The Guilty Writer

Sometimes I feel guilty about not writing for a while. And if I don’t feel guilty about that, I feel guilty for not feeling guilty about not writing. It can be hard to come back when you’ve stepped away. Breaks are important, and life is messy, but sitting down to tap keys after several weeks of silence can sometimes feel a little overwhelming. Not quite right, even. Like I almost have to settle back into the creative shell of myself that I left.  

Time for writing is thinning. Responsibilities thicken, layers I barely notice tossed one by one on my back. Work rages, my diet intensifies, projects in the house and yard take priority.

This isn’t new… We all experience the struggle of balancing the things we must do and want to do. I’ve been here before, yet it seems different this time.

Maybe it’s because I tucked the novel in a drawer a couple weeks ago.

I didn’t give up, but I did intentionally step away.

Seven agents have asked to see the complete manuscript. Six returned it, some without a word, others with contradicting feedback. I became tangled in this terrible web of editing for the next agent, adjusting the story for the next set of eyes whose feedback will contradict the last.

When one said it started too slow, I adjusted, then the next said it was too much.

I’m spinning, long strings of opinions and subjectivity strangling me.

To be free of that frustration, I tucked it all away.

At first, I felt like I was betraying my characters… but to constantly change the story just to meet the desires of literary agents would be a far greater disservice. I know I have something here, but perhaps now is not the time. I’m stepping away to process, to wait, to breathe, to start something new.

One day the time will come, and I’ll dust off those pages to try again. But for now, I need to try something different and keep the words coming. The time for these phrases is minimal, but if I can write even just a few sentences a day, keep the creativity flowing with my blood, that will be enough.

3 Comments

  1. The Montreal Cat Lady

    I feel like someone needs to tell you how proud you should be that you wrote a manuscript. That in itself is such an accomplishment. You may feel guilty but it’s ok to take some time off. Maybe this will inspire your creativity, maybe it won’t but a little break isn’t bad. You’ll know when your break is over because you’ll feel that you are procrastinating. At that point, you can slowly go back to writing.

    Obviously, this is just some advice from a stranger who doesn’t follow it herself and should. 😛 Just wanting to send some love. xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

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