by Cathy Scibelli
I decided that this year for my birthday I’m going to give myself something I’ve always wanted. Permission.
That’s not to say that I won’t appreciate all the thoughtful material gifts I receive from family and friends. But I think the gift I’ve picked out will be the most useful, especially when it comes to my writing.
How many times do you find that you’re all set to work on a great idea for a writing project but something nags at your mind and doesn’t let you concentrate? You think, “I can’t do this now and leave “xyz” undone. Whether it’s something you noticed that needs to be cleaned, mended, paid, or answered you just can’t seem to allow yourself to clear your head and focus on that writing project when this other thing keeps tugging at you like a small toddler and screaming “pay attention to me!”
I don’t know whether it’s the way we’re raised or something in our gender, but most women I know have trouble allowing themselves to focus on their own personal projects. In my experience, most men don’t seem to have this problem. They can step over a pile of dirty clothes on the floor, grab some leftovers out of the fridge, push aside a stack of bills on the table and sit in a contented coma watching a sporting event for several hours without the slightest pang.
So this year I’ve decided I’m going to give myself “permission” to do the same when it comes to my writing. I’m going to tell myself that the house won’t fall down, the family won’t be poisoned or permanently scarred, and the world won’t end if I don’t take care of every little thing that needs doing before I allow myself some time to work on my writing. And when I’ve accomplished my writing goal each day, you can borrow my “permission” to do the same.
Cathy Scibelli has published personal essays in several anthologies and magazines and recently started a blog. With her new gift of permission, she plans to finally work on the two books she’s had outlined for several years.