Confessions of a Guilty Writer

Apr 12, 2011

So here's the thing. I'm a creature very often driven by guilt. I feel guilty when I write because I should be cleaning/cooking/working/spending time with family/etc. I feel guilty when I don't write because I love writing and want to be published so I know I need to work at it. I feel guilty that I didn't come up with a great blog post today and that I don't plan my posts ahead of time.

Yeah. I know. I'm a little bit ridiculous.

So today I would like to write my confessions. Just to get them off my chest so I don't have to feel guilty anymore. Here we go.

I haven't read hardly any blogs in the last week, and I haven't commented much on the blogs I've been reading in the several weeks before that. I'm sorry. I really do love you all and your blogs.

Last week, I let my son watch two movies in a single day more than once. Not TV shows, movies. 4 hours of TV for an 18 month old. Yikes.

I'm suddenly a lot less sure I'm going to finish Devs by my May 1 deadline. I just got a new work assignment and agreed to watch a friend's kids for a week since her regular daycare person is going out of town. I'm totally panicking about it-- all of it.

Last night I ordered Chinese food and had them deliver while the hubs was at work. And tonight, it's frozen lasagna. I don't think I've made a meal from scratch in...two weeks? A month?

It's kind of funny that I posted just last week on finding balance, and now I'm feeling desperately short of it anywhere in life right now. I'm sure I'll be fine, and hopefully get rid of the guilt I feel when things are out of balance. Sometimes, it just helps to confess.

So, my friends, do you ever feel guilty for writing/not writing, cooking/not cooking, etc. etc.? What helps you deal with it? Any confessions of your own to share?


Stacy Henrie said...

Wow - this sounds a lot like me. :) I feel guilty writing and/or not writing, too.

I think some things that have helped are being okay with my own pace, keeping track of my progress however small, and remembering I can't do everything - sort of a jill of all trades mentality, doing lots of things moderately well.

Kathryn Packer Roberts said...

I pretty much ditto all of that. As well as Stacy's comments. =) I don't know when I DON'T feel guilt over something. Trying to be perfect doesn't work out so much. I guess what helps me is when I am feeling these guilty feelings the best thing to get rid of them is to spend some mommy-kid bonding time. It gets rid of the guilts like nothing else. No writing. No cleaning. You can't go wrong when you spend time with your family. They build you up in a way that no one else can (or should, I hope). Then I'm ready for the next day and don't feel quite so bad when I have days or weeks of not cooking =)

KM Nalle said...

I'm part Catholic and part Lutheran. The Catholic part means I'm hard wired to feel guilty about everything, and the Lutheran part means that to cope with it I'll make a hotdish or maybe some jello with fruit.

I'm going to try and go against the grain today and eat cheese popcorn.

Sorry life is so hectic for you right now. My real coping mechanism is to pick a goal a day and not allowing myself to feel guilty about the rest of it.

Anonymous said...

When someone asks me if they want to run errands with them, I hate saying I'd rather stay home so I can write. But when I agree to hang out with the family for just a little while, I feel frantic about not writing and it's just not as enjoyable.

I always remind myself that a writer writes what they know. If they're too busy typing rather than living and learning, their writing is going to fall flat. When you end up writing instead of doing chores, remember there's nothing wrong with doing what you love.

Jennifer Hoffine said...

Guilt is probably my greatest enemy also.

The problem is, parenting and housekeeping take more time than anyone has, so to get anything else done means cutting corners and making adjustments...frozen lasagna never killed anyone, and it's cheaper per pound than almost anything you could make from scratch.

Chantele Sedgwick said...

I hear you on the guilt. I haven't made dinner for almost 2 weeks as well! I need to get out of my slump! Thanks for sharing. I'll definitely be going grocery shopping tomorrow... lol :)

Christine Murray said...

I always feel guilty. If I prioritise my writing I feel selfish, and if I prioritise everything else I beat myself up. I mean, I can't be a professional writer if I don't write professionally.

The funny thing is, my husband is super supportive. All this guilt and pressure is something that I impose on myself. I sometimes think women are their own worst enemies.

Tara said...

I'm with you. I am so guilt-drive for some reason. I think it's from being overwhelmed with the sheer amount of stuff that needs to be done sometimes. I think we need to let it go, and be okay with that ;)

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

You're not alone! I feel like I could've written this post myself. There have been times when I have let my children watch way too much TV so I could just push through an edit. I have to remind myself that it's not always like that. There are writing seasons where you really need to push through and get it done. Then there are slower seasons when you can turn your attention to things like housework and making dinners from scratch. That's just life. A big part challenge in this profession is finding the right balance, and I am SO not there yet!
Hang in there! Happy writing!

Michelle Merrill said...

I'm sorry Shallee...I'm feeling the exact same way today. Neglecting the kids, not commenting like I could, all the above. Good luck with everything. Dev's will definitely be ready :) Do you need a pep talk? I can dish them you know! You totally got this. My daughter turned out fine (for the most part) and she got tons of TV when I was on bedrest with my twins. It happens. Don't beat yourself up about it. You're doing amazing things!

David P. King said...

I wouldn't say I feel "guilt," per say. More like a constant prodding from all directions, vying for my attention like a brute squad. Odd comparison, I know, but that's what it feels like. Balance is an ever constant act. It's hard to maintain. Don't be glum. We're all in the same cosmic starship (or boat, thingy).

Sonia said...

that sounds like me. like most people, i should think.

Susan Fields said...

It's so hard to balance family, housework, and writing! It's a big joke in our family how upset I get when the schools give them so many days off. My kids know I love 'em, though! :)

Teralyn Rose Pilgrim said...

I'm the complete opposite; when I feel guilty, I avoid whatever's making me feel that way because it causes me pain. It's a terrible Pavlotic response. Dishes = pain, ergo, don't go in the kitchen. The best I can do is remind myself how good it feels when I get those things done.

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