be the editor. It’s that voice in your head that tells you you are doing it wrong. That’s not the right word. That sentence is clunky. The structure is muddy. The meaning is lost.

Like fire, the editor is a powerful servant and fearful master. An internal editor can halt every word before it reaches the page and every note before it rings in the air.

It takes training to learn how to manage the editor. It takes practice.

For me, that is what EarlyWords is, a place to do that training. Every morning, for the time it takes for me to type eight hundred words, I practice quieting the Resistance, setting aside the inner editor, telling him, “Wait. This is not your time.”

I don’t need to use the right word. I don’t need my sentences to flow smoothly. I don’t need the structure to be solid, or the meaning to be clear. I don’t need there to be a meaning at all. This is not for anyone to read. This writing is private. Afterwards, it is hidden even from me.

I type whatever is going on in my head, a stream of consciousness with no filter, no editor, no resistance. I practice creating, overcoming the Resistance, and proving to myself, everyday, that it can be done.

— Damien