If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

October Interviews

10/07 M.E. Browning, Shadow Ridge

10/14 Alexia Gordon

10/21 Adam Meyer

10/28 Barbara Ross, Jane Darrowfield and the Madwoman Next Door

October Guest Bloggers

10/03 Kathleen Kalb

10/17 S. Lee Manning

10/31 Sharon Dean

WWK Weekend Bloggers

10/10 Jennifer J. Chow

10/24 Kait Carson


For The Love Of Lobster Tales by Shari Randall is now available to download free for a limited time. Go to Black Cat Mysteries at: https://bcmystery.com/ to get your free copy! Thanks for the freebie, Shari.

Keenan Powell recently signed with agent Amy Collins of Talcott Notch. Congratulations, Keenan!

KM Rockwood's "Secrets To The Grave" will appear in the new SinC Chesapeake Chapter's new anthology Invitation To Murder, which will be released by Wildside Press on 10/6.

Congratulations to our two Silver Falchion Finalists Connie Berry and Debra Goldstein!

Paula Gail Benson's "Cosway's Confidence" placed second and Debra Goldstein's "Wabbit's Carat" received Honorable Mention in the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable 2020 short story contest. Congratulations, Paula and Debra!

Susan Van Kirk's Three May Keep A Secret has been republished by Harlequinn's Worldwide Mystery. The WWK interview about the book can be accessed here. We're so glad another publisher picked up this series.

KM Rockwood's "Burning Desire," and Paula Gail Benson's "Living One's Own Truth," have been published in the anthology Heartbreaks & Half-truths. Congratulations to all of the WWK writers.

Please join Margaret S. Hamilton's Kings River Life podcast of her short story "Busted at the Book Sale" here. Congratulations, Margaret!


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Guilt: The Bane of a Writer's Existence? Probably

Right now, I am guilt personified.

This happens to me a lot, actually.

And, I imagine, that if you’ve ever tried writing a book, it’s happened to you.

No matter how much I enjoy sitting down in front of my computer and cozying up with my manuscript, there’s a piece of me — sometimes small, sometimes quite massive — tugging at my heart with a whisper of “You shouldn’t be here, you should be playing with the little guy.”

You see, I do most of my writing on the weekends. I have a full-time job, a cadre of freelance, but most importantly, I have a 4-year-old boy.

Thus, I have guilt. Huge, insufferable mommy guilt.

My guilt finds me hunched over my computer, shows me his big, sad eyes, juts out his lower lip and whines in a full-on beg: “Mommmmmmy, will you play with me?”

And it sucks.

Even though I play with him all the time.

Moms of all stripes will discuss the phenomenon as it pertains to any activity they do outside of mommying.

Work full-time? Mommy guilt.

Like to exercise? Mommy guilt.

Just want to pee in peace? Mommy guilt.

And then there’s writing.

If you’re a writer, whether you’re a mom or not, you’ve got guilt.

For sure.

You’ve got guilt that you’re not on the couch with your spouse.

That you’re not out to lunch with your friends.

That your lawn looks like the perfect set for a live-action version of “The Jungle Book.”

Guilt crushes us when we know we should be doing something else with/or for real people we love, but instead, we’re hiding away, playing with imaginary friends.

The real, live people in our worlds can tell us that they don’t mind. That they know we’re doing what we love. But, even if we believe that they really don’t mind, that doesn’t stop the guilt from metastasizing and consuming us with each passing page.

As I’m writing this, as if her ears were burning, a writer I follow on Twitter, Sarah Guillory, posted, “The hubby and the dog are both snoozing, so I’m sneaking into the writing cave.”

When I asked her if I could use her Tweet as an example, she was emphatic: “I ooze guilt."

I ooze it, too. And my guess is you’ve got a crust of guilt you’re hoping to wash off after you get in the day’s word count.

Still, I try to minimize my guilt. I write on my lunch break at work. I edit manuscripts on my Kindle while working out. I write on the weekends only when I plan good quality time with the little guy and the hubby before or after my writing stint. It's not a perfect system, but it works.

How do you deal with your writer’s guilt?


Paula Gail Benson said...

Guilt is tough, usually because it arises out of making a choice. Hard as it is, I tell myself writing has to be the right choice, and writing makes me a better person for handling other responsibilities and being with people. That doesn't always alleviate the guilt, but it helps me feel better about writing. Hope this helps! If not, don't tell me. Can't take the guilt! ;)

Gloria Alden said...

Oh, how I remember those days of having little ones (I had 4) lying on the floor outside the bathroom door whining "How much longer are you going to be in there?" when I was trying to read in peace. It doesn't get a lot better when the kids are grown and out of the house, either, Sarah. Then you're supposed to find time for grandchildren or your kids who NEED to talk to you. And if you have siblings and a sizable number of nieces, nephews and cousins by the dozen, there are lots of events they expect you to go to. Add the dog, who right now is bugging me to play, and cats, who want my attention as well as outside critters needing fed plus gardens that lay the guilt trip on me every time I look at them. Yes, I know plants don't speak, but their silence can be the silence of martyrs hoping you'll take the nasty weeds away that are surrounding them. Hang in there, Sarah, your little one will do just fine. The only parent who doesn't feel guilt is the one who doesn't care.

Shari Randall said...

I have to agree with Gloria - the guilt means you care! Just remember that you have to take care of yourself so you can be a good mom.
And babysitters can be a good thing!

Sarah Henning said...

I'm glad you guys agree that the guilt means I care! And I do care, a lot. And if that doesn't mean I'm the fastest writer in the world, who cares? I'd much rather play with my kid for all of a Saturday before sneaking in 1,000 words after his bedtime, than get in a 10,000-word day and miss an entire day of bonding with him.

Jim Jackson said...

Being retired I do not have guilty feelings about writing. In fact, sometimes I have guilty feelings about not writing. Is that progress or sublimation?

However, when I worked full-time, I did feel guilty about time I needed to recharge (and being an introvert that meant being by myself).

~ Jim

Julie Tollefson said...

Oh, yes, the guilt can be overwhelming-a crazy dance of balance and tradeoffs. But I like to think I'm setting a positive example for the kiddo by showing him what it takes to work toward a dream without sacrificing family.

Sarah Henning said...

I think that's exactly right, Julie. We also take him to races that one of us runs to demonstrate the same thing. "See: We're doing what we love! You should, too!"

Warren Bull said...

J.K. Rowling wrote at a tea shop while her infant slept.
It is never an easy balance. Determined writers make writing happen even if it is squeezed into the cracks in their lives.