7 Ways for Conscious & Creative Writers to Overcome Resistance

October 24, 2011

TrafficLightsResistance can be said to be anything and everything that stops you from doing your writing and all that you need to do to succeed as an author.

Resistance shows up in numerous different ways and often as the voice of the inner critic.

If you regularly put off the moment to start writing, feel overwhelmed with doubts and hear challenges such as, “Who are you to write a book?” – resistance is at work.

Resistance is the opposite of inspiration and is a natural part of the creative process. If you want to write, you need to learn how to manage your creative anxiety.

Here are 7 ways for conscious & creative writers to overcome resistance:

1. Clarify Your Vision

Knowing your “why” for writing and publishing your article or book is very important. You need to see and work with the “big picture” to clarify your vision of authorship. This involves diving deeply in to your mission, passion, motivation, objectives, and what you want to aim for, and writing all of this down.

When resistance shows up, read your notes and click in to “big picture” mode. Remembering your true purpose will help you to overcome resistance.

2. Strengthen Your Belief

We have to believe in ourselves as writers. When we burn that light brightly, resistance pales in its shadow. Initially we may need to “act as if” until we have some grounds on which to build a firm belief.

Strengthen your belief by doing your writing regularly to build confidence in yourself as a writer. You can’t just think your way to overcoming resistance, you need to take action and repeat regularly.

3. Expand Your Awareness

Recognise and be alert to the many different ways resistance shows up. Notice where you feel it in your body. Where is it in your heart and in your mind?

Breathe in to those areas and set the intention to release the energy of resistance each time you breath out. Bring your awareness to resistance so that it isn’t able to be in charge of you without you realising it.

4. Name Your Resistance

In ancient cultures, it was understood that to know the name of something gives you power over it. Some people personify resistance and literally name the inner critic. For others, it’s enough to say, “Oh, there’s resistance again.”

Once you’ve named it, simply acknowledge it – which opens up the space for you to work through it – and begin your writing anyway.

5. Accept Your Resistance

The attitude of acceptance allows you to see resistance as part of the creative process and learn to feel comfortable with the uncertainty it brings. Be willing to face the unknown that goes with creating any piece of writing and have the courage to release any layers of judgement you may be carrying around writing.

Become fully present in moment as this is a gateway to accepting everything fully just as it is. There is no resistance present when you are present in the moment!

6. Prepare to Write

Many writers have a preparation sequence or ritual they engage in before starting to write. For example, you can clear your writing space, get your materials ready, wash your hands, light a candle or some incense, and spend 5 or 10 minutes sitting quietly before you begin.

When you repeat a series of actions each time you write, you create an association between these actions and doing your writing. This signifies to your unconscious mind that it is time to write. Keep it short and simple.

7. Take Action!

When it’s time to write, write, because that’s what writers do! If you have applied some or all of the above, your resistance should be evident but diminished in power and intensity.

Each time you overcome resistance by doing your writing anyway, its ability to hold you back is greatly reduced.

Use these strategies to enjoy the freedom of showing up to do your writing regularly, and before you know it, your article or book will be written.

What are your techniques for overcoming resistance?
Share your experiences, comments and reactions below.


© Julia McCutchen 2011. All Rights Reserved.

If you want to use this article in your ezine or on your website I’d be happy for you to do so as long as you use the complete article, including the copyright line, and include the following paragraph in its entirety:

Julia McCutchen is the founder & creative director of the International Association of Conscious & Creative Writers (IACCW). A former managing director & publisher, Julia is an intuitive writer’s coach, mentor and professional publishing consultant. She has over 20 years’ experience of publishing and a track record that includes UK no 1 and international bestsellers. Julia is the author of The Writer’s Journey: From Inspiration to Publication. Visit www.juliamccutchen.com for a range of FREE articles, audios and videos for writers and download a FREE Sp ecial Report, Discover Your Authentic Voice – on the page and in the world at www.iaccw.com


  1. Hi Julia,

    Interesting article, many thanks.

    I realised some time ago that resistance can be a good friend, because if you are sufficiently aware to see it when it arrives (or better still, when it’s on it’s way), it will show you like a huge signpost where you need to focus your attention.

    For example, you might think to yourslef, “I’m putting off writing my great opus again by finding lots of other things to do. That’s obviously my resistance. I’m not going to listen to that any more. The other tasks can go hang, I’m going to write!” As always, awareness is the key.

    And inevitably, once you make a start on writing, everything else dissapears (including the resistance) as your attention to your writing deepens.

    Almost invariably by resistance caused by fear (of not being good enough, of rejection, of negative judgements, of failure, etc) and it can stop you dead if you let it.
    By the way, I’ve found that as I meet each creative challenge, usually I find myself taking on a bigger challenge that requires stepping up to a higher level. When that happens, sometimes writing becomes more scary rather than less so, at first. Is it the fate of a creative writer to live continually outside his or her comfort zone?

    All the best,

    Dave Robson
    Author and Personal Coach

    Comment by Dave Robson — October 24, 2011

  2. this article reminds me of two things:

    1) there is no business like flow business

    2) f.e.a.r. is our friend (feel everything and relax)

    eye love the ACCEPTANCE part the most, because with it, there is no resistance!

    thank you, julia

    Comment by zo valentine — October 24, 2011

  3. I’ve been toying with the idea of writing and illustrating a book for a long time now and I’m always too busy or too tired. Obviously this is resistance. I’m also now in a financial situation where I am about to start job applications after being self-employed as a fine artist for a decade. If I couldn’t find time to write while I had the freedom of managing my own time, how will I do it once I’m employed? More resistance! Hmmm…

    Comment by Leigh — October 24, 2011

  4. Hi Dave, thanx so much for your comments and I’m glad you found the article interesting. Yes, resistance can indeed become a signpost for your attention, and I couldn’t agree more – awareness is indeed the key. To answer your question, I would say that most conscious & creative writers do live regularly, if not continually, outside the comfort zone. As a result, the comfort zone continues expanding. Living on the creative edge like this is not for everyone but for those who have the courage to stay the course, the rewards at every level are usually commensurate to the risk. And you do get used to that space which leaves very little room for resistance to get a look in 🙂

    Comment by julia — November 7, 2011

  5. Hi Zo, I love your f.e.a.r interpretation – feel everything and relax! Yes, acceptance is the light that dissolves resistance as long as we accept fully and with an open heart. Thanx for sharing. Julia

    Comment by julia — November 7, 2011

  6. Yes, it probably is resistance Leigh although sometimes when you have less time you can use that as a way to be more focused … so maybe once you have less time, you’ll put it to good use and start writing your book! Let us know how you get on and thanx for your comment. Julia

    Comment by julia — November 7, 2011

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