My friend, Lise, recently moved from Boston back to Los Angeles. Just after New Year’s over scoops of Ethiopian stews wrapped in hand torn pieces of injera, she told me that it took her about a year to prepare the logistics of the move, including getting rid of her stuff. Her eyes lit up when she shared how she felt lighter and marveled at how gratifying it was to give things away. The first word that popped into my mind was “purses.”
I love purses. At the time, I guessed I owned at least 100 purses, bags, briefcases, each with their own rationale. That’s way too much rationalization to store in my house. Could I pare it down to 20 as Lise suggested? I don’t know. Thinking about it made my stomach nervous, therefore, it was something I had to do.
So I started a few days before I was ready and on my first pass, I filled a large IKEA shopping bag with 30 purses that I didn’t need, want, or use anymore. Along the way, I found $23 and a pair of earrings I thought were long lost. Lise read (and liked) my posts on Facebook and asked if I was okay. I was surprised – it didn’t hurt a bit.
It helped to know that I was giving them to friends who would love them and the rest would be donated to another friend’s annual charity purse auction to benefit Habitat for Humanity.
So my challenge to you today is to look for the habits, rationalizations, and things that clutter your writing practice. Is it time to shelve a project? Are you really going to read that book again? Is it time to donate it or give it to a friend who will love it?
You already know what that one thing is. Release it so your writing is unencumbered to cross the country, maybe even see the world.