If you have voices in your head, does it mean you’re crazy? Not necessarily. It might mean you are a writer. Or, you could be a crazy writer. Either way, the voices are raging in my head today.

The voices are upset about the commitment I’ve made with some fellow Hopkins creative writing grads to write every single day, at least 300 words a day. It’s not the word count that’s daunting, it’s the “every day” part.

We begin today. I don’t believe we named an end-date, but I intend to pursue it at least through Lent, which ends on March 26. I’m making a number of other changes for Lent in pursuit of “discipline” (more to come on that), so this is a good lead-in to my Lenten practices.

Anyone who has ever tried to write seriously will recognize my inner voices: they are of the “what do you have to say anyway, who do you think you are, nobody wants to read your crappy writing, why are you wasting your time?” variety. And that’s on a good day.

This February 1st challenge is especially scary to my inner critics because I am poised to begin work on the spiritual memoir that’s been brewing in my head and heart for a year or two. I am finally ready. All I need to do is write. Every day. Hence, the craziness in my head: resistance, monkey mind, inner critic, writer’s block — call it what you will.

“There is no cure for resistance except to write,” says Elizabath J. Andrew in her book, Writing the Sacred Journey. “Write about your resistance; enter into conversation with it, ask it what it wants to say, find out its origin and history . . . The point is not to fight your inner critic as you are writing, wasting precious time and energy. If you allow the critic to speak fully, you can thank it for its input and move on.”

That’s why I’m writing this post, giving my resistance its due.

Andrew also says that “When resistance nudges you, usually it’s a sign that you’re on to something good. The stronger your resistance, the greater potential there is for discovery.” If that’s the case, this could be one hell of a spiritual memoir. 

Right now, though, the “product” doesn’t matter. What matters is writing through the resistance.

Danish author Isak Dinesen said to “Write a little every day, without hope and without despair.” 

I don’t have to fear mortification or fret over my inadequacies, and I don’t have to hope for high art or a best seller. All I have to do is write. Every day.

That’s the plan.

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