Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Guilt of Writing

As I write this, my insane fourteen year-old cat is screeching his way upstairs.  My daughter is talking to herself over the baby monitor.  And my husband is, well, sleeping until I wake him up (a serious example of NOT a morning person).  My mornings are when I am supposed to be writing my book.  Technically, I could be writing while Romy takes her afternoon nap.  But by then I have been awake so long, I can't think enough most days to write coherently.  Plus, I love having maybe an hour to relax.  Or blog.  Or read.  Or watch TV.  But instead, I usually have the pangs of guilt because I didn't write enough before everyone in the house started to wake up (except my husband), and I should, therefore, also be writing in the afternoon.  That, on top of the guilt of not exercising in the morning, or at least, not exercising as much as I should or could, makes me a constant mass of guilt.  It's useless.  What does it matter if I complete everything I'm supposed to every single day?  And yet, I hate myself when I don't.  Yesterday Romy napped for over two hours.  I could have used the time to writewritewrite my novel, but instead I tweaked all of these little things on my webpage that have needed tweaking for a long time.  I sort of didn't feel guilty about it, but looking back, now I do.  My goal was to write ten pages a day on my novel, which I can do if I write for a little under two hours.  But I seem to be writing only one hour a day, which equals five to six pages.  Which means I won't be finished with the novel in six weeks, as thought.  Which doesn't even matter because no one is even expecting this novel in six weeks.  I don't even have the contract yet, and I am feeling guilty about not finishing in this non-existent amount of time.  What is wrong with me?  How do I exorcise this guilt from my body?

There is some sort of animal scratching its claws against my patio door.  I wish that were as freaky as it sounded.  Or maybe it's a zombie!  Now that would be scary.  Did I ever mention that I save clothes and other various things just in case there's a zombie attack?  Now that I do NOT feel guilty about.


Sarah Enni said...

I feel that guilt ALL THE TIME. And not just about writing, but whenever I don't get anything done. It drives me (and, consequently, everyone around me) nuts.

If you are still writing every day (and an hour a day sounds awesome to me) you are ahead of the game. Celebrate THAT :)

Brian James said...

I know the's part of the writer's nature I think.

Julie H said...

It's nice to read that other people feel guilty, too. Now I feel guilty for feeling that.