The Real Enemy to Creativity is You

Donald Miller

Writing gets harder, not easier. It’s all battling demons, you know. The first book was such an easy one, then Blue was easy, too, looking back. I might have thrown away one chapter for every ten. Now it’s the opposite. I throw away five to ten chapters for every one that makes it into a book. The whole thing is melodrama from beginning to end.

It takes years now to write a single chapter worth publishing. It’s all because of the voices in my head, the voices that say it’s not clear enough or funny enough; or the condemning voices that tell me I’m only acting, I’m only acting authentic but not really being authentic. It takes so long to get past those voices.

*Photo by Corey Leopold, Creative Commons

But I realized something today, wrestling demons. I realized I’ve made the resistance external. I made the resistance something out there that I’m having to fight, like God’s rooster in a cage fight. But it’s not external, is it? It’s internal. I mean I am the offense and the defense both. I’m playing this game against myself. I am the one speaking that crap into my head as I type. There’s nobody else in the room. Perhaps Satan perches on my shoulder, but I doubt it. I think it’s more that he speaks through my own voice, the voice I have control of and I have to agree with him to listen.

And why is it that I resist myself, why do I externalize the resistance and fabricate enemies? All so I can make excuses. All so I can get out of the work, so I can dramatize a battle and have an excuse not to try, not to put forward something that isn’t excellent, something that reveals I’m not God’s gift to literature.

What a terrifying and freeing truth. I am in control of the offense and the defense.

Donald Miller

Donald Miller

Donald Miller

Donald Miller is all about story. He helps people live a better story at creatingyourlifeplan.com and grow their business at storybrand.com. Follow Don on Twitter (@donaldmiller). To read more of his posts on the Storyline Blog, click here.