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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

How to Decide What to Keep

Julie Owsik Ackerman

Like so many of us, I find myself overcommited, stretched to the limit, running from one thing to the next, wondering how I'll possibly get it all done. Like cleaning out the closet, I need to start eliminating things from my overstuffed life.

Something Elizabeth Gilbert wrote on her Facebook page helped me in deciding what to keep and what to throw away. She said something like, if it fills you with a feeling of light and possibility, keep it, otherwise, chuck it. One of my own tests:  if you love it or need it, keep it.

I've just begun this process. Some things I know I want to keep: my coaching business, where I help both writers and non-writers with a variety of writing challenges -- overcoming writer's block, preparing college applications, sharpening writing skills, getting words out of the head and onto the page. I love this work.

But as my writing commitments have grown, I have decided to let go of writing for 4 Broads. Though I have loved being a part of the community here for the past two years, I am no longer able to post here regularly and write for my own blog. I hope you will come visit me there, at Anything for Material, Goddess willing, my novel will be finished and published one day very soon, and I will let the 4 Broads audience know about that. And you will still see me in the comments here too.

The nice thing about letting go of something is it gives someone else the opportunity to use it. I hope that the Broads will find an amazing new Broad to write here. I look forward to seeing how the blog will grow and change. It's been a privilege to work with such smart and funny broads.

How do you decide what tangible or intangible things to keep or discard? Is there anything that you have outgrown?


  1. Julie, letting go has always been hard for me. I really like Gilbert's advice about it bringing light, and yours about loving and needing it. Will miss your posts, and look forward to following your adventures on FB and Anything for Material. And, there's always a spot when you want to guest post. best, carol

  2. Carol, I will always be one of the 4 Broads in my heart, and hopefully you will find my posts elsewhere! Letting go is not a strong suit of mine either, but I hope that the more I practice, the easier it will get. Love to you, and the other broads :)

  3. Julie,

    While we will miss your regular presence on the blog, we know where to find you as a writer. I think this idea of deciding what's on your "not to do" list is crucial to a healthy life.

    I've given up hobbies that once seemed so important, such as golf and bonsai. I treasure my free time to just curl up with a book.

    With a 3 year old, you have a way to go before your time is your own again, but that's the way it's supposed to be. I hope your writing continues to nourish your spirit.

    We are recruiting a new broad, everyone. Let us know if you would like to write with us.