Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Guilt Free For One Month

I've officially given myself the month of December off. Other than keeping up with this blog on a mostly-daily basis, I've deteremined not to write anything at all. With the holidays approaching and all of the chores and events associated, not to mention the two plus weeks the kids will be at home driving me crazy enjoying their free time, it's impossible for me to focus.

And, to be honest, I'm needing a break from the guilt.

Every single day I feel guilty because I haven't written enough/at all/anything good/something for a specific WIP.

Every day I feel horrible when I choose to read/watch a movie with the hubby/work on a project/clean the house/do laundry/spend time with the kids because I know I should be writing. I should have figured out a way to make time for all of it. I should know how to organize my life in such a way that I can take care of my family, volunteer at the kids' school, read at least a few chapters in one of my hundreds of TBRs, keep the house in perfect working order, fix nutritious and satisfying meals, do a little bloghopping, and add another 2,000 or so words to my current manuscript. But since I haven't managed this, I feel awful when one or all of these balls come crashing to the ground.

Every day I fight against all the ideas clamoring around in my brain, fighting for full attention. I feel the constant urge to shake my body like a dog shakes after getting wet, hoping that all but the very best idea will fall away and leave me able to focus on just one thing at a time.

And every day I worry that I'm another day older and not even close to another day nearer my goal. Every day I have to force myself to stop thinking about the hurdles I have yet to tackle, the rejections I have yet to read, the number of words I have yet to write.

So I'm taking a vacation from the idea of being a writer. I'm letting myself think about things other than my characters and their problems. I'm sitting my butt on the sofa to watch Lost entirely guilt-free. I'm not stressing when I see on the calendar that every single afternoon next week is full of commitments of some sort that will keep me away from home and my laptop.

In general, I'm giving myself the month of December to be guilt-free about not writing.

But don't worry. I have other stress-enducing thoughts to take the place of my obsession with writing. Like, what, exactly, my father would like for Christmas and how I can manage to hit the stores at the quietest time possible sans kids. Whether or not my Christmas cards will arrive before December 25th if I wait another week to start on them. Stuff like that.

I know this isn't the proper attitude of someone who really wants to make a success of writing. I know I'm supposed to suck it up and work through the stressful times, sacrifice mightily for my craft, and never feel the desire to just say sod it all, I think I'll start watching soap operas in the afternoons instead. Being a writer isn't something you can turn off. And if you want success, you have to write every day, even during the holidays.

Well, I guess this is one benefit of being an unpublished writer. I have no one but myself breathing down my neck, and I tend to be a very understanding boss.

Besides, come January, I'll be back to focus anew. Refreshed and ready to go. Isn't that what vacations are all about?

1 comment:

MaryF said...

Good for you! And after I get these two books out, I'm plopping down next to you! My goal in 2006 is BALANCE.