In this week’s edition of ‘The Prosperous Writer’, Christina Katz talks about detachment and what it means for writers.
Being kind to yourself is often not on our to-do list. It gets shunted down between bringing up your precious children, reminding yourself that you have a marriage to nurture, and looking after the house and your career. My to-d0 list is a mile long and while it is important for me to have everything noted down, I’m increasingly easy about not crossing out everything on the list.
I took a crash course in detachment a decade ago when I did my first Vipassana course (which I recently wrote about here). That technique is a fabulous way to learn to be removed from everything – the unimportant and the ones that might not be. Vipassana teaches you to acknowledge everything in your life and then, move on. That process of acknowledging, not ignoring, your life means that you can carry on to the really important goals.
Even if I don’t practice it actively anymore, I must remind myself of the principle every time I feel the stress levels rising. Messy house? Seven thousand emails still to be looked at? Facebook notifications to respond to? Rejections arriving in droves?
Acknowledge. Then, move on.
Which is not to say that you should delete those emails or ignore all those friend requests. Give that the priority it deserves. If you have the time, go ahead and take a look. If not, do something that will enrich your life instead.
Me? Having made my peace with my to-do list, I’m choosing to take time out for myself. That could mean reading a story to my baby, painting my toe-nails a cheerful colour, reading a magazine while I have the time or chatting with Mr. R.
Pay attention to yourself first. For everything else, like Scarlett said, “I’ll think about it tomorrow”.