Writers Guilt

Today dear readers, I am going to wax into the philosophical, to write about something that plagues me on an almost daily basis. Maybe I’m the only one with one with this problem, maybe not. But hopefully by sharing this I can make at least a few people feel better, myself included.
I call it Writer’s Guilt. It’s a deep kind of melancholy that descends upon me whenever I’m doing anything except writing. I don’t know exactly where it comes from or why, although I do have a few theories.
I started out late in life, as writers go. Forty. That’s about the halfway point isn’t it? Halfway through life and I’m just starting out. As anyone who has ever tried to be a writer knows, it takes time, years, to really find your voice, and become comfortable with your style, not to mention develop your skills.

I think this late start has created a sense of urgency. Somehow I feel that I should be honing my skills instead of going out to a movie with my wife or playing the Wii with my kids, or doing the yard work or anything else except writing.
Like many starting, even accomplished authors,  I have a day job.  It’s stressful, and I haven’t enjoyed it at for a long time. But I have no other “marketable” skills, and with many bills to pay and a family to support, simply leaving to follow my dream is not an option. At least not until my writing making a comparable living.

Which leads to a poisonous spiral.

I want out of this job, I want to do what I love for a living,  so I try to write more, but I’m so often tired my brain has trouble functioning and I can’t write well. So I try to relax to free myself from stress, but I can’t because while I’m sitting there struggling to release tension,  in the back of my mind tension is building because I’m not writing. All this leads inevitably to poor writing, which in spite of myself, destroys my ultimate goals.

I’m learning to cope with it though. One day at a time. Every time I finish a new story I’m that much closer to my ultimate goal. Finding time with my wife and kids is important, and helps me remember what life’s really all about. That Guilt still creeps in sometimes though, when I’m not wary. :/

See You in the Future,

J.S. Eaton



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