I love Sheryl Sandberg for helping today’s professional women pursue their goals. Her book ‘Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead‘ has been inspirational to so many, including my own daughter. ‘Lean In’ is the phrase she’s coined to suggest that all women have a valuable contribution to offer…our ideas and our experiences are equally as important as those offered by our male counterparts. With encouragement to ‘sit at the table’, she encourages women to ‘seek challenges, to take risks and pursue goals with gusto.’ I’ve long been out of the corporate world, but her message is one that certainly resonates with me. I’d often found myself as the only woman sitting at a conference table surrounded by men. It was intimidating, I won’t lie.
As this last holiday season approached and 2013 was seriously winding down, I’d already made the decision to lean in at my own table. After attending a meeting of the California Writers Club as a non-member (because I don’t consider myself a real writer) I listened to several panelists, all published authors, speak about their personal writing experiences over the years and the importance of perseverance when it comes to the journey that all writers embark upon.
After attending that meeting, I became excited about THE END. In the weeks that followed, I began to give serious consideration to the commitment of completing my big writing project within SIX MONTHS. That’s a huge undertaking for me, because this project has been going on now for… well, for way too long. It’s not because I want to be dragging my feet, but it’s because the emotional pain of writing it has been such a burden that it’s weighed me down for months and months at a time. And, I’ve allowed that personal pain to intimidate me…because why else would it be taking me this long?
I know that it must be the same for everyone who struggles to write about difficult times in their lives. I’m not unique, and I know I’m not alone.
And, I’m not at all interested in publication. Which is why I know it’s time… to simply get on with it. It’s my history, the fabric from which I’m made, not perfectly ironed, but solidly formed. I can’t wait to type the words THE END. The personal sense of accomplishment will be incredibly gratifying, and finally, I’ll be able to put that part of my life back inside the emotional vault where it was securely contained for so many decades, until something unexpected happened that simply blew the lid off.
I’ve signed the contract, I’ve made the official commitment to complete this manuscript in SIX MONTHS. June 2014.
That’s my table…and I am LEANING IN. Who’s with me?