Thursday, November 29, 2007

What About Guilt???

Well, since we're talking about writing bugaboos this week, I will mention the one that wreaks the most havoc on my writing.

That would be Guilt.

Yes, I said it. G U I L T.

I often find myself sitting in front of my computer, the bedroom door shut, the family on notice that, Mama is writing, and unable to type a single paragraph, sentence, word...

The one thing that can obliterate my creativity and smother my muse is the insidious guilt that worms its way into my consciousness when the killer dust bunnies begin to overrun the house and when the kids are awake and living life without me. Oh! The worst guilt factory of all is my super understanding husband who is home with the kids all day before he goes to work in the evenings, and gives up his kid-free Saturday so I can write or attend my local RWA Chapter meetings. (It must be said here, that my husband does NOT lay any type of guilt trip on me. No. I do that well enough on my own.)

I know I'm not the only writer who has a full-time day job, who has a family and a home and all the other things life throws at us. Am I the only one hindered by guilt? How do you all handle it? Cause when I'm not battling the guilt-factor, I can really bang out those pages. And it feels GOOD. I want that feeling more often. What's your secret?

~Sandra Barkevich
*NOW, free writing workshop with Anna Campbell at Sandra's Goings On.


  1. Oh guilt...yeah I sooo know that one. I am dealing with guilt big time this week since I had a child sick at home and had to go to work.

    After 16 years of working part-time, returning to a full-time job laid SUPER guilt on me.

    As for the kiddies, well, they are a little older but there are times when I make a choice between my life and my writing. I look at it this way--time passes way too quickly. My writing will always be there and I do work on it (even if it is only a line or two) every single day. Children grow and all those little phases that you think they will never grow out of, they eventually do. So to put life on hold indefinitely is not an option.

    If you need a rationalization to help you with the guilt, think of the time spent with your family as research. Write stuff about the precious moments down. You never know when you will need to remember how advanced a two year old's language is or the transformation a middle schooler makes when he discovers that girls suddenly don't have cooties.

    It's all good.


  2. I'm just the opposite. I feel guilty when I'm NOT writing.

    Like right now, I started another story about 4 months ago. I haven't written one new word in 3 months. I feel guilty about that.

    I work through it by telling myself my last wip is still in need of TLC, but it doesn't always work. LOL

    Some things we just have to live with.

  3. Isn't it ironic how going through all these hoops to carve time out to write can give us writer's block?? It is so frustrating when that happens! Sometimes the pressure is too much because I typically have to go to great lengths to get the time and I KNOW I have to use every... second... wisely. And I know how this is my one and only chance (in a blue moon) to do this.

    So the ole brainbox just shuts down.


  4. I feel your pain. I can't deal with the guilt related to writing while the kids are running around (and honestly, it's too hard when they're up anyway), so I usually write after they go to sleep. I don't love it, but I haven't figured out a better alternative thus far.