Writer’s “Guilt”

I don’t have a problem with writer’s block. Finding the right words, topics, voice, style, or tone, hasn’t really been an issue with me. I love switching up my writing; from short stories to essays to fiction to blogging, I love it all. What really stops me in my tracks isn’t indecision, or lack of ideas…it’s guilt.

I’m no longer in the work force. I’ve gone through spurts of working full-time, part-time, occasionally, and rarely due to my Rheumatoid Arthritis. Right now, I’m not working. I have all the time in the world. Why, then, am I not writing all the time?  I’ve asked myself this question every time I find myself in this very fortunate situation that any writer would envy.

Some writers spend most of their spare time mulling over ideas, doing research, himming and hawing about this or that before they actually get right down to the task of writing. They spend so much time doing the “prep work” that they neglect doing the very thing they love to do…writing.

I, too, get caught up in this trap, but my biggest problem is the overwhelming feeling of guilt I get when I think about taking the massive amount of time for myself it would require to finish the many novels I have started.

I look around at the many boxes of stuff that still haven’t been unpacked since moving. I notice that even though I just dusted last week, there is a fresh layer of dust covering everything in my house. I ask myself if this time should be spent doing more important things. So I avoid writing. Worst part…the boxes still sit unpacked, the dust remains, and the “more important things” remain more important things.

Guilt. It’s debilitating for a writer. I feel horrible for taking this time for myself and away from my family. It’s unfounded guilt because my family is very supportive and give me no reason to feel this guilt. So, how do I overcome this obstacle? I’ll gladly take any advice from other’s who suffer from “writer’s guilt”.


3 thoughts on “Writer’s “Guilt”

  1. Ooh, I know this. Except mine shows up as procrastination: if I can’t do it ‘perfectly’ or say something that hasn’t been said a bajillion times than what’s the fucken point?

    Cool tactics for overcoming limiting beliefs: it’s called “The Work” by Byron Katie. I’ve done it before on some big self-limitations and found it works brilliantly.

    We should have coffee and discuss.


  2. What could possibly be more important than writing?!? I get it. For me I am channeling stories that need to be told. I give voice to those who aren’t able to speak for themselves by conveying human experiences, my own or those of fictional characters. And writing gives me joy. By writing, I give the world another fulfilled, happy person. The world could use more of those.


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