If you recall my January 1st blog post (titled No More Writer’s Guilt), I talk about how writing every day has all but banished my writer’s guilt.
Excuse me for a moment…
Y’all, my writer’s guilt is back with a vengeance.
These draft 2 revisions are going insanely slow for me. Even after increasing my goal to a page a day (which I’m sorta kinda mostly meeting), they still feel slow and like I’m making no progress.
Which means this draft will get done later than I’d like.
Which means it’ll get into the hands of my agent later then I want.
Guilt, guilt, guilt.
I follow a lot of amazing writers on social media and so many of them are excitedly sharing their good news and book deals.
I’m so incredibly happy for them!
But it doesn’t mean that these posts also give me other feelings too, like guilt and pressure. Guilt that I haven’t sold a book yet. Guilt that my agent took me on and I’m proving not to be up to snuff. Pressure to write faster, chase trends, network more, read more.
The guilt is everywhere. On the best of days, it’s a little nagging voice in the back of my head. On the worst days, it’s an overwhelming shout.
I have no idea how to turn it off. True, I didn’t have any guilt while writing my first draft. I think because the progress was so obvious. Word counts going up, page counts increasing. First drafts are meant to be bad, so no need to worry about all the crap I was writing.
With revisions, I’ll spend half an hour rewriting the same paragraph, so it doesn’t feel like I’m getting anywhere. Even though that paragraph is LOADS better than it’d been previously.
I know I need to focus on the positives.
I know I need to stop comparing myself to how other writers write.
Some days and weeks I can do this. Sadly, the past two weeks I couldn’t.
I have to acknowledge now that it will always be a struggle for me. Writer’s guilt is a part of my writing life. It does me no good to pretend it doesn’t exist. Even when I reward myself for my accomplishments and try to focus on the positives, guilt always finds a way to creep in. It’s a tricky little beast. Instead of trying to banish it, I need to figure out how to live with it.
I think to do that, I need to recognize that I have guilt, realize that many writers feel guilt, and move on. These past two weeks, I’ve dwelled on my guilt way too much. I’ve let it take over my thoughts.
From now on, I’m going to try and have a better relationship with my guilt. My guilt doesn’t control me - I want to control it.
My mood regarding the past two weeks: See post above, haha. ALL the guilt.
My mood for this coming week: Being kinder to myself and my writing.
Other insights: I’m in a season of my life where I have a lot going on. Because of that, I didn’t write for 2 days last week (bringing my total to 8 days that I haven’t written). This is just a temporary phase. The main thing is I’m still making forward progress. I should celebrate that accomplishment alone.
That's it for now. Til next time!