How To Get Rid Of Writers Guilt

By on June 25, 2016
How To Get Rid Of Writers Guilt - Writer's

Guilt is an emotion commonly felt by writers. If we spend too much of our time writing, we feel guilty. If we don’t spend enough of our time writing, we feel guilty. Getting the balance right is tricky.

We feel guilty for other reasons too, for following our childish dreams of being able to write full time, for being selfish when we are so consumed by our writing that other part of our lives (partners, children, pets) get neglected. We feel guilty that we are being irresponsible, that we are wasting our lives chasing something hopeless, that our lives could be so much better if we dedicated them to something more practical, more normal.

Don’t you get tired of feeling guilty? We do! So here is how to get rid of your writers guilt.

I should be using my time for other things

There are always going to be things that get in the way of your writing. You need to clean the house, to run those errands, to work on something else. Of course there are thousands of things we could be doing instead go setting down to write - important, essential things. However, if you feel the need to write then you should. Try to structure your day fairly, so that you get some writing time in each day.

Even if you have to set your alarm and hour earlier to find a quiet time to do it, you deserve to. It is also important to distinguish between feeling genuinely guilty for not doing other things and simply using them as an excuse to procrastinate your writing!

I don’t have anything to show for it

Writing is hard, it takes time, practice, courage - it’s difficult to make a living from it. However, if you have  passion for writing you should keep going, keep motivated and determined to improve and get better. All good writers get rejected, all good writers struggle at some point. Some of the best, most celebrated writers didn’t get published until much later in life.

Above all else, write because you love it. Getting published and making money are wonderful things but don’t let this be the be all and end all for you.

I never have time to write

One of the most common causes of writers guilt is not because we spend too much time on it, but because we spend too little. We find ourselves coming up with excuses to get out of writing and concentrate on other tasks, we procrastinate.

Good writers are disciplined ones. They will sit down every day and make themselves write something, even if they don’t feel like it. Writing is an art form, a craft, you have to practice it to get better at it, so don’t shy away from your writing, stay focused and you’ll soon find yourself looking forward to your writing sessions.

I feel guilty because of what I’m writing

Many writers use their real life experiences in their writing. You may be writing an autobiography or an entirely fictional piece, but no doubt you’ll find yourself writing characters that are a bit like a friend or relative, or using things you’ve seen and heard, or experiences you’ve had in real life in your story. This can make you feel guilty as you may be afraid of what people will think.

All writers, to some extent, need to write about what they know. Putting pen to paper and writing about a real-life situation can also be very therapeutic. You have to be true to yourself without deliberately going out of your way to upset or hurt someone.

At the end of the day you have to make peace with your choices. If you choose to write it is possible that other aspects of your life will suffer.

However, there is no point in constantly beating yourself up about it, If you choose to write you may have doubts, but really, what good is this going to do you? If you choose to write but keep putting it off, then ask yourself why? And try to be more disciplined with yourself. Being a writer should not be a decision we make half-heartedly. If you decide to do it then free yourself of the guilt, and do everything you can to be the best writer that you can be.

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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