There is so much that makes us feel guilty these days.
Food, relationships, exercise, emotions, motherhood, working, me time… the list goes on.
Everyday guilt that society hammers into us with its many rules and expectations that change each and every day. And it’s only getting worse.
For me, the thing that makes me feel most guilty is my creative writing.
The one thing that I truly love and would spend all day and night doing. If I could. If I didn’t feel so guilty.
It’s the ‘paid writing comes first’ thing. And of course I know it does. It has to. But then on the other hand if I don’t get writing and actually get something of quality ready to submit to an agent, I may never know what it is like to be a published author. I may never know what it would be like to maybe even get paid.
But that’s the thing.
It’s not about the money. Or even the notariaty of being published. It is the self-satisfaction, the pride, the feeling of accomplishment that I could be successful and achieve a dream doing something I love.
I talk myself in circles.
I listen to other authors and how they ‘fit’ writing in to the their every day lives. They devote chunks of time, or steal minutes here and there between families, work and other interests. Then I feel guilty that I’m not doing enough. Not making enough of a sacrifice.
Then I vow to take an hour or two out of my day to write.
But when it comes to the crunch it’s… well I’ll just get this done, and then I need to do this, and this really needs to be done… and yet again it gets pushed to the bottom.
But you see I’ve created this work life I have now. It’s taken years to get to this point and now I’ve created my dream job. One where I write and get paid as my day job. Where I can be at home for the kids, and be flexible enough to take on as much or as little as I wish. And yet still, I can’t get over the guilt of devoting time to my creative passion. It seems selfish and self indulgent. A fruitless exercise. It’s not like I’m going to be the next J.K. Rowling.
I’m sure I’m not the only writer to feel like this. Or the only creative. In fact I’m pretty sure that most of you feel a similiar guilt for one thing or another in your life each and every day.
And I know many established authors advice is simple ‘Just Write.’ or ‘If you love it, you’ll find the time.’
I need to pull my finger out.
I need to stop this guilt before it entirely erodes my self confidence and love of writing.
So I’m making a little promise here, in front of whoever is reading this:
I will take time, make time in each day, not just an hour in the morning or late at night, but time out of each day to focus on my fiction writing. To actually pour energy and effort into this pursuit, because maybe, just maybe I can make something of it. And even if I can’t, I will still know at least I tried.
What makes you feel guilty?