The Guilt of Not Writing

I just approved the proof for the print version of THE REVERIE, which means that in 3-5 days it will be available for purchase as a 6″x9″ paperback from Amazon. Needless to say this is very exciting. I love ebooks, but there will always be a special place in my heart for traditional trade paperbacks. (Not Hardcovers – those who know me know I hate hardcovers)

After the trade paperback is out I still want to explore the options available for an audiobook, but besides that little adventure, THE REVERIE will be complete. I’m working on another novel as well as a short story (possibly novella), both of which will published through Corner Store Press and hopefully be available by this time next year. I say hopefully because there are so many struggles and hiccups along the way that it’s difficult to make promises about something like that, which brings me to the topic of this post:

Those who don’t write look at me as someone who has accomplished so much, but those who do write know that there is so much more I need to accomplish.

Writing takes an absurd amount of time. It has to be a daily activity or else you will never get it done. Stephen King recommends writing the first draft of any book within the first three months. He doesn’t feel it’s possible to stay focused without sticking to it in this timeframe. I think that’s insane, but what do I know? Not nearly as much as Stephen King…that’s for sure.

The first draft of THE REVERIE took me nine months. Polishing, editing, rewriting, and publishing took me another year and a half. Many writers would say that I took too long on just the one book. I’d probably agree, but I’m a writer. My friends who aren’t writers are amazed that I had the focus to sit down and write a full length novel from start to finish, and then take that manuscript and turn it into something visual, something real. I’d probably agree, but that’s because I’ve never done anything like that before.

It’s difficult to decide on whether I’m doing enough for my writing. I’m young, I have an active social life, I work full time, and I have other passions besides just writing. But a part of me feels guilty any time I do something that isn’t directly related to writing. Some days are stressful, and when I go home all I want to do is watch sports highlights or check my fantasy team or go out for a drink or two, but all of that means that I’m not writing. Stephen King equates television to the death of imagination, and I couldn’t agree more, but I have to believe that every now and then even Stephen King sits down and turns on a show he’s really interested in or just finds entertaining. I wonder if the guilt of not-writing is something that all writers share. Even typing this blog post right now I’m thinking in the back of my mind I should really be working on my WIP. 


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