Resistance and Creativity

This may be an unorganized mess of a post, so please stick in there.

It has been a long time (far too long) since I last updated the blog. I have been getting a steady stream of hits to some of the relevant posts here on Worthless Genius, but truthfully, everything has been a bit stale.

I’ve updated the theme here, to make it look a little nicer, and a bit more modern, but that’s just about all the work that I’ve put into the blog lately.

The lack of update could be due to a large number of unrelated circumstances, or it could simply be that I’ve been lazy lately. So, I just want to touch on a few ideas that have been circling around in my head for the past month, with a brief explanation.

Resistance

I throw this term around very lightly recently, after having read The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield a few months back. It seems that Resistance has played a large role in my life in the past month, keeping me from doing what needs to be done, and really going forward with writing, work and school.

I finished the school semester on the Honors List for the first time since I started school too many years ago. In fact, it was the first time I was on the Honors List since I was in elementary school. This certainly was in the face of Resistance, but for some reason, once the semester ended, there it was again, rearing its ugly head and guiding my actions.

A lot of Resistance comes from fear: fear of the unknown, fear of broken promises and the fear of failure. For me, when I started writing a blog one year ago, it was just because I could, and there were no specific goals for the project. Lately, as I’ve become more passionate about certain subjects, my subconscious decided that it was time to either step up to the plate, or wither away.

Think of this as similar to having an angel on one shoulder (my hopes and dreams) and a devil on the other (Resistance). Now, The War of Art steers clear of the generally-accepted “Christian” view of good and evil, but in this representation, using a common interpretation is the best way to go.

On my left shoulder, my hopes and dreams are whispering me to sit down and write, regardless of what comes out, because I have a passion for that line of work.

On the right shoulder, though, sits Resistance, ever reminding me that I have failed at so many things previously in my life, and that no good will come of trying.

Whether or not this turns out to be an entertaining post, or just simply an exercise in free-form writing, I am here now to try to squash that Resistance, so that I can get on with my life and make an honest effort toward whatever goals I can set forth.

Creativity

I’ve been battling Resistance to the point where today I realized that I have lost the ability to be creative.  Now, it’s not gone for good, but it certainly has become a bit rusty.

I am participating in the world in a creative way, as my current occupation requires it.  But I have to ask myself if I am in fact giving it my all, or whether I am making shortcuts where Resistance feels it would be best.  This isn’t an easily answered question, but it is one that has been hanging on my mind lately.

I have so many things that I have planned to do over the past month, having been out of school with a truckload of free time.  Instead of buckling down and truly getting things done, I have been wasting time in all sorts of ways, and it’s reminding me too much of the self I once was, rather than the self I want to be.

It’s always been hard for me to visualize where I see myself in 5 years, let alone 6 months.  Since I have been honestly working to overcome my medical and personal issues, the picture is becoming clearer every day.  After getting through this last semester with my highest GPA yet, I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to where my school career will lead me.

Similar to that idea, I have found that I am more confident as a father and a husband, and I am now becoming comfortable with my role in our small family.

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Past the personal blockades that have kept me scared over the past few years, I’m also learning what I want to do with the rest of my life.  I will be graduating with two Associates Degrees and two Letters of Recommendation from the two-year college that I am currently attending.  Though this doesn’t reach the same level as a BS certainly would, this is a solid start for my path to get that piece of paper that is ubiquitous in the Computer Science-related occupations.

On top of that, I have been completely ignoring the main aspiration I have in life–to be a published author.  This may never happen, but the ideas that have been given to me carry such a weight in my mind, that I almost need to get them out for someone to experience.  In addition to simply writing out the ideas, I have begun to use the tools at my disposal in an attempt to organize not only the writing, but also the universe in which these stories take place.

Day by day, I am working to overcome my Resistance.  I’m not making any promises, but I hope that you will be hearing from me again soon, as I just have way too much to say.

Thanks for sticking around through this mess of a post.

  • Debbie Wiles

    Awesome, Ben! Resistance, as you describe, is an inherent trait in humans. We find it easy to get tangled in the brambles and weeds of our very human world. Every one of us, no matter how we appear on the outside, battles internally with resistance against the will to move forward. But a taste of productivity and achievement, if nurtured, begets more of the same. Eventually, you’ll find your life in motion, and once it gets going, the tendency is to remain that way. You are doing very well. Here’s something that keeps me going: a mentor and friend of mine says to keep pushing forward when you feel most like giving up and you’ll be able to hear that sweet inner voice saying to you, “welcome to the next level.” Mine comes with trumpets and four-part harmony 😉

  • http://www.parambir.in Parambir Singh

    You’ve put, what I’ve been feeling for a long time, in words perfectly. I believe that I am not even half as creative as I was during college and I’m resistant to trying new ideas for some reason. I’m not sure what the reason is: resistance as you say it, or the fear of it not achieving the potential that I dream of or simply laziness. But I’ve started a mission to fight it off and be how I wanted myself to be!