Aspiring Writers: Stop Feeling Guilty

Often times I find myself feeling so guilty for setting time aside to sit and write. As a mom, I can’t sit down without thinking I need to get up and do something… dishes, laundry, shower, etc. Also as a mom, the only time I have to write is at night when everyone else goes to bed. The weekends are usually spent with my husband because he works from dusk til dawn on the weekdays. So, today I found myself wanting to just sit and write. I wanted to go to a quiet coffee shop and write for a few hours while the grandparents had the kids (this is our Sunday routine so my husband and I can have a date day). But, what about my husband? What about our date day? This is where I start to feel guilty. I ended up not writing today and enjoying a movie date with my sweet one. I thought maybe I could write a little when I got home but, honestly, I’m just too exhausted to even try to continue with my novel.

I had someone tell me once that I treat writing like a job when, really, it’s a hobby. I found myself becoming very frustrated with this statement. I have a goal to write at least 750 words per day. If I do this, I can have a novel finished in three months (not including edits and publishing stuff). I have actually been doing very well with this personal goal. I write at least 1,000 words a day. Not because I force myself to, but because I ENJOY IT. I do treat writing like a job because it’s a very personal goal of mine. If I just let it go and only write when I’m in the mood, I’ll never get anything done. Some days I feel like I don’t want to write but I know I have a goal to try to reach. On days like this, I will sit in a quiet space, close my eyes, and try to put myself in the book. Try to put myself in the setting… sitting with the characters… talking to them. This helps me get in the mood to write, even when I originally didn’t feel like it.

The main reason I’m writing this is to tell other aspiring writers: Don’t make yourself feel guilty for setting aside time to write. If you write as a hobby, that’s totally fine. But if you write because you plan to make it your full-time job, stick with it. Don’t let anyone make you feel any less worthy just because they can’t immediately see your progress. Who knows, you might be the next big, well-known writer. Set a goal for yourself, like I have my 750 words per day goal. Your goal can be something small like writing three times a week. No matter your goal, setting goals is important! It gives you something to work toward.

Advertisements

8 Comments

Add yours →

  1. This is an awesome post, and I do the same thing. I often have to split my writing time between nonfiction (cause that is what I get paid to do) and writing narratives. My dream is to make a living as a novelist. I found my family became much more supportive once I actually started getting a paycheck from writing.

    Like

    • It can be very discouraging when family, or people in general, don’t take your writing seriously just because a paycheck isn’t affiliated with it. I write with the intent to publish my novels which, in return, may bring a paycheck. So, in the beginning stages of a novel, many people see it as a hobby that I should only pursue on days when I’m bored and have nothing to do. I can be very strict on myself with achieving my goals and my OCD helps. When I set a goal to write at least 750 words per day, I strive more toward 1,000-1,500 words per day. If I don’t treat my writing like a job, I won’t get it done. It’s more than just a hobby to me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That is definitely the way to go! If you don’t mind me asking, what genres do you normally write in?

        Like

      • I enjoy writing science fiction. I have experimented with other genres but I excel in sci-fi because that is what I’m most educated in. “Write what you know” is one of my favorite quotes and Beth Revis writes an entire chapter on this quote in her book Paper Hearts: Advice on Writing. I have yet to get paid for my writing but creating novels takes time. My day will come!

        Liked by 1 person

      • All my paid stuff has come from short stories or articles. I haven’t gotten a novel published yet either, though I am definitely working on it.

        Like

      • I have looked into writing short stories but I don’t know much about how it works or where to publish them for pay. I have read quite a few really good ones on my Kindle and Wattpad.com. If you have links to your work, feel free to share! I enjoy reading just as much as I do writing!

        Liked by 1 person

      • That sounds great, I will send you a link when I get to my computer (I am on my phone right now). There are tons of sci-fi and fantasy magazines that pay $0.06/word or higher for short stories. The big ones are Clarkesworld, Science Fiction & Fantasy, and Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show.

        If you are wanting to try out a short story, my advice is to focus on one or two people, one conflict and one place. This limits the scope of the story and makes it much easier to write something shorter.

        Like

      • Thank you so much for that advice. That helps tremendously! I will look into those magazines! I look forward to reading your work, as well!

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: