The word inevitably arises within the first month of each new writing season. Despite her sometimes desperate desire to be writing, here and now, a woman’s resistance to writing looms huge and seemingly insurmountable.
This resistance is insidious. It’s downright evil. NOW is the time I have set aside. To write. Regularly. And to share what I write in order to get constructive feedback.
Silence. Blank paper. Nada.
This resistance wears many disguises, excuses primary among them. Didn’t get enough sleep; not comfortable in my writing place; need coffee, light, a walk . . . Too many phone calls ahead or bills to pay . . .
Over the years I’ve shared, many times, the wonderful demonstration described by Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. When asked to fill a bowl with large and small stones, most folks start with the small, only to find there is no room for the large. Yet, if you put the large ones in first, the small ones settle in and find their niche.
I remind my writers that WRITING IS THE LARGE STONE. This is what we want to do; so let’s do it! Not worry about it; not put it aside for the myriad minutiae that can immediately scream for attention the minute we strive to focus on something for ourselves. Those things will get done. After the writing.
What it really comes down to, of course, is that women constantly need to be reassured that it’s OK to take time for ourselves. We are programmed to be on call 24/7 to others’ needs and demands. Programmed to feel guilty for taking time for ourselves. Programmed to feel not worthy of all this attention to self. It is time we put ourselves atop our to-do list. Amazingly, not only will the small stuff get done; it generally will take less time and seem less onerous having attended to our own needs first. And yes – writing is for many of us a Need. So put it in first place as self-care. And enjoy it! We deserve every minute.