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"Hard is not hopeless." - General David Petraeus

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Guilt and the Writer

It's Mike Duran's fault that I'm posting a blog entry today, as his latest post is about writers and guilt and blogging regularly.  And sure enough, while it has always been my goal to post every Thursday, I fell off the turnip truck.

You can read his post here:

But guilt and the writer is a fascinating subject.  I wonder if any other occupation houses as much guilt as does a writer?  Mike already covered the ways in which we are made to feel guilty about blogging, so let's look at some others:

-  Guilt because you need sleep each night and can't stay up and write 50 pages
-  Guilt because you're in the midst of writing the first draft of your novel and that means you will have nothing to submit to your crit group for several months because you don't share your work in first draft stage
-  Guilt that you don't Facebook 12 hours a day
-  Guilt that you don't Twitter 12 hours a day
-  Guilt that you don't join every single social media format
-  Guilt that you can't find a way around having to work a day job for a living
-  Guilt that said day job is a job from hell and sucks the creativity out of you and once again, you can't write 50 pages a day.
-  Guilt that you can't take web design classes and still write 50 pages a day plus the day job
-  Guilt that you don't succumb to the (unintended) pressure to do more and more at church on top of everything else, just because you're on the brink of exhaustion.
-  Guilt that you don't help more writers on their journey.
-  Guilt that you can't visit more of your author friends' websites to support them
-  Guilt that you can't afford to buy every one of your author friends' books

I think you get the idea.

I do not know if it is accurate but I have heard that some famous writers of past times had emotional problems and probably succumbed to substance abuse.  If that IS the case, is it any wonder?  Who is more prone to seeking false euphoria than the guilt-riddled writer?  We are inundated with impossible advice daily.  Most of it well-intentioned.

But few in this modern age understand moderation of any sort, and that's what we as authors need--to view our careers and proceed with our strategy for career building with the use of moderation.  And if we are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, what does it say about our walk of faith that we allow ourselves to be so deeply guilted by others' advice?  What does it say about me personally that I allow myself to feel guilty on so many levels because I'm not superhuman and can't leap tall buildings in a single bound? 

The writing journey is very stressful.  I can't imagine taking that journey without my Anchor, even though I definitely swerve off His path at times.  But He ain't the Solid Rock for nothing.  How do people cope without Him?

And how do writers get off the guilt bandwagon?

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