“[Resistance] is the force that has stopped countless artists throughout the ages, repelling them from their work like two similarly charged magnets.” – Jennifer Fulwiler, “One Beautiful Dream”

If you’re wondering where I’ve been lately, this quote sums it up.

I’ve gone through many phases in the last decade where I’ll want to write, but I don’t know what about. Or I’ll actually write something, but then won’t publish it out of fear of what others will think. My introverted nature questions whether I should share at all or if my musings should stay private.

It’s a constant push and pull, a battle between inspiration and fear. A word war. You’d think writing would be easy for someone who’s always been a writer. But it’s hard to know which voice to listen to — the one that says to take a chance and share what’s on my heart, or the other one that says basically, to shut up.

Steven Pressfield, author of “The War of Art,” calls that other, not-so-nice voice Resistance.

“Resistance obstructs movement only from a lower sphere to a higher,” Pressfield writes. “It kicks in when we seek to pursue a calling in the arts, launch an innovative enterprise, or evolve to a high station morally, ethically, or spiritually.”

I wrote this poem a few days ago as I was thinking about this struggle I’ve faced, and continue to face, each time I pick up a pen to write.

Word War
by Kristie Nguyen

What can I say
that hasn’t already been said
What can I write
that hasn’t already been read

How long will I last
without taking a breath
living life without passion
a passionless death

How long will I strive
to go on without prayer
As stupid and futile
as life without air

And how long will I
pretend not to care?
Buried talent and treasure
too fearful to share

What will the world think
of my poor little words
Call them useless and pointless
and stupid, absurd?

Isn’t this something
they’ve already heard?
I feel the words in me
but my vision is blurred

Been ignoring the call
to bring words to life
Being mother and teacher
and fixer and wife

You create outer calm
but cause inner strife
pushing passions away
cuts just like a knife

And who is the one
who’s wielding the blade?
who whispers destruction
and lies from the shade

who thwarts the creation
through malevolent raid
and prompts the distrust
that heaven forbade

And yet in the beginning
there was the Word
The Word was the One
we were meant to have heard

The One who gives sight
when our vision is blurred
The One who gives hope
when hope is deferred

The Word who created
calls me to create
My words are my prayer
to Him who is great

Talents are given
for blessing, not hate
Earthly fear is but nothing
when heaven awaits

No need to hide,
feel ashamed, or to run
He Who calls me
hath the victory won

I trust Him who in me
a good work has begun
When I say yes to the Word
I say yes to the Son. 

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