It's December, which means it's almost time for Christmas. Right now, we're all making our lists and checking them twice to make sure we haven't forgotten anyone. Chances are, though, that most of us have forgotten someone - ourselves.
It's not selfish to place ourselves on our Christmas list, and it's not selfish to take time for ourselves during the holidays, or any other time, for that matter, to write.
Yes, you heard me. Writing is not selfish.
I've known many women who have the desire to write, but feel that taking time away from their families to do it is wrong. They feel that their loved ones will feel neglected if they indulge themselves with the fulfilling of their dream. Of course, if you lock yourself in your room for twelve hours a day and ignore the pounding and the screams of "Mom! Jimmy's on fire!" then yes, you may need to reevaluate that. A man who quits his job and stops providing for his family so he can write, without any other source of income, might want to rethink that. But there is nothing at all wrong with taking an hour in the afternoon or a few hours in the evening and writing down your thoughts and working toward your goals.
If you have the writer's bug, you will not be happy unless you are writing. I know this to be true. Due to life circumstances, I've sometimes had to take a month or three or six off from writing, and I have to tell you, I'm miserable until I get back to my project. Writing fills a need in me that nothing else can. I'm deeply devoted to my family, I ardently believe in my religion, but writing hits a spot that neither of those can. It lives in a different place in the brain and in the heart. If I'm not writing, I'm not complete.
So, this holiday season, I encourage you to think about your writing. Does it fulfill you, as it does me? Can you make time for it in your life, and can you do that without the guilt? If you recognize that it makes you happy, and you know that you are a better parent, spouse, and employee when you are emotionally fed, it's not selfish. You need to take care of yourself in all aspects in order to give the best of yourself to those you care about, and writing just may be part of that for you.
Merry Christmas, and don't forget to keep your needs on your giving list this year.