The Story Economy Blog

Judi Vs. The Resistance: A (Fairly Bad) One-Act Play

judi vs the resistance smallerSetting:

After a super busy couple of months, Judi takes the time to try something new in her work. She is both excited and nervous—the perfect conditions for The Resistance to swoop in.

Half schoolyard bully, half goblin, The Resistance fights dirty and uses anything and everything at its disposal to get people to abandon the thing they’ve decided to create.

As the scene starts, she’s been sitting at her desk writing for a few hours.


Judi: Wow, this is going really well! I feel like I’m onto something here.

The Resistance: Are you sure about that? Why don’t you just quickly re-read what you’ve written?

[Judi re-reads]

Judi: It’s not perfect, but I think it’s a solid start. I can see the whole shape of it. But mostly, I just feel excited to work on it, you know?

The Resistance: Excited? That’s an interesting word to use considering you so don’t have time to do this.

Judi: You think? We’ll see. I always say that people make time for what they prioritize. I’m going to get coffee.

[She leaves, and The Resistance sits in her chair]

The Resistance: She’s excited now, and she’ll come back all caffeinated and happy. But I’ll get her when she’s weak.

[Later that day]

The Resistance: Still plugging away, huh?

Judi: Yes! I can’t believe how it’s just flowing out of me!

The Resistance: Nothing can be that easy, can it? Especially not this. It’s odd that you’re so confident.

Judi: You think I’m being cocky? I definitely don’t want to be cocky.

The Resistance: Well, I didn’t want to say it, but yeah, you are. You should take a break and think about it some. Go look at some industry articles about how dismal everything is.

Judi: I mean, I could do a quick search on Google . . . but no, I’m going to keep writing.

The Resistance: Hey, maybe you should go read Amazon reviews of your book. I bet there are some really nasty ones you haven’t seen yet.

Judi: Maybe later.

The Resistance: Well, you have to admit, now would be a great time to re-read some of those journal entries you wrote when you were in that really dark place last year.

Judi: That seems like a stupid idea. If I was going to do anything, I would go watch Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED talk on reinventing creativity for yourself.

The Resistance: Sure, Elizabeth Gilbert. You’re exactly like her . . . uh, in the bizarro world. Oh listen, your kids are back home with your husband. You should go see if they need you.

Judi: Nah, I think they’re good.

The Resistance: Suit yourself. It just seems to me like you have a lot to balance right now. Listen to them down there. They’re insane. Especially that boy. Did you know that mothers who don’t spend enough time with their kids are 75% more likely to raise serial killers?

Judi: That’s completely made up. Please. Go underestimate someone else.

The Resistance: No, I think I’ve got the right person. Optimists are the most fun to mess with.

Judi: Listen, I see that it’s a long road. But I am basking in having a beginner’s mindset. Danielle LaPorte says to embrace that when you are trying to build something new. It’s pretty much what Elizabeth Gilbert says in that TED talk, too.

The Resistance: You’re going to listen to them? The Canadian hair flip and the perky blonde millionaire who just write books and millions of people buy them? They are more successful than you’ll ever be. With better hair.

Judi: I mean, I’m not comparing myself . . .

The Resistance: And seriously, you are nowhere near that cool. I mean, you live in the suburbs with a bunch of other white people. You don’t even compost. You think you are going to do something that pushes the envelope? You’re hilarious!

Judi: You make me tired. Maybe I will call it quits for today.

The Resistance: Here, let me turn on The Smiths channel on Pandora.

[4 a.m. the next morning; Judi wakes abruptly]

Judi: Oh my god, who am I kidding? This will never work!

The Resistance: That’s what I’m sayin’! So glad you’re finally seeing it!

Judi: Leave me alone! I’m going to back to sleep.

The Resistance: You really think so? That’s funny.

[The next morning at breakfast]

Judi’s husband: So, do you have any new projects going on?

Judi: Yeah, remember I told you about that new thing I’m trying?

Judi’s husband: Oh, right. I mean, do you have other work lined up, now that you’re finished with what you were working on this summer?

The Resistance: He totally thinks you’re wasting your time.

Judi [to The Resistance]: ¬†No, that’s not what he means at all. He’s just checking in about what’s in the pipeline. There’s no judgment in his question.

The Resistance: Sure, we’ll go with that. He’s not worried at all if you’re making money to support him and the kids. Sure.

Judi [to husband]: Why, are you worried?

Judi’s husband: No! Not at all! I know how busy you were and I just wondered . . .

Judi: Because I should be allowed to take a little time for myself and . . .

Judi’s husband: Of course you should! I’m not worried at all, I just . . .

The Resistance: He totally thinks you can’t do it. Do you know who else thinks you can’t do it? Everyone.

Judi [to husband]: Sorry, I’m just a little cranky. I didn’t sleep well. It’s fine. I gotta go.

Judi [to The Resistance]: Oh my god, don’t you have somewhere else to go today?

The Resistance: Nope, I’m right here with you. All day. I’m all yours.

[later that day]

Judi: Okay, I like what I have so far. I think. I mean, I wonder if I should get some feedback though?

The Resistance: Or you could just assume the feedback will be bad and stop right now.

Judi: No, I think the feedback will be good. I really think I’m on the right track. I could just use some help thinking about the big picture.

The Resistance: Sure. Go ahead. Send it.

Judi: Okay, I think I will.

[Judi sends email to trusted advisor, with work attached.]

The Resistance (laughing loudly):   Wow, you just made a huge fool of yourself!

[10. 3 seconds later]

Judi: Oh shit, why did I send that? She is going to hate it. I know she is.

The Resistance: Of course she is! It’s lousy and you know it.

Judi: But maybe she’ll tell me it’s fabulous and to keep moving forward?

The Resistance: Are you na√Øve? There’s no way. Just stick with writing the stuff you’re good at. You know, like heartfelt speeches, clever skits, and copy that sells shit. The stuff you know. Don’t even bother with this.

Judi: Yeah, I love that stuff. But I’m more excited about this than I’ve been about anything for a while. There’s something there, I can just feel it . . .

The Resistance: You’re dreaming. You really don’t understand how it works, do you? You think it’s that easy? You just get excited about something and think you can just go and do it?

Judi: I mean, yeah. Pretty much. Crap, why do I suddenly think she is going to hate it?

The Resistance: Um, because you suck? Listen, the best thing you can do is just go take a nap.

Judi: No, I have a client meeting. Hey, could you leave me alone just for a few minutes so I can talk a good game to this client about making it happen and pushing beyond The Resistance?

The Resistance: Sure, I love to watch you be a hypocrite. Go for it. I’ll be right here when you get back. Don’t worry.

[The next morning, while The Resistance is sleeping, Judi tries to sneak into her office chair and get started.]

The Resistance:¬†¬† Good morning! You know, the fact that you still haven’t heard back means that it is the Worst Piece of Garbage Ever Written.

Judi: Not necessarily. But I think I’m just going to work on something else for a while.

The Resistance: Good call. Find something safe to do.

Judi: But crap, why haven’t I heard back?

The Resistance: She just doesn’t want to hurt your feelings.

Judi: Wait a minute, she does have a 3-month old. She probably hasn’t even had a spare second.

The Resistance: Are you kidding? Babies sleep constantly. They don’t do anything.

Judi: Resistance, are you really going to tell me about babies? But hold on, do they? I can’t remember. My youngest is almost 4. No, wait, they don’t. They cry and poop and make it impossible to concentrate.

The Resistance: Whatever you say. I’m going to go sleep like a baby while you think about it every second of the hour.

[A few hours later]

Judi: Yo, Resistance, I got that feedback I was waiting for, and it was very helpful. I have stuff to think about and work on. I took some time to process it, and I feel good about it.

The Resistance: So, if it would have been bad, you would have given up though, right?

Judi: No. It would have been hard. But I would have kept going.

The Resistance: Your insistence is tedious.

Judi: I have a question for you, Resistance. Aren’t you tired of losing?

The Resistance: What do you mean?

Judi: I mean, you come for me again and again. Ever since I use to choreograph my floor routines when I was 12, you’ve come for me. And you knock me around. But you always lose. My career and everything I’ve built is proof of that. Doesn’t that frustrate you?

The Resistance: No, because I just love to distract you and watch you squirm. You’re always in control of me. But when you need to remember that most is exactly when you forget it. I can always count on that.

Judi: Well, I remember it now. And I am sitting down, writing. I’m not stopping. Even if it takes 25 rounds of bad drafts. Go bother Danielle LaPorte for a while. I’m good here.

The Resistance: Listen, you can be Suzy Sunshine and keep working. I’ll come back for you again at some point. You can count on it.

Judi: I know. But I don’t give a crap. I’m still doing it. Ta-ta!

The Resistance: Whatever.

The curtain comes down to mass applause!

Okay, so this is cheeseball city. But listen people, this is how it happens. No matter how evolved we are or how much meditation or yoga we do, The Resistance is in all of us. It loves to attack when we try new stuff.

So, if you’re feeling it, you are SO not alone. This is play is real dumb and bad, but is, in fact, an exact replica of the conversation in my brain last week (just a little more PG).

So, what am I doing anyway that’s inspired such a bully like The Resistance?

You’ll find out when I’m ready to share.

A normal blog next week, I promise.

PS. If Danielle LaPorte or Elizabeth Gilbert should ever stumble across this, I apologize for the rudeness of The Resistance (and thank you for your sense of humor).


  • Rob Bunting

    Posted by Rob Bunting on 08/15/14 2:37pm

    Great post Judi! I think you do a great job of capturing the type of negative, internal conversations a lot of people, including business owners, writers and other professionals have every day.

    Believing in your ability and knowing other people wrestle with self-doubt and/or fear of failure as well are really important to not giving in to The Resistance and achieving goals.

    Thanks for the pep talk.

    • Judi Ketteler

      Posted by Judi Ketteler on 08/15/14 5:20pm

      You're welcome, Rob. I love to give (write) pep talks!

  • And Now, For My Secrets | Judi Ketteler

    Posted by And Now, For My Secrets | Judi Ketteler on 08/20/14 2:18am

    […] project I‚Äôm working on (the one stirring up The Resistance I wrote about last week) has me mining old diaries and letters. Not only did I write and receive many dozens of letters […]

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