I have become consumed by my writing.
For the most part, this is a good thing. An excellent thing. This is the reason why I quit my job, so that I could once again be infused with the passion of creating that I used to have, that has gotten buried under the minutiae of a typical life. My brain (even when under the attacks of a horrible headache as it is right now) is positively reeling with ideas and excitement over practically every single one of the pieces I’ve got in my wheelhouse right now. Nearly every word I read in a book inspires some other words that I hope to write. Even listening to the radio has me once again making imaginary AMVs in my head. I can’t wait to get my day started and get to work on my writing, and, one days like today that start a little late, I feel a little off, because it’s a little harder to focus and a little harder to get into the swing of things since I’m such a morning person.
So what’s the problem?
I feel guilty. Now, my roommate and I, both of us from fairly traditional families, always joke with each other about being sidled with the “Catholic guilt,” despite neither of us being an active part of that culture anymore. We were raised in a way that put an emphasis on hard work and duty, and I realized that this is the longest I’ve been “unemployed” (quotations since I’m still employed, just beholden only to myself) since I was seventeen. Seventeen. I just turned 30, so that’s thirteen years of dedicated work, and, a lot of those times, I was actually holding down two jobs. I’ve worked my butt off for thirteen years, have very little to show for it, and, so now that I’ve decided that it’s time to stop this nonsense and focus on what really makes me happy, I feel guilty. I feel bad because my workday now involved me getting up, having a cup of coffee, showering, and then sitting down with some notebooks, a computer, and a couple of books all day. It’s astonishing to me how I’ll sit there and think, “This is the happiest I think I’ve been in a very, very, very long time,” only to have it piggybacked by, “So I must be doing something wrong.”
Pretty messed up, isn’t it? But at least I can recognize it and understand it, even if I haven’t quite conquered it yet. I don’t think I’ll ever fully shake that guilty feeling until I have the numbers to prove they, hey, I can be successful doing this, and the only problem with that is that those numbers aren’t going to show up until well down the road. I have to be patient, and that’s never been one of my strong points.
I just have to keep at it. I just have to shake those feelings of guilt off and keep going. I have to embrace the happiness, revel in it, and continue to let myself be consumed by my inspiration and my drive to make my life what I want it to be, finally. It has been amazing these last few days to feel the way I’ve been feeling about my writing, and that is okay. Learning to embrace that one fact there is going to be more difficult than any of the writing, the editing, the marketing, the publishing. The biggest obstacle we have is none other than our own selves.
Oh my Laura~~~ Guilt is a wasted emotion. Guilt is an attachment to judgment. So, who’s judging you? Mom (not!) ? Dad? Sister Mary Ignatius? A good friend of mine is Jewish and fond of saying, “My tribe invented guilt, your tribe (Roman Catholic) perfected it~ stomp those feelings of guilt and use its energy to create!
Enjoy where you are at not where you think you should be.
Haha, yeah, I know. That’s what you told me before. Still, emotions are tricky like that. Some of them are not so easy to control, but it’s definitely something I’m working on.
you said it all in the last line of this post~ Happy writing!
Writing should be consuming, that’s part of the fun of it! 🙂
The writing life can quite the roller coaster ride. Try to hang on during the twists and turns and enjoy the ride.