These past few days have been a blur of activity for me around my house.
Without going into the boring specifics I’ll just say that..
“Life always seems to pile on more things that need to get done while giving you less time to do it all in.”
Unfortunately, and predictably, my writing has suffered.
Not just my writing for my blog (hence the absence of a blog post Friday and Monday) but for my book as well.
When that happens I get an overwhelming feeling of regret, guilt and frustration. It never fails…
I lovingly refer to this as “Writers Guilt”.
Does this happen to you too?
When I’m trudging through the tasks that keep me from writing I can’t help but think about what I should be doing instead.
The irony in that, though, is that when I do sit down and finally write there is a nagging little voice that whispers in the back of my brain,
“You should be cleaning, you should be spending more time with the kids, you should be ……”
You get the idea.
I want nothing more then to put a sign on my door stating “Mom no longer exists. Go Away!” then lock myself in with a pot of coffee and just binge write.
Even though life takes me away from writing, my brain never stops piecing the story together.
It is constantly coming up with edits I think would work best, lines and scenes that I feel I should write out, etc…
It screams…. WRITE over and over until I give in and write or I blow up with frustration.
This is either a common problem for writers or I’m finally going nuts….
I’m sure you’ve all been there….done that…. and so forth right?? 😉
It gets to the point where I will randomly stop doing whatever I was doing and stare off into space like I’m a resident at some loony bin because my brain has literally taken siege of my body and is forcing me to watch the scene it’s been screaming at me to write.
When that happens my husband usually shakes me out of it and tells me to go write lol but I rarely listen.
I’m stubborn like that.
I’ve always daydreamed. I think it’s sort of a requirement of creative people. Our brains just take over and all we can do is sit and watch it unfold. Some of my best ideas have come from these daydreams.
However, since I’ve taken my writing from a hobby to an actual goal these “daydreams” have become frequent and persistent.
I can’t possibly write as much as my brain wants me too.
Life just wont allow it. So what can I do to limit these “loony bin” moments?
I’ve been thinking about it and I’ve come to this conclusion….. I have no freaking idea!
I’m open to suggestions, advice, and/or just support in our mutual writing problems.
I did do some research on it, because, well, you know me… I love research. 😉 and I found the following tips:
- Wake up an hour before you would normally wake up or go to sleep an hour later then you would normally go to sleep to slip in extra writing time. (I am not capable of waking up an hour before I need to. I can barely get myself out of bed when my alarm goes off…for the 5th time. The only thing that gets me up is the reality that my kids are going to be late if I lay there one minute longer.)
- Keep a notebook and pen with you to write down any and all ideas that come along throughout the day. (I actually do this and it does help but obviously not enough to keep me from feeling insane.)
- Use your smart phone instead of a notebook to jot down your ideas. (I’ve also tried this and well, I think much faster then I can text so it ends up just getting me frustrated. I’ve also tried doing an audio recording of my ideas but unless I’m completely alone I feel way too self conscience to do that. Can you imagine waiting in line at the post office and talking out ideas for a sex scene! lol Oh the humility!)
- While at work during your lunch break or a slow period write out scenes in a personal email account and send it back to yourself. (This is doable as long as you remember to send this email through your personal email account and not the work account….. That would be bad folks.)
- Make a schedule and stick to it. Carve out time to write, free of distractions. (I’ve done this as well and schedules are nice to have but life likes to screw with them, a lot. I rarely get through a day without something deviating me from it.)
- Quit your complaining and just write! (I have a feeling this is the best advice.)
Life will never be perfect.
There will never be an ideal time or situation to write that book.
You just have to suck it up and write.
Write in chaos, write in solitude, write while dead tired, or while bored waiting in line.
I’ve decided after writing out this blog post (By the way, this was very therapeutic. Thanks for being my psychiatrist for the day) that I’m going to print out these pictures I just created in Picmonkey, put them in some nice dollar store frames lol and place them throughout my house.
The idea is, my eyes will land on one throughout the day and it will hopefully encourage me to go and write.
6 thoughts on “Dealing With Writer’s Guilt…”
Reblogged this on Writer's Work Lab.
Right there with you. 🙂
I love this! Thank you for posting. I also love the phrase “binge write”-Ha! So much truth in those two words! Keep doing what gives you energy and makes you feel as close to the authentic ‘you’ as you can get. Writing is clearly this for you, protecting and nurturing your writing time is protecting and nurturing you and that’s vital in this life!
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I know this feeling very well! 😀 Sometimes life really does like to get in the way! But it really is just about finding the time, or making some. You’re important too, and so is your writing! 🙂
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I’ve been going through a similar situation recently. I finally announced to everyone in my life, “I’m going to be hermit the next couple of months, so don’t bother me. I mean it.” hahaha…Of course, I don’t have a family to take care of, so I can get away with that strategy. But, really, it does come down to that final solution: “Quit your complaining and just write”. I’ve had to do that too.
Good luck! You can do it!
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Thank you ladies for the words of advice and encouragement. Sorry it’s taken me so long to respond back. Life and Mother Nature decided to teach me a lesson for complaining and sent a storm to my neck of the woods that ended up murdering my internet cable. The cable company finally got it up and running today. Oddly enough, the days without it got me where I needed to be with my WIP. Go figure! 😉