Friday, December 23, 2011

Give Yourself Permission

Dude, so it's 1:11 AM right now, and I'm just sitting down to write a blog post. I don't know what this says, but I'm pretty sure it goes against everything I'm about to say. Shocking, I know.

I think it's important to give ourselves permission for things. As a new year approaches and many of us stop to contemplate the last year and what we might like to do differently in the upcoming year, my vote is for you to give yourself permission.

Skip writing for a day if you need to. Maybe for two days. Or three. Sometimes there are more important things.

Don't beat yourself up over this. Give yourself permission.

Feel free to write terribly one day. Maybe two. Or three. Or weeks. It's okay to spew the draft out in the hopes that you can fix it in revisions.

Don't worry about every word being perfect. Give yourself permission to stink it up.

Feeling like the constant noise of the Internet is making you insane? Finding that you're moving into the land of "I Suck" because she has good news and he blah blah and blah blah blah?

Turn it off.

Give yourself permission to be disconnected for a day. Or two. Or three. It's important to be a whole person too, not just an Internet presence. Work on your real relationships and go to work and make dinner and all that other stuff that forms you into who you are.

Don't feel like blogging?

Don't.

Give yourself permission to scale back, improvise, experiment until you find what works for you. And since I always follow my own advice (ha!), I have given myself permission to take all of next week off from the blog. From a lot of things, actually.

Hope you have a happy holiday season. See you in 2012!

What do you need to give yourself permission to do (or not do)?

34 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I gave myself permission not to post for a whole week! Lurking a bit, but only through today. I also gave myself permission to not write for a while and stress about a story idea for a third book. And you know what? One finally hit!
Merry Christmas, Elana. Hope you'll stop by soon. Been a while.

Laina said...

To not be the type of writer who does write everyday. I do short, semi-fast drafts. It generally takes me less than two month to finish a first draft and my fastest book was 34 days. If I actually put words in a draft every day of the year, I would a.) not read very much (too many voices in my head make me wonky) b.) end up writing 6 books a year!!

Bethany Myers said...

So true about the internet! Thanks for this post. You rock!

Natalie Aguirre said...

So important to give ourselves permission once in awhile. I am going to be offline and probably not write through the end of the year. And just remember what it was like to have one, not two jobs, and spend more time with family. Thanks for giving us permission. Enjoy your time off and Happy Holidays!

Christine Rains said...

Love this post. Hope you have a happy Christmas and a fabulous new year! :)

Donna K. Weaver said...

"Work on your real relationships and go to work and make dinner and all that other stuff that forms you into who you are."

Great reminder, Elana.

Merry Christmas

Nicole Zoltack said...

Awesome post!

Have a wonderful Christmas and a fantastic new year!

Tasha Seegmiller said...

Great post. I'm on the other end, trying to give myself permission to take time away and write. Maybe we'll meet in the middle somewhere.

Merry Christmas.

Laurel Garver said...

I think I'm with Tasha--that I have to give myself permission to let some of life-stuff go and take time away to write.

Patti said...

Such great advice, but lately I've been giving myself too much permission.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas. Hope you have a great time with your family.

Mary Ann said...

Real life got in the way for a few days this week, I became more forgetful than usual and I realized I needed to take some time for maintenance, refill the oil in my lamp so to speak. Funny how your posts coincide with my life. Thanks for the share :o)

Angela Brown said...

Great to follow your own advice. Enjoy your time off and if you feel like it, sit down on the couch, grab one of your TBR books, lock everything else out and travel to a new place via the words of a debut author or an old fave who blessed the world with one more treasure.

Me, Myself and I decided to take a week off from blogging as well. It was an interesting but brief debate.

I really need to work on NOT scrutinizing every single word during my first draft. NaNoWriMo helped with that a little but some habits are really hard to break and my Inner Critic is a beast. So that's what I'll have to work on.

That and always remembering I am my own person, with my own style and if I don't appreciate it, how can I expect others to?

Miranda Hardy said...

I need to give myself permission not to sleep. Lol

Hope you have a fantastic holiday, Elana. I hope you get every good thing in the year to come.

L.L. Muir said...

...to change my writing schedule to 8pm to 2am and not feel guilty about sleeping until 10.

Just saying it makes me sound like a sloth, but I don't care anymore. I gotta write when the writing's good.

And that article last week about artists brains and how they work has given me permission to stop trying to be like normal people.

Freaky-teaky baby.

Anita Saxena said...

Thanks for always keeping it real, Elana. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Leah (aka Mary_not_Martha) said...

Merry Christmas Elana and enjoy your break. That feeling of something missing will remind you when it's time to let your "bloggies" out. I love what L.L.Muir said - write when the writing's good.

RaShelle Workman said...

I need to give myself permission more. I've been feeling so guilty about my lack of internet presence lately (due to packing... bleck) I need to stop that.

Hope you have a very, merry Christmas!

Krispy said...

Yep, very important to make allowances for yourself sometimes. I took this whole week off of blogging. :) Happy Holidays!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Through the course of this year, and after my mom's passing in November, I've scaled back on a lot of things.

Susanne Drazic said...

Great post!

Merry Christmas!

Jemi Fraser said...

I've done next to nothing for the past week except work and do Xmas prep - no writing at all! And it doesn't bother me in the least - real people first! :)

Angela M. said...

This is a very good time of year to take off. There's so much going on this time of year, and not just the holidays. Don't forget to get some relaxation in there. The point isn't to transfer time from one work mode to another ;)

Jenilyn Tolley said...

Elana, this is an awesome post! Just what I needed to hear. I'm not very good about giving myself permission to not do things, but I'm trying to get better. Thanks again! Have a very happy holiday season!!

Krista said...

Actually - lately I have been needing to give my self permission to write :)

I have a very busy life that includes work and taking care of a husband and a house. I always feel guilty when I write because their are a million things that I think I should be doing instead.

So this holiday season - I am giving myself permission to write as much as possible.

Merry Christmas :)

B.E. Sanderson said...

Have a great blog break, a wonderful holiday and an awesome 2012. See you on the other side of the new year. =o)

Ron Smith said...

Great advice.

Nichole Giles said...

Funny, I gave myself permission to take the week off, too. Hope your holidays have been fantastic!

Rachel Morgan said...

I went out of cell phone/internet signal range for a week. It was fantastic! No texts/emails/tweets to distract me from writing and reading and just having a good holiday :-)

Hope your Christmas was grand!

Angie said...

Great advice. I have had to give myself permission to do pretty much all of those things. Sometimes we just need the reminder that it's okay.

Jenny S. Morris said...

I give my self permission to do all of those things. Especially stink it up. Hope you have a great week off.

Kimberly Krey said...

Thanks for the important reminder! It's easy to forget that we are the ones in charge here, for hell's sake. Hope you have a nice week off. Make something yummy. Then eat it. That's what I plan to do. :)

Leslie Rose said...

I think you were lurking in my mind because this is EXACTLY what I needed to hear. Thank you for the wisdom and permission. Happy New Year.

Medeia Sharif said...

Excellent post. I gave myself permission not to write like a maniac during my vacation. I actually relaxed, watched TV (which I never get to do on writing days), and napped.

Happy New Year!

Jenny Phresh said...

I shall now give myself permission to have martini #2.

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