Friday, January 27, 2006
Guilty as Charged
Guilt. We’ve all felt it. My great-grandmother had a black belt in dishing it out. It hovers over you like a cloud, like Eeyore, wandering around the 100 Acre Wood getting a personal rain shower. I’ve tried to avoid guilt. I’ve always made the best decisions I could and not beat myself up over them. Lately, though, it seems hard to avoid.
I’m a person of many interests. I’ve never been one for physical activities or sports, but I can spend hours reading, drawing, painting, writing, cooking…that sort of thing. Lately I’ve started doing some scrapbooking and I dabble in a little home cosmetics sales. This is, of course, on top of my writing, my day job, being head chef and deck swabber.
Really, until about a year and a half ago, writing has been in the hobby category, the same as gardening or scrapbooking. I did whichever I felt like at the time, enjoying my diverse interests. If I didn’t write for three months, that was okay. I wasn’t in the mood. It was just a hobby. I would probably never get published anyway.
Fast forward to now. Writing has become as real a job as my day work. I try to do it every day. If I have free time, I dedicate it to my writing, the playground, Heart of Dixie, or reading and reviewing books for one of those. My life has become my writing with the pesky hours I’m forced to dedicate to my job and sleep carved out. I should feel blessed, I guess, since so many others struggle to find the precious moments to write.
The problem, I guess, is that I miss my hobbies. I haven’t scrapbooked in months. I keep getting invitations for all day or weekend crops. Who has time for that? Spring is coming and the garden catalogs are flowing into my mailbox. I suck at gardening, but I try. It’s time consuming as well, something else I want to do, but don’t really have the space to fit it in. I have a copy of the latest Diana Gabaldon book in my bedroom that was loaned to me by Instigator like 3 months ago. If you’re familiar with these books, you know they’re like 1300 pages. I haven’t even read past the dustcover yet.
It really isn’t about time, I guess, but guilt. I feel guilty if I do something other than work on my writing. I used to feel guilty about reading even, but now I allow myself the chance to do that for book reviews, etc. I feel guilty scrapbooking when I know I should be writing. I feel guilty watching Project Runway or falling asleep on the couch watching Law & Order when I should be writing. I know I should have a life outside of my writing, but I feel I’m at such a pivotal career point, I need to focus on it entirely.
So this makes me wonder…until I get to the point that my writing is my sole career and I’m not wasting 9-10 hours a day on something I don’t care for, how am I going to strike this balance? When I AM a full time writer, will the guilt go away? Or when I have un-shifting deadlines and bills depending on my writing, will it be even worse? Does being serious about my writing mean I can’t be frivolous about other things?
Just a question thrown out into cyberspace. Maybe I'm just whining. I'm sure the playfriends will point it out if so.
Posted by Andrea Laurence AKA Smarty Pants at 1/27/2006 12:17:00 AM