Monday, July 16, 2007

Guilt--A Many Splendored Thing

There are many levels and types of guilt. There is the guilt that is brought about by a bad deed (serial killing comes to mind) and then there is guilt if you break a promise or forget a commitment (much like me, when I forgot to blog this weekend), and then there is what I call family guilt "What do you mean you can't come to Great Aunt Myrna's birthday? She's only going to 102 once! You can always find another job..."

As a writer, I wrestle with guilt daily. Have I done enough for my job? What about my kids, have I spent enough time with them? my husband? How about friends, am I keeping up with them? But truly, the writing guilt is the THE WORST, especially if I miss those pages I promised myself I would do. Why is that so? For me, its because I let myself down and you can't lie to yourself. Drat.

Still, there is a positive. Guilt is a great motivator. It makes you do many things you wouldn't normally do. Like turn in your brother's bone head friend who you know sort of looks like that serial killer on T.V., or you dutifully get your a** in gear and write that blog! You'll even go buy Great Aunt Myrna that present, show up to that party smile and escape as fast as you can before anyone really spots you (See you can be nice!).

For me, Guilt will make me double the pages I will write this week. It will make me get out there and work out (yeah, well, guilt can only go so far).

So, how does guilt motivate you? Or does it do the opposite?
I'd be interested to find out.

1 comment:

Carla Swafford said...

Considering my mom is the Queen of Guilt Trips, I feel guilty about everything. But I've learned to deal with it by eliminating anything that's not necessary to do.

Instead of cleaning my house each weekend, I ignore the dust and just keep it picked up. Instead of sitting on the couch all evening with my husband, I watch one show with him. Instead of cooking a huge meal every night, I've scheduled what night of the week I'll cook and rest of the time everyone fends for themselves.

It is coming to terms with your expectations and realizing you cannot do everything and achieve your writing goals.