We're all familiar with Writer's Block, but what about Writer's Guilt?
This has been a challenging week for me, mostly because of my struggle with Writer's Guilt. I've written before about my constant struggle to find a healthy and happy work/life balance. Between schoolwork, a day job, growing my blog, submitting articles, and writing my book (which technically is also schoolwork) sometimes I find myself burning out.
I joke a lot about how I procrastinate and watch too much Netflix (both of which are true), but it's also true that if I don't accomplish a certain amount of writing in a day or in a week I feel consumed with Writer's Guilt.
Writer's Guilt has a number of unpleasant side effects including: anxiety that I won't graduate, fear that I've ruined my entire writing career before it's begun, and general grumpiness that makes me unpleasant to live with.
On Monday, after an 11-hour shift the day before, the sickness I'd been keeping at bay struck me down with full force. Sick and exhausted, I decided to take the day off from blogging, writing, and school. I took a long nap, but it wasn't long before I started feeling guilty for not working.
Where does this guilt come from? And why is it so powerful that it can effect me even when I'm sick in bed?
The Guilt is good because it keeps me motivated and it keeps me working hard. But the Guilt is bad because it sometimes drives me so hard that I burn myself out. And it prevents me from having a truly restful sick day.
So this week's lesson is about trying to let go of some of the pressure I put on myself to be hustling all the time. The trick going forward will be to figure out how to keep the motivation fires burning behind me without letting them burn me out.
If any other freelancers or self-employed friends out there have any thoughts or advice, leave me a note in the comments :)