I have been hitting a wall of resistance. It’s a resistance that has many layers. One layer I can call out is muscle memory, practicing and getting in the rhythm of writing. It’s hard to start anything when your body and your mind are not in practice of doing it all the time. So how do I battle this layer of resistance?
The only way I could think to break this was to write, as much as possible, everyday. Seems reasonable enough. I’m in the process of writing a book and blogging (spontaneously) about the last years travels. There is lots to write about. However, I’m finding something restraining me each time I go to write. The content is there in a messy mental landscape, unfortunately there is also something holding me back from diving right in.
The muscle that puts hand to paper aches each time I lift the pen. Shouldn’t the drive to put words to paper overcome this resistance…
It has not.
The answer, start with what I know. I know my memories. It’s how I relate to the world. Memories help me connect to others, they bring joy and adventure and pain. They are something that are solely mine. I know them. Despite them bringing me grief over the years I am in the process of reclaiming them (ie: “process of writing a book”). The book is the game though. The book is the opening night. You still have to practice and warm up before show time.
Are you ready for this?
I am writing every memory I can possibly think of. Boom.
It provides me a subject that is dense to say the least. My hand can just keep going while I also practice flexing my actual memory muscle. It also helps me practice slowing my brain down to organize the normally sprint like thoughts I have racing through my head.
I started at the beginning. The warm up was a new memory that my father recently shared with me about the moment I was born: On this cold dark night 29 years ago I was standing next to your mother waiting for you to arrive. I still remember walking you from the delivery room to the nursery where I weighed you and gave you your name.
From here it has a handful of the memories I have been told by others. Then I start to get my own memories. I remember living in Burbank. Then I remember my mother pregnant, that was when I was 3 turning 4. I start a stream of thought list of memories.
It helped to draw a map of the house we lived in at the time. I started remembering details and stories. Eventually, I cap out of that location. There are no more memories I have of that home. Around that time I reference some of the scattered memories I had at the age and I follow the down a different path of stream of thought, list form.
8 pages in and I’m not further than a few locations in my life up to kindergarten. My hand is getting used to writing.
This content bank is not going anywhere. I can check in with it at any time, anywhere, for any length of time. I’m not creating a story, I’m gearing up to be more comfortable when I do.
I can feel the resistance shed some of itself as I break through this wall.
Building muscle memory by using my memory muscle, and strengthening that as well.