Facing Down the Demon

Ideas aren’t the problem.

I have more ideas than I will ever need. My mind is swimming in them. My journals are filled with them. They come to me while awake, while asleep, while focusing on a project, while reading a book, while listening to a lecture, while drinking wine with friends.

Quiet isn’t the problem.

I can quiet my mind. I have never found it difficult to meditate or to zone out or to focus on work amidst people in a packed coffee shop.

Passion isn’t the problem.

Everything is interesting to me. I always want to know more. I get excited by people, ideas, all manner of things, all of the time. Everything matters.

So what is the problem? Why is it so hard these days to move forward? Why can’t I push myself to execute on my ideas? To pursue my passions? To be at peace with myself?

This isn’t a new state for me, but it isn’t a frequently visited one either. I know from experience that it means I’m about to have some sort of breakthrough. It means that I need to be patient with myself and try to live my life while the breakthrough is finding its way to the surface.

Why is this so damn hard?



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22 thoughts on “Facing Down the Demon

  1. I think it’s the general bleakness of January/February … or that post holiday hangover that sometimes lingers far too long … or the impossible to ignore urge to clean closets and sort the excesses of worldly goods before REAL spring fever sets in …

    At least these are the things I’ve been telling myself these past weeks as I fuss and moan myself — frustrated, cranky, and worried — that my own writerly passion has gone missing. Fallen off the map. Run away to live in someone else’s head πŸ™

    1. I think as writers, we spend so much time inside our heads that we take every thought as if it were something to be studied and taken seriously. Stops us in our tracks sometimes instead of catapulting us into the real world where you do stuff. Like clean closets. And write novels. And connect with other people. πŸ™‚

      It’s good and bad to realize I am not alone. Wishing you a quick return to the you that thrives. Maybe if I tell you that your 2nd book is reaching the top of my cue that will help you? It is. I’m really looking forward to it, too, after book one.

      1. I do think you’ve wonked the weasel on the head with your suggestion that “we spend so much time inside our heads that we take every thought as if it were something to be studied and taken seriously.” Truly, the tendency to wrestle with deep thoughts and percolating ideas is a blessing and a curse in that it isn’t so easily manipulated when we’re ready to get moving. But we will. Of course we will. It’s impossible not to.

        *Smiling, smiling* and absolutely,yes, indeed — it does feel pretty darn good to hear that AWD is scaling the ladder in your reading pile. Thanks, Sara!

  2. Because everything worth doing is hard… A friend has been telling me recently that the harder it is, the more overwhelmed I feel (about my current WIP), the better it will be, because I’m stretching myself…

    Of course, this remains to be seen, but it makes me feel a little better as I grapple with it. πŸ™‚

    Good luck finding your mojo! It WILL reappear, you know.

    1. Your friend is the best kind of friend to have. Speaks the truth and helps you see your work for what it is and will be. Her thoughts told through you really do make me feel a little better too. Thank you.

  3. It’s January, you know? Everything’s in hybernation. And just like the bulbs that will be poking their heads up through the crusty frozen dirt, you’ll push through this.
    I believe!

    1. I’d like to be a daffodil bulb, if you don’t mind. If only I lived in the South, that damn crusty frozen dirt would be easier to push through. You know, being mud and all. Thanks for believing! And big congrats on the publication of your novel. Can’t wait to read. πŸ™‚

    1. Good and bad to know I am not alone. The good is that sometimes we have to get through the struggle to make it to the other side. Wishing you well!

  4. Sara, I face the same stuck-in-the-muddiness. Right now I’m reading Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way and simultaneously listening to Anthony Robbins CDs. They’ve shed some light, I’m flooded with insight and solutions, but in the end, it is me who has to curl my fingers around my own bootstraps and pull. This is your journey. You will find your way.

    1. I so appreciate the cheering me on. It helps even if “in the end, it is me who has to curl my fingers around my own bootstraps and pull.” I frequently forget that motivational exercises (Artist’s Way, Tony Robbins) can force the hand to do some of the stuff that moves us closer to making IT happen, whatever IT is. Thanks so much for your words. πŸ™‚

  5. Hibernation time for sure. So stay in your head, make your lists and be ready for the energy spurt to come–it always comes. I agree with Sherry in that reading inspirational books helps get you revved up, or inspirational blogs, videos, etc. You’re not alone. I see it as a rhythm that happens. You might be in the trough now but you will rise soon:-)

  6. I hear you. I have tons of ideas, and I also have the time and space to work on them (like right now, shhh). In my case, I think it’s the post-Christmas, beginning-of-school, just-finished-some-big-projects block. There’s so much other stuff in my life–good stuff–pulling me in different directions. And sometimes, I need to let the writing slide so I can focus on that, too.

    1. Good reminder that so much of the other stuff that pulls us in different directions is GOOD. And February is just around the corner, right?

  7. Been there, done that.. At the very least, you know there is a breakthrough a comin’ ~ if only you could tell when, it may ease your mind a bit. I guess all you can do is ride the wave and hang on until you get there.

    Hang in there, Sara ~ we’re on the beach, cheering you on!

    …and how did this turn into a surfing response? I…I don’t know..

    1. I LOVE that you turned it into a surfing response. It was 4 degrees F this morning so the thought of surfing (even though I’m likely to fall flat on my face over and over again) is quite welcome. As long as it’s far away from here. Question: Did you bring your pom-poms to the beach? πŸ™‚

  8. In a word, it sounds like what Stephen Pressfield calls ‘Resistance’. He covers it plus remedies in The War of Art.

    You may want to read some of the reviews there to see if it rings true for you.

    Also, from Pressfield’s site

    Disclaimer: I am a HUGE fan of any and all Pressfield non-fiction. His blog features Writing Wednesdays, where he wrote at length about Resistance (several posts about four or five months ago and more further back).

    All highly recommended.

    1. Thanks Erica! I’ve heard of this book before but have never looked at it. The blog looks really interesting too. Can’t wait to give it a look. Big question is whether on not having a name for it in any way helps you to break through it, no?

      1. For me it did, but that’s because I found tools to battle it consolidated under a single heading. In other words, knowing what to call it made finding help fairly easy…and eye-opening.

        I had what I thought were several unrelated issues, not limited to writing. As it turned out, all were Resistance in action. From what I’ve discovered, I wasn’t unusual. Many have found that at least a touch of it ripples through virtually every area of their lives. So now not only do I have tools to fight the daily battle, I know I’m not weird or strange (at least where that’s concerned πŸ™‚ ).

        1. Not sure anything will prove that I am not weird or strange, but I bought the book, hoping that I will gain some insight that will help me to move forward with all of that stuff that’s waiting to be used/done/accomplished. Thanks for the recommendation and for the support. πŸ™‚

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