For writers that feel guilty

Guilt by Marko Anastasov (CC)

You are henceforth allowed:

  1. To write badly

    You can’t fix something that doesn’t exist and you are too close to the writing to measure its quality objectively.

  2. To ignore your emails for a day

    They’ll still be there tomorrow, I promise.

  3. To check off of Twitter for a while

    You don’t have to know everything that happens when it happens. All the crazy will still be there tomorrow, I promise you that too.

  4. To eat frozen pizza because you’re too tired to cook

    You can eat healthy tomorrow.

  5. To have hobbies that aren’t writing

    Everything informs the art.

  6. To take your time

    Enjoy having the time to get the words right. There’s no rush until you’re under contract, and then you’ll wish you could.

  7. To travel the world

    If you do it well, you’ll come back with a different perspective and a whole lot wiser.

  8. To take the time you need away from writing

    Because this is your life, and you must protect your health and sanity. Because you need to experience every moment and this is the only life you have. Because how can you write if you haven’t lived?

I hereby grant you permission, because as an adult I have been granted dubious the qualification to pronounce it so. Being a writer is tough, so you must be kind to yourself.

What would you add?

8 Comments to “For writers that feel guilty”

  1. That’s an important list. Personally, I might add: To leave the house cleaning for another weekend.

    Also maybe: To call in sick to your day job once in a while when your writing hits a hot streak. But, shhhhh- don’t tell my boss I said that.

  2. LOVE this list. And Garrett’s additions.

    I’d probably sub “ramen” for pizza, and add “To ignore the well-meaning advice of friends and family.” So many people inquire about money, self-publishing, etc. — smile and nod and go to your happy place. They don’t get it. (Nor do they have any reason to; publishing is a weird and insulated world.)

  3. You are also allowed to pick whatever means you prefer of getting your work to its prospective audience. Big press, small press, self-pub, web-pub, no-pub, or some combination, or something you invent yourself. Whichever you prefer, you’re a writer as long as you’re writing.

  4. Oh my gosh, I LOVE this. In fact, I’ll be printing it out and keeping a copy in my desk.

    I would add: You are allowed to write for yourself and your characters. Forget about publishing sometimes and just focus on the writing.

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