Friday, December 09, 2005

Guilt Block

I’m going to shamelessly piggyback off from Melissa's from yesterday.  She talks about her irritability and how it relates to her need to write.  Funny, a light bulb went off in my head when I read her post.  That is what has been bothering me.  

I spend so much time satisfying others, I spend no time doing the things I find most enjoyable, which is writing.  And it isn’t the writing specifically that is such a problem.  Writing is something so personal, it belongs to me.  When I crochet a blanket, I enjoy the craft, I enjoy creating the afghan, but finished product is done for someone else.  Same with baking or cooking.  I enjoy both of those tasks, but the end result benefits everyone.

Writing is different.  In my house, the only one who will gain any pleasure from my writing is me.  And thus sitting down and writing is hard to justify.  Yes, this is a crazy problem developed in my own mind, but I think as a wife and mother, I am brainwashed into believing my family comes first in all things.  Mentally, I know this is ridiculous, my life is as valuable as anyone else’s in the family.  But still, I will skip doing what I want to make my kids happy.

Maybe there was a subliminal message in those wedding vows.  Maybe the substance I thought was pitocin being pumped into my veins during labor was actually a mind
altering drug that turned me into a martyr.  Most likely it was the examples I learned from my mother.  

Putting the needs of your family ahead of writing really isn’t a bad thing until it crosses over into your spirit.  Like Melissa, I have been irritable and quick to anger.  I resent the demands put upon me by my family.  And that is not good.

Writing books and advisors suggest treating your writing like a job.  Well, I already have a job.  Being a SAHM provides enough labor for the day.  I want to enjoy my writing.  However, I feel guilty if I’m enjoying my writing and the rest of the house is falling apart.  Like the laundry, dishes and vacuuming aren’t going to be there tomorrow.  

I think this time of year really sticks it to us women.  It is a time of giving, a time of selfless acts, not a time to be dwelling on what you don’t have.  How can I complain about a lack of writing time when there are families in the Gulf States who have nothing?  How can I think how bad I’ve got it when there are mothers in Pakistan struggling just to feed and shelter their children?

Some writers suffer from writer’s block. I suffer from guilt block.   Am I alone in this feeling?

Today is the last day to enter to win a CD.  Look down at Saturday’s post.  I’ll draw a name tomorrow morning and announce the winner.