When I started off as a writer, I decided my purse needs to get bigger. Next to all the necessary stuff we women consider indispensable to be carried around in our purse, like Makeup, nail files, Kleenex, wallet, checkbook, credit cards, membership cards, half a dozen receipts, hand sanitizers, headphones, emergency phone chargers, phones, pens, notepads, nail polish, knitting stuff and the last edition of the ‘Cosmopolitan’… I felt the need of carrying my WIP with me at all times. And with the WIP comes a big paper notebook and pens, pens and more pens…
Instead of a ‘regular’ purse, I got myself a tote and then changed to a laptop purse. The bags I carried around got bigger and bigger.
The ones familiar with my writing process know that I draft the first version of every book by hand and later on will type it into the computer. It is easier to carry a paper notebook around than a laptop at all times.
Still… my paper notebooks got bigger too. At times it seemed to me I was constantly on the edge of traveling somewhere. I loved the opportunity to write whenever I had the chance to… be it at the doctor’s waiting room, a library, waiting for someone in a restaurant or anywhere else… an hour in the park or wherever else possible.
But lately, about six months ago, I had to re-think. I’m not talking about my writing process, I’m talking about the fact that I felt a huge relief every single time I set my purse down. My back finally got some rest, and there were moments I was almost scared to pick it up again and swing it over my shoulder.
That was the moment I knew I had to change something. I was getting older, and I couldn’t take the weight of all that stuff in my purse anymore. Of course, I didn’t want to accept the truth. I don’t want to see my age. Letting anyone see that I was suffering under the weight of my own purse would be humiliating.
That’s why I finally, heavy-heartedly took a few steps to make the changes that were necessary for quite some time.
I still have the laptop purses – but I keep them for the rare opportunities I really travel and have to take my laptop.
The knitting work (which I was basically kidding about), stayed home, I reduced the number of pens, shrunk the necessary notepad to a mini-version. I reduced the makeup bag by half, removed the nail polish, decided to read the Cosmo at home and bought a couple smaller purses.
In the meantime, I got used to a much lighter ‘baggage.’ I also learned to carefully plan my appointments and only take my WIP, in a separate tote, if it’s really necessary, or if I plan to write anyway.
I love my writing, I love my work, I love being a writer. But I also love my health and the health of my spine and back.
As hard as it is to admit: I’m not a vampire and I age, like everyone else. No matter what I do, no matter how much I love writing. If I want to do what I love, I need to keep myself healthy.
And so should every woman with a purse. Apparently, there had been bad injuries done to women’s backs and necks with far too heavy purses. Who knows, maybe after this post, more women are clearing out their purses and decide to go smaller?
Notice your backpain? Read the sign!
Shrink your purses – save your spine!