Surviving Writer’s Guilt

Writers love to write, daydream, read and plot. But what they don’t like is having their time interrupted, stolen or even ruined by writer’s block. And unfortunate this pandemic is causing all kinds of issues for us creative folk.

Here in Wales we’re heading into a second Lockdown, particularly around the capital in the south. I live in the west, but I’m anticipating it rolling out across the whole country in the coming weeks. These challenging times have presented a variety of problems. While, like many of you, I’ve had stints of wild enthusiasm and high productivity. I’ve also had the down side of procrastination and burnout. So if you’re currently on the flip-side with me, suffering writer’s guilt — welcome, let’s relax and settle in for the ride.

First of all, lets acknowledge how difficult it is trying to work from home, home school, or go into work during this bonkers time. We have to navigate Zoom meetings, wear face masks in public and sanitize, wash, sanitize our hands consistently, tirelessly, endlessly. Tensions are high (with my teenagers in particular), loneliness is rife, and the underlining pandemic is constantly bubbling under the surface of our awareness. 

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It’s no wonder our creativity suffers. It’s no wonder we have no time or energy to write. It’s no wonder we’re choosing to put other peoples needs in front of our own. 

I’ve spent the last few months of summer fulfilling zero writing goals. My creativity has crumbled under the change in pace. I suffered a total melt down, and my writer’s guilt has shot through the roof. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve longed to write, I’ve longed for the mental peace and quiet so I could focus. Instead, I have nagging guilt over being a terrible parent, and a terrible business partner. Trust me, I seriously let the ball drop.

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So what can we do to ease some of the burden? 

  • Remember you’re only human and that you’re doing the best you can.
  • Understand that your writing is a part of you: an extension of your soul. You’re story is not going anywhere, it will still get written, just not today. And that’s okay!
  • Self-care, and self-acceptance is important. I’m not talking about a bubble bath or pampering yourself (although that’s always an option). I’m saying listen to your inner-self and do what you need to do. A walk. A day on the couch. A good cry. Don’t deny whatever is going on for you, it will only persists.
  • Ask for help. We all have days, weeks, months when life is just too much. Don’t be afraid to message or call a friend. Or to tell your boss that you’re struggling. It doesn’t make you weak, it means you have courage to ask for what you need. 
  • Refill your creative cup.
  • Read. Read. Read. This is a guilt-free pleasure because it helps develop your craft.
  • Watch movies (just pretend your studying the plot and complex characters).

Tell me fellow creatives, how do you ease the burden of writer’s guilt?

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Don’t forget to leave a comment and share your thoughts. You know I love hearing from you.

Thanks for stopping by, until next time, Much Love.

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© Author Lorraine Ambers and http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2020.

17 thoughts on “Surviving Writer’s Guilt

  1. Great and timely post.

    Yeah, the guilt is high. I know a lot of people say we have more time than ever to write, but my day-job is frantic and I have the kids home with me.

    Combine that with the high levels of stress caused by the pandemic… Well, and we know for a fact that stress kills creativity. I keep trying to remind myself of that and not beat myself up.

    Particularly when what I do produce is… well, it is lacking conflict. After everything we have been through, bringing more conflict to the page is harder than ever.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A great reminder, Rainy! Guilt is tough. I’ve moved into a new house and am working 6 day weeks as we have flu clinics at the weekends, and so I’ve taken a break from all writing and it feels horrible. This post came at a much needed time x

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Congratulations on your new home! Ah, I’ve been thinking about you as I noticed your socia media had gone quite. And no wonder, you’re being Wonder Woman and working flat out.
      A writing break sounds like a good idea right now. You’re a fabulous writer, Meelie. A break won’t harm that. Xx

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve found myself in peaks and troughs with my writing more than usual, having to do family stuff that has cropped up. You need to be in the right head and heart space to write, and a need to keep social contact, via messager or zoom, is stronger because of the restrictions, so that gets in the way too. But when you say:’Read. Read. Read. This is a guilt-free pleasure because it helps develop your craft.’ I can go with that! And I’ve been reading some great books. I do some reading, then i do some writing. Exercise is a biggie for me as well ;>)

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Kirsten Bett

    Luckily we don’t have children so our lockdown is not as stressful. I also can go to the gym again. A great stress relief. We have a Fit4lady in Leeuwarden. I totally agree with the reading. Read read read! And walk and listen to audiobooks! Take care!

    Like

  5. A very important post, Lorraine! Having spent most of the last eight months in lockdown, I’m pretty sure I haven’t been as kind to myself as I should have. I’ve been through so many ups and downs, and it’s scarily easy to lose sight of the fact this is an unprecedented experience and we should just do what we have to do to make it safely out the other side. Take care of yourself!! 😊❤

    Liked by 2 people

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