Am I Giving Up on Writing?

Lately, I’ve been feeling flooded with guilt over not giving my creative writing a lot of attention. My work has essentially overwhelmed my time. Any time that I don’t spend working, I have to admit, I’m trying to squeeze some relaxation out of it.

At this point in time, I have a minimum of three creative projects that I have on hold. (I struggle with committing to only one of them.) When I am done with my work, I could devote my attention to any one of them.

But I don’t.

I just get so tired after working, and I already spend all of my time in front of my computer for work, that spending any extra amount of time here just feels exhausting.

I keep trying to wring just an ounce of passion from my brain in the evenings. I tell myself that a true writer would just bite the bullet and power through these projects. Would ignore any and all feelings of tiredness in order to pour forth some of those creative juices. This drive to write should carry me past my fatigue.

I mean, whenever I’m asked to provide a short bio (for work of for social media) my go-to response is that “I like to read, write, and play video games, and that’s all there is to me.”

And writing feels like it’s getting the short straw.

But that’s just guilt and inadequacy talking.

The truth is, I write every goddamn day, be it for this blog, errant thoughts, or even work.

I write a hell of a lot for work.

I forget how much I work with words for my job. Not a day goes by when I’m not fixing up a sentence, editing an article, writing my own things, or proofreading an essay.

I’m not going to give up on any of my creative writing projects, but I really should stop feeling guilty about not working on them all on the time.

I’m living up to my bio. I am writing every day.

I am not losing any skills due to lack of honing.

Besides, I’m really trying to practice this YOLO-esque lifestyle. I mean, I’m not looking to take up bungie-jumping, but I do want to enjoy the little things in life instead of bemoaning things I haven’t done yet. I’m happy with what I do. And that’s all I really need.

11 thoughts on “Am I Giving Up on Writing?”

  1. I very much relate to this! After being stuck at a screen all day working, the last thing you want to do is return to it for your own writing. Plus, I find writing and editing all day in a professional capacity mentally draining. There’s just not much charge left in the batteries for personal writing.

    That said, you absolutely shouldn’t feel guilty. By my standards, you’re a very prolific blog writer with a consistent work ethic! It’s inspiring. I don’t have the discipline to blog consistently, so I don’t get much traction. But you appear to have a devoted readership that is engaged with all the different types of content you put out. It’s been really awesome seeing your site evolve over the years as you’ve experimented and gained confidence.

    I know it’s frustrating to not progress in all the avenues you’d like to, though. Maybe you could try starting each day with 10, 15 or 20 minutes of uninterrupted creative writing? Like self-impose a rule where you can’t start your other work until you’ve clocked in your designated creative writing time. It might be slow going but at least you’ll make some progress? Or try doing your creative writing by hand to break away from the screen and remove the association that computer = Super Serious Work Time. Or you could just carve out an hour every Sunday or something for creative writing.

    It’s all about creating momentum and finding ways to fit creative writing around your other responsibilities. It’s easy to see how creative writing can fall to the wayside, though. Writing and editing for work feels more purposeful and yields a more immediate monetary reward. Blogging brings an often instant engagement with an audience.
    Creative writing, on the other hand, is this nebulous enterprise sustained almost entirely by faith and passion. It can take a while for projects to come together so there are fewer opportunities for feedback from readers or payment (if it’s a commercial project). All the motivation is intrinsic, which is probably why I suck at it! Maybe getting yourself some beta readers or a workshopping group could help motivate you. That way, other people are relying on you to produce something.

    Anyway, whoops. I wrote a novel again. Oh well. It had been awhile, I guess. Keep up the great work. You are a “true” writer.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You know how much I love your essay-length comments, right? 😂

      I’m actually super touched by all the reassurances and encouragement I’m receiving after this post. It seems like it really did strike a chord with people who try to write for a living.

      It sucks to say that something I love doing is draining, but it’s the truth. Sitting at a laptop and clacking away can be exhausting.

      I’m grateful for the following I’ve cultivated here over the years. I did not expect that to happen. I thought I’d have five people reading it, and two of those people would be my parents. It’s very rewarding to have slightly more than that.

      Your advice on chunking out some time for creative writing, even if it’s only for ten minutes, is sound. It makes a lot of sense. I just have to buckle down and carve out those ten minutes.

      Thanks again for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Be careful. Sounds a bit like you’re being attacked by the “one true way” monster with a sideways charge of the “should” faction. Remember the eleventh commandment: thou shalt not should on thyself.

    Seriously though, I’m sorry you feel overwhelmed. I hate that feeling. It usually leads me to inertia because I’m fully overwhelmed. Then I remember that if I die, none of what I’m stressing over matters (this is not supposed to morbid: it’s inspirational 😅). Which results in me doing something I like that has nothing to do with the overwhelming list for a while (I checked on which version of “a while” to use here: that word gets me everytime).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “Thou shalt not should on thyself.” That’s a good commandment.

      And it’s unfortunately one I kinda break all too often. I frequently think about things I should have done differently.

      Have you ever heard of the song “Overwhelmed” by Royal and the Serpent? That song was made for me whenever I feel stressed.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. OMG! I sucked in huge air when I read that. I adore that song. It’s on my current playlist twice so it shows up more often. I stumbled across it on TikTok

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Yeah, I’m a copywriter and have the same issues. Balancing work with creative projects is tough. I wake up early, like 5am, at weekends and tend to get most creative stuff done in the morning. Then by 10 or whatever I have the rest of the day for everything else, while having got a tonne done.

    But during the working week I’m often too knackered by the end of the shift to get stuff done. So, aye, don’t be tough on yourself. It’s small steps to get any project done, maybe think of it in 6 month targets. Innit.

    Liked by 1 person

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