Dealing with Writer’s Guilt

Dealing with Writer’s Guilt

As a mom I’m familiar with the term—and feeling—of “Mom Guilt.” It’s a common problem in today’s social media-run world. I actually got off all social media for about 6 months, before signing with an agent and realizing if I want to truly make it as an author in this day and age, I have to “embrace social media” and “build an author platform.” Mom Guilt comes along even without social media, however, and really goes hand-in-hand with what I call “Writer’s Guilt.”

Writer’s Guilt is that feeling when you know you should be writing but life happens and you just can’t find the time.

I know, I know: “If you want to write professionally you have to make the time.”

And: “The difference between an artist and a professional is the professional doesn’t wait for inspiration.”

I realize that, but I think something needs to be said about full-time writers who also want to be full-time parents. Where do you find the time? I’m homeschooling my two younguns, baking, cooking, cleaning house, washing dishes, doing laundry, sewing, crafting, reading, gardening, taking care of animals (sheep, chickens, peacocks, guinea fowl—not just one), running a women’s craft group, volunteering at church, and somewhere in there trying to find time to 1) Just Be with my kids and husband so I don’t miss out, 2) introvert (yes, it’s a verb 😉 because otherwise I get super cranky, and 3) WRITE!!!

That doesn’t even get into all the stuff that comes with pursuing being a professional author. Don’t let anyone fool you: it’s a full-time job! There’s appearances, blogging, posting, budgeting, marketing, querying, conferences, signings, and all on top of outlining, researching, writing, editing, and revising.

It’s overwhelming.

So how do I do it?

I take it one day at a time. I set goals for the week and month rather than the day.

You never know what’s gonna come up in a day. I’ve had everything from the car breaking down to our neighbor being rushed to the hospital to “let’s make a muddy puddle for jumping into in the basement!”

I’ve realized if I set daily goals, I get bogged down when they don’t happen. If I set weekly goals, or even monthly, somehow the time always appears. One day the kids naturally get along and start playing a story together so I just let them go rather than pushing homeschooling and sneakily pull out my laptop to write my own story. And then when the next day they want my full attention all day to include tea parties and LEGOs, I don’t feel guilty about taking a break from writing and getting back to it later.

So if you’re like me and you keep hearing professional authors saying things like, “You should be writing 20 minutes a day,” and you’re like, “What 20 minutes?!” just remember that they are them and you are you (and “we are all together” ;). Figure out what works for you and stick to it.

Let me know in the comments how you “find time” to write! I’d love to hear other ideas—maybe I’ll give yours a try!

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