Writer’s Guilt is my newest methadone for Mother’s Guilt. Now that both kids are away at college and have lives not dependent on me, or my presence at every blessed activity they could cram into a High School calendar year, and because nature abhors a vacuum more than I do…writing more than ever has become my guilt trip. I either feel like I’m neglecting the WIP or spending too much time dwelling on it, and not enough on the aforementioned vacuuming etc.
As NaNoWriMo looms just a couple of weeks away, the pressure to produce is even more intense. I actually failed last year to complete 50K words in 30 days. But progress was notable and we now have a draft in an impressive stage of revisions. However, the lack of a completed novel still plucks the guilt strings. An obligation to this collective endeavor has become the baseline beat of my personal soudtrack. Add in a new chord from the creative muse and BINGO a trifecta of Writer’s Guilt.
New stories are tapping on the NaNo window. The current work is demanding to be finished before anything new is started. Writing partners gobble up new scenes and story hole fixes with unwavering support and enthusiasm. The new characters are bargaining in my head. “You can do both. Give US the 1,667 words a day and then you can write whatever is needed to polish that tired old manuscript. We promise more creativity if you give us your November.” Yeah, the newbies are kinda assy.
We read where successful authors divide their days into revisions, research and new writing. But those are veteran published authors. That rare breed who have this figured out. Then again…whisper the voices….they weren’t always veterans.
So what’s the cure for Writer’s Guilt? Focus on the revisions? Write more worry less? Better organization and discipline? Is all this simply a by product of NaNo build up that will fade as end of year obligations take precedent?