Saturday, 27 August 2011

An (aspiring) writer's guilt

I feel guilty because …

I didn’t write enough today and went for a walk with the kids.

I spent most of yesterday on the computer typing away, ignoring the children or pretending to listen to their stories, and making a great fuss about their drawings or papier maché sculptures without really looking at them.

Sometimes I don't really listen to people. I smile, but my head is full of others stuff, you know, important things like 'Should she have her tantrum now? Should he kiss her now or later? And what about that treasure map hidden in the palace?'

I spent too long looking at my favourite fashion websites instead of getting that chapter written.

I fudged some of the research in my story, because it was easier that way. If the journey takes a few days less than it should, if that particular event happened a few years later, surely it won't matter too much. Will it?

I haven’t talked to my friends in a long time. They must think I’d rather live in a fantasy of my own making than in the real world.

I went mad and bought far too many books in that great second hand bookshop in Southport on Monday, but it's all for research, of course.

I spent hours looking at maps, studying fascinating but totally irrelevant treatises and copying beautiful old poems. All of which I don’t think I’ll ever use.

I was so taken by a twist in my plot that I forgot all about the pork steaks under the grill and we all had to eat really tough meat tonight. So tough my little girl lost another of her milk teeth. That makes four teeth in two weeks.

Because I …

Any more guilt?


  1. Marie, I completely understand writer's guilt. It must be normal! We feel guilty because of one thing (say, not writing enough) and then feel guilty because we wrote too much rather than focusing on real life. We can't win! I do wonder whether it will go away when we eventually get published - I hope so :)

  2. No, guilt continues long after you have been published. Trust me! I am constantly guilty about how little I've managed to do. What's important is getting something done, however little, every day if you can. Just a couple of sentences if that's all you can manage. It keeps your mind and heart 'in' the book and provides some kind of sense of continuity. Absence, with a book, does not make the heart grown fonder but colder. So try to look at it and tinker a bit for a few mins every day. And look on days when you can write several pages as a bonus. Good luck1 Jx