Sunday, 15 November 2009

Guilty Secrets

From my bed I can see the sun is shining on honey Bath stone and the sky is blue. Outside, the street is bright after the rain, scattered leaves in gold and scarlet across the pavement. Sunday morning, a time for lie-ins and breakfast in bed, luxuriating at the weeks end. Except for me. I am in bed with guilt.

Guilt, my constant companion. I should be writing. I shouldn't be enjoying the beauty of the morning, I should be writing. And if I'm not writing I should be doing something to promote my writing career - Twittering, blogging, arranging readings, writing articles and short stories, developing new ideas, building the brand...The list seems endless at times. I read about other authors, the ones with organised lives, the ones who have work routines, weekly, daily, even hourly word targets, the ones who seem to know what they are doing, the ones who never feel guilty.

I should be writing. I should be busily clocking up my 1000 words a day - 2000 if I was Stephen King - and then a fully formed novel would slip off my laptop in a couple of months, followed by another, and another. I should be a little novel factory, buzzing merrily along, fingers tapping on the keyboard, clickety click. Instead, I am lying in bed feeling guilty. I should be writing, even though it is Sunday morning and the first glimpse of sunshine we've had for days.

Guilt, my enemy, my friend. Guilt makes me hit my deadlines, guilt makes me write a novel a year. I should be writing. But I'm not a factory and it's a sunny morning. I think I'll take the dog for a long country walk.


L-Plate Author said...

Wise words indeed! I'm reading blogs while I feel guilty too, just don't seem to want to get down to it today.

Fia said...

Guilt is a real bugger isn't it? I find I end up doing nothing, and doing it badly, when I feel guilty.

You have to stop and smell the sunshine sometimes. Surely it helps the creative flow?

Bethany Mason said...

I totally know this feeling - the past few weeks I have been doing nothing but writing, so much so that I was wearing myself out. So I decided to relax this weekend - the result of course is that I'm slightly more rested but totally stressed about the amount of work I haven't done.

But I'm a great believer in taking time out and getting the balance between work and play; I just have to find it for myself now.

Sarah Duncan said...

A five hour, nine mile walk over hilly, muddy ground later and not a word written...I think sometimes one has to accept that there isn't a perfect balance, but there's stuff the head thinks and stuff the heart knows and they're not always the same. Still, I do feel amazingly fit!

hackedoff said...

Guilt, shmilt... who would enjoy writing if it was just another production line?

Sarah Duncan said...

You're absolutely right. I know you are. Doesn't stop me feeling guilty though.