Wednesday, April 18, 2012

P is for Permission

You've heard the adage that it's better to ask forgiveness after the fact than ask for permission before? That so goes against my personality. I'm a permission asker. I want certification. I buy how-to books by the yard, whenever I encounter a task in my life that I haven't accomplished before and am nervous about.

When I got married I deposited a lot of my hard earned coin into Martha Stewart's pockets. I guess it was because I'd never been the kind of girl to dream of a wedding (white or otherwise) that when I got to that landmark I was well and truly freaked. I wanted to do it 'right' I wanted to know exactly how I was supposed to do things. I didn't want to make a mistake.

Writing definitely made me feel the same way (you should see my shelves of how-to-writing books.) I knew I wanted to do it, but I didn't feel I had any right, anything to back me up. I had two pieces of paper that proved I could make art (never mind that I didn't want to) and a full time job that proved I could plan events. But writing? I went to art school. Never even wrote a thesis paper. How could I write a book?

But I did it anyway. After much waffling (I am a GRADE A waffler.) I gave myself permission. Permission to write, permission to fail, permission to stay at home with the kids and write at night, even though it meant not pulling in the extra income. I gave myself permission to try.

Seeking permission from others is a illusionary transfer of power, whether it's to schools, teachers, a degree or the Wizard of Oz. You don't need others to confer upon you the permission to follow your dreams.  If you are under 18 or living in your parent's house - yes, you need permission to use the car or eat the last twinkie. But if you're a full-fledged adult and it's legal and does no harm, you have my permission:)


  1. In this week's Game of Thrones, Varis says, "Power resides where men think it's an illusion, a myth..." it was a really cool scene.

  2. I ask permission because I think I have to, but usually my mind's already made up to do it, regardless of the answer. :0)

  3. This is such a great post! I had so much trouble giving myself permission to write when I started. There was always something else I should be doing. And writing books...don't get me started. I love reading about other writer's experiences, but if I didn't do it exactly the way they did, I thought I was doing it wrong.

  4. Good post! Personally, I am the ask for forgiveness type. I'm independent and hate having to ask permission for things. I would suck in the military. :) But I DO also buy a lot of how-to books. I think it's a different issue. I like structure in how I do things and like to know I'm doing it right. I just want it on my own terms.

  5. Saw you over at my blog this morning. Your name and blog seem so familiar to me. Maybe we met during last summer's Platform Building Campaign? Anyway, giving oneself permission to write goes right along with being able to own the statement, "I'm a writer." Congrats on getting an agent and best wishes for a speedy book contract. ^_^


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