Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The dreaded writer's guilt (IWSG)


I read an interesting post/article by Colleen M. Story about writer's guilt recently and I truly connected with a lot she had to say. Especially the points she made about I don’t have enough to show for all the time I’ve spent and I don't write enough.

I often feel guilty for spending so much time and attention on my writing. Let's face it, when you've spent six years writing in every spare moment you have, most people want to know what you've written and whether you're successful and rich . . . yet. I tend not to care anymore. But then there's the other scenario. We tend to compare ourselves to other writers and their efforts and then the real guilt trip starts. We can be hard on ourselves and even mean. We start chastising ourselves. Asking questions like, why haven't I reached the success of writer/ blogger X? Why does X have all the luck? Why can't I be more like X? How does X fit in so much writing time and I can't?

The truth is, like I recently discovered, there's nothing wrong with me (my family might disagree), or you. We are all different and the same goes for our writing and the ways we create our art. Our processes differ and some of us might achieve success (insert your own personal concept of it here) sooner than the rest, but that's just how it goes. We have to stop feeling guilty because we don't measure up to other people's standards, when all we have to do is measure up to our own.

Let's not feel guilty because we write, or because we should be doing a hundred other things, aside for writing. Each of us brings something unique to the writing table and we should embrace that.

The Insecure Writers Support Group was created by the talented Mr. Alex J. Cavanaugh so that writers can share their insecurities and/or encourage others who need support with their own. You can visit Alex Here, or if you want to join us in discussing our insecurities on the first Wednesday of each month, you are welcome to join by going Here.

32 comments :

  1. I agree with you 100%. It took me publishing again to realize how stupid I was being. Because I felt guilty about not publishing last year already.

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    1. I think you are amazing. If you ever forget that, just email me:) You published when the time was right for you, which is wonderful. If I had as many setbacks as you, I would probably still be in a heap crying.

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  2. Nice reminder, Murees! If you keep looking at those behind, beside or ahead of you, you lose track of where you're going!

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    1. You are welcome, Nancy! Thank you so much for stopping by. You are so right. I still tend to look around, when I should rather focus on my own work:)

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  3. Thanks for this. I struggle with this as well and really need to get over it. Great advice!

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    1. My pleasure! I'm happy it helped. You definitely have nothing to feel guilty about.

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  4. I don't feel guilty. Now I'm wondering if I'm what's the matter with me. *sigh* Nope, I'm good. :-)

    Anna from Elements of Writing

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    1. You are lucky. I need your confidence. Thank you for stopping by.

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  5. Well said! We are each at a different point of the journey and not all paths are the same.

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    1. Thanks you, Alex:) Our crazy writing journeys makes us the writers we are. If nothing else, it gives us plenty more to write about;)

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  6. Dang! I haven't really thought about this until just yesterday while starting down my filled planner and writing notebook but empty bank account. Very timely, thank you!

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    1. You are very welcome. If it makes you feel better, my bank account is pretty empty too:) Thank you for stopping by.

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  7. Great post, Murees :)! I completely agree with you - I often feel guilty over some aspect of my writing, but I really shouldn't. Thank you for the inspiring post :)

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    1. You are most welcome, Rachel. You really shouldn't feel guilty. We should learn to be a bit more selfish;)

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  8. I enjoy Colleen's Writing and Wellness site, and I especially liked her recent post on guilt. It's like that old saying "damned if you do and damned if you don't." It really applies to writing!

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    1. It definitely does. I really enjoyed that post as well. It truly spoke to me. Thank you for visiting.

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  9. Darn that Blogger X! I've always hated him for having more luck than the rest of us! lol Yes, it's awfully hard not to compare yourself to the more successful ones. I do it. And then stalk them to try to gain insight. But we are who we are and have our own path to travel. No sense feeling guilty or fighting it. Just relax and enjoy the ride. :)

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    1. Exactly! I'm always learning so much from my fellow bloggers. Luckily, most don't mind sharing their secrets and stalking them on social media does reveal a lot of writing secrets:) Thank you so much for stopping by.

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  10. One of the hardest things is learning not to compare ourselves to others. That way lies madness.

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    1. I agree. It is a very bad habit of mine:)

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  11. I haven't reached the guilt yet but when I tell people that I've written a novel, the questions start. That's when I begin to question. I'm proud of what I've done but its not what most would call success. Thanks for your words.

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    1. You are welcome. I think you should be very proud of yourself. Writing a novel is tough. As long as you're proud of what you accomplished, you can hold your head high and pat yourself on the back. Yeah, people will always be nosy. But don't allow them to make your feel as if what you accomplished isn't good enough. It is. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

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  12. You shouldn't feel guilty for spending so much time on your writing; you're dedicated to your work, and that's admirable. And it's that dedication that will help you achieve your goals, especially because a lot of other aspiring writers often give up and don't spend enough (or any) time on their writing.

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    1. Thank you so much! You are very kind;)

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  13. writing is like a drug to me. If I'm away too long, my skin itches and I start twitching.

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    1. I get very moody if I don't write in a while. Thank you for visiting, Mac;)

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  14. We all fall into that trap of comparing ourselves with other writers.
    We have to remember that we are all unique. Life would be really BORING if we were all the same.
    Let's accept and celebrate our individuality!
    Great post!

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    1. Thank you, Michelle and you are so right. Life would indeed be very boring.

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  15. Bravo. Excellent post. I pity those not daring enough to write. I wouldn't be fit, or allowed to be in society if I didn't release the words storming through my head!

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    1. Thank you. I'm with you. Writing keeps me sane too.

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