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Old September 30, 2002, 04:10 PM
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Default Re: Separation, resistance, and writing...

Thanks Phil..your comments were enlightening;
for some reason I tend to my best work when
I don't look at what anyone else is doing...
for some reason this "comparison" attitude
sets in and blocks progress....

Many people either consciously or unconsciously
think they can inspire or motivate people by
berating others or trying to compare what you've
done by what they've done. That doesn't work
for me....

I tend to do more when I focus on "what I want"'s been a process; because my training
has been to seek the approval of others(that's
another story)

I did at one point although I didn't realize
> it at the time. You see, I work as a writer
> and a few years ago I suffered from a great,
> well, "resistance" to writing. It
> wasn't that I didn't want to write, nor that
> I wasn't comfortable with it. My M.A. is in
> writing and I felt that it couldn't be
> because I didn't know enough.

> Well, long story short, it was due to two
> things: 1) I wasn't effectively getting the
> information I needed from my colleagues, and
> 2) I wasn't comfortable putting anything
> down on paper that wasn't
> "perfect."

> Actually, I think my training in writing
> worked against me psychologically: when you
> have a degree in writing from a
> semi-presitgious school, I think there's
> more pressure to live up to expectations.
> Unfortunately, that kind of thinking is
> disasterous for a writer. You often have to
> write down some lousy material before your
> best work will appear.

> The biggest help to me in overcoming my
> "resistance" was a book by Peter
> Elbow, called Writing with Power . I was
> drawn to the book because the author also
> went through a period of about two years
> where he "couldn't write." I could
> relate to that, so I picked up the book.
> It's an excellent read. The one exercise in
> chapter two, if practiced regularly, will do
> wonders for overcoming any
> "resistance" you may have about
> writing.

> It was after I'd cleared that up that I
> realized I needed to work on my
> information-gathering skills. I have and am
> still improving that area as well.

> Years later, I read Fritz's Path of Least
> Resistance and his discussion of separation
> struck a major chord with me. (By the way, I
> think it was a post by Michael Winiki that
> first sparked my interest in Robert Fritz.)
> He's so right: you are not your work.

> I didn't realize how much of an issue this
> idea of separation was for many people until
> I'd read that book. So many people take
> their work and, particularly any criticism
> of their work, personally.

> Listen, just because someone has a criticism
> or a comment about something you've done
> doesn't mean that his/her comment is worth
> anything. By seeing yourself as separate
> from your work, you can be objective (at
> least, much more so) about it and you can
> better evaluate other's responses.

> Look at some of the successfully independent
> business-people who post on this board.
> Notice how opinionated they are. I don't
> mean that in any perjorative sense --
> rather, its a reflection about how they are
> separate from their work. They know what
> they like and don't like and they don't let
> other's views control their perceptions of
> themselves or their work. You'll see the
> same kind of opinionated-ness in artists of
> all kinds.

> Contrast that frame of mind with the culture
> of, say, academia. It's a night-and-day
> difference.

> Best,
> -Phil

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