About a month ago, my family helped me convert the playroom into a writing office.
My first-ever writing office. My first-ever claim to a physical territory representing the creative one I had long been staking out.
For so many years, I was afraid to make this claim, to bravely plant a flag in the physical sphere and say, “This is my space.”
Self-doubt, fear of failure, fear of selfish ambition held me back from making this claim.
(Read: Is My Dream Selfish Ambition?)
I felt I didn’t deserve to have a writing office.
Despite 8 books – EIGHT – with my name somewhere in the masthead, either as writer or editor.
Despite a growing list of freelance and contract gigs.
Despite a growing online presence.
Despite having a novel currently being shopped around to publishers – by a literary agent.
Despite having earned enough from writing pursuits last year to require including it on my taxes.
I told myself I didn’t deserve more than a cramped corner of our house’s busiest common area in which to write.
A whisper small and strong spoke: Ask.
At first I resisted. I counted my failures over my successes and called it rationale for standing down.
Repeated. Until I acknowledged I had nothing to lose.
(Read: Giving My Specific Dream to God)
I asked an accountant what the tax advantages would be to having an actual office.
I asked other work-at-home moms how they made home offices work.
I asked God to open a path.
I asked my girls how they would feel if their playroom was moved to the basement so I could create an office.
I asked my husband what he thought of the idea.
Three weeks later, I asked a group of friends and family to pray with me over this new writing office.
Part of chasing my dreams is shedding the guilt and shame I have felt about asking for the things that will make my pursuit more robust.
I had to let go of the habit of hiding. I had to step out, step forward, away from the lesser place I had settled.
I had to find the brave within to believe I was worthy of what I needed to chase my dream.
I had to believe I had the right to ask. I had to believe my flag was important enough to plant.
This flag is one I want my daughters to see, to study and to remember.
Women especially struggle with guilt and self-doubt over whether their dreams are worthy of full-on pursuit. I know eventually my girls will be young women who will know this struggle in very real terms.
In those days, I want them to remember this flag. I want them to remember the time they spent in this office, laying at the foot of my desk with their own “work.” I want them to remember the feeling of this room.
I want them to remember Mommy asked, in courage and hope.
Above all, I want my daughters to believe they too have within them a brave with wings to fly.
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