Finding what you’re resisting is the key to opening the barrier of writer’s block.

I suffer from writer’s block because I am resistant.  In a strange way, I feel compelled and simultaneously repelled from writing my stories.

I believe on some level I am called to write, but just like Jonah and the Whale, I want to hide from it.

Just about five minutes ago, I realized exactly what is causing my resistance.

It’s conformity.

The pressure to conform in my writing is even stronger than the pressure to conform in my relationships, because writing seems to have a more permanent, powerful impact.  Spoken words can fly into the atmosphere and be lost to the memory.  Words texted, typed and handwritten often stay a while longer.

In my memoir, a story that now has a real name and several workable chapters, I’m uncovering the myth of my performance as a virtuous, approval-worthy woman to find the human struggling under the weight of dogma, familial expectation, gender expectations and cultural norms.  It is difficult to write not because I am trying to remember what exactly happened to me the year I lived as a single mother, but because I’m afraid to claim that I am filled with passion, desire and rebellion.  These are things that as a woman and a mother I have been told to put away or to never acknowledge.

So now it has become complicated and tedious to unpack the truth.  Yet as I learn to recognize the influence of standard ways of being that make me afraid to write what might be harshly judged, I will work with the oppression as if it is a weight machine at the gym.

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