My husband and I found our new favorite chicken wings. You guys, I cannot describe to you how good these things are. They are char-grilled and perfect. We went to get them this weekend; every time we go, I think they’re probably not going to be as good as I remember. And EVERY TIME THEY ARE AS GOOD AS I REMEMBER. Now, this is not a piece entirely about chicken wings, but I needed to start somewhere and what better place to start than chicken wings?
The chicken wings restaurant is Pies & Pints, which is located in the middle of an upscale outdoor mall. After spending some time in chicken wing heaven a couple days ago, I suggested we “just look” at the computers in one of the nearby stores.
Here’s the backstory: My computer has been on the fritz lately, and that’s a wild understatement. Being a writer, I use my computer on a daily basis. Writers don’t have a ton of overhead. I need a computer and a place to sit, really. Sometimes I literally choose the floor, but I’d rather you imagine me writing at a desk; maybe I’m even showered and wearing real clothes in your picture. All this to say, a computer is essential—my only material essential as a writer.
Fast-forward to shortly after chicken wing bliss as we’re strolling through the store. (No, we don’t need help. We’re just looking.) When my husband has a question that I cannot answer (Don’t you hate it when that happens?), we finally surrender and ask an employee for help. BUT WE’RE JUST LOOKING.
I had known from the beginning which computer I would want, should we ever buy. I really just need something that will hold my words on a page. It need not be fancy, although the one I wanted is a little fancy, of course. As we were talking with the employee, just looking and not buying, my husband says (SUPER CONFIDENTLY, MIND YOU), “Let’s just get it now.”
“What’s the point in coming all the way back here? You know which one you want.”
Chicken wings were on the menu tonight, honey. A brand new computer was not.
I nearly passed out in the middle of the store because I’m not someone who will just go and spend a large amount of money without processing, aching, budgeting, etc. My husband isn’t, either, but here I am with a new computer. It happened this way because, yes, we’ve been saving but, also, my husband believes in me as a writer. We’re making an investment in your writing, he says. You’re going to write incredible things using this computer.
I cannot tell you how much all of this changes the way I approach my work.
I’m my own biggest critic. By writing on a computer that is broken, losing my work, shutting down without warning, and failing to hold the battery’s charge, it only gets easier to let that be a reflection of who I am as a writer. The kind of computer I use does not define who I am, but knowing that I, and my writing, are worthy of investing in does make a difference.
Jeff Goins asks, “Do you remember when you stopped believing that you have a gift, the world needs that gift, and you have a responsibility to share it?” UM, YES. I FORGET EVERY MORNING AT 8AM.
Maybe I don’t forget every morning, but sweet goodness it so easily slips my mind that I have a gift and my gifts are meant to be shared. I’m working on becoming better at remembering this and living into its truth. It’s hard to do, so I need people like my husband who will tell me there is no reason to spend another day working on a fried computer because you are better than that and we can get you one that works. We have to invest in us because we are worth it—what we are capable of producing in and for the world is worth the investment.
It doesn’t have to be a new computer. Maybe you’re a writer who invests in a corner of your home that is yours and all yours to write in. Maybe it is words of encouragement and inspiration that you attach to your computer. Maybe you need to buy a pair of pants to write in that make you feel bold or comfortable or a little bit of both.
What gifts of yours does the world need? Do those things. Remember to share them with us. And surround yourself with one or more people who will remind you that you and your work are worth investing in. It doesn’t have to be a huge financial investment, but it should be something that serves as a reminder to you that your work is necessary and valued. Stop “JUST LOOKING.” Give yourself what it is that will remind you your work is good and valued.
(Buy the great and comfortable shoes to wear at the park with your kids, get the nice pans to cook with, rock the power suit, fix the A/C in the car you’re in for half the day, TAKE THE BUBBLE BATH.)
I’m so thankful for the people in my life who help to remind me of these things. And, oh my word, I cannot even tell you how nice it was to write this entire thing without my computer shutting down ONCE!
You have a gift (many, actually!) and the responsibility to share it. What investment will you make in those gifts?