A recent post on The Writer’s Path discussed the guilt the author felt when carving out time for writing. The thinking was guilt arose because the time used to write was time not spent with family and friends and therefore was selfish.
I have the opposite problem. I feel guilty when I don’t write. The truth is I have plenty of excuses not to write. Writing is not my day job. Well, I actually spend the majority of my day job writing, but emails and memos and revising contracts isn’t the fun type of writing. So the day job gets in the way, and then life gets in the way. That’s how it goes. I accept I have responsibilities that often take precedence over my writing, but I still feel guilty about it.
Like any guilt, it eats at me until I do something about it. For traditional guilt, that’s usually making amends in some manner. For my writer’s guilt, the only way for me to get over it is to write something.
In the past, I’ve said I try to do at least one writing related activity a day. If that’s not actually writing, it’s adding to my spreadsheet of submission markets, or submitting a rejected story to the next market, or editing a finished story, or reading about the craft of writing. When I’m feeling the writer’s guilt, these tasks only take the edge off. The fix still has to come from writing.
The odd thing is I wasn’t always like this. I didn’t seriously focus on writing until about this time last year. Before that, I never experienced writer’s guilt. If I gave up writing, which I have no intention to, would the guilt fade or would it continue to build? Let’s hope I don’t have to find out.
Let me know in the comments whether you’ve experienced writer’s guilt and in what form.
Photo credit: geralt via Pixabay
I always feel guilty if I don’t write something every day… I have a schedule I like to keep up to date on with my writing habits. That way I can let my publishers know when I’ll finish a manuscript. And somehow I am in the mindset where I think “would I rather be doing this or writing?” I value the time I have allotted to write, so many other aspects of life can take over and I like to have a balance. If I want writing to be a career than I have to treat it as such.
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It is Sunday morning and I am writing (and doing writing related things like reading your blog) instead of spending it with my family. But frankly, I need moments of peace to write or just sit alone for my sanity, and to be a better mom.
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Thanks for ignoring your family to read my blog! Hopefully, you did some good writing too.