Jul 20, 2010

Writing Sometimes Makes Me Feel Guilty

by Terri Wagner

In keeping with a summer theme of reading and writing, I had to confess to Rebecca's post that I sometimes feel guilty for the inordinate amount of time I spend reading and writing, especially that kind of reading and writing that means putting the book down and contemplating it or staring at a blank page on a computer screen. Seems like a waste of time I don't really have to waste.

A little voice begins to bleat in the back of my head and if I give it room, it continues until it fills the whole of my head. It starts out you really should DO something not read, not write, DO. The world needs more doers. Be ye Does of the word and not just hearers. It goes round and round. Sometimes I just beat it back by ignoring it, but sometimes the voice gets louder.

Last night it was hammering on me so much I gave up, shut down the computer and went to talk to my dad who is having his own crisis at the moment (total knee replacement in the next few weeks). He was fine. We talked about 2 minutes, he went back to his crossword puzzle. I went into my room where my visiting sister was watching TV, looked up and said what are you doing here?! She was fine.

So why was that darn voice so loud in my ear? Is it a voice sent to remind me time is short, stop the self indulgence of reading and writing and go save a piece of the world; or is it a sort of writer's block trying to lure me away from my writing goals?

Being around in the last of the last days (if indeed they are those days) sure makes for some tough choices. Anyone else feeling guilty out there?


  1. As Garrison Keillor says, guilt is the gift that keeps on giving. Balance is necessary to the juggling act we are all faced with every day, and to keep all the plates in the air is a talent in itself. However, what guides me, and maybe it's come to the point where THIS is my guilt trip, but I believe, with artist John Hafen, that the highest possible development of talent is a duty we owe our creator. That's my job. I have lots of other jobs in all my other roles in life, but just because it's MY job doesn't make it self-indulgent or less important. In fact, I've never seen reading or writing as self-indulgent and I'm surprised when other writers do. As a writer I aspire to show others how I see the world and maybe make a connection that will help them cope a little better in their world. We were given talents to help make the world a better place, and when we exercise those talents we are doers doing our assignments. Guilt impedes progress; it is a highly unproductive way of doing things. In the end, the atonement will balance out everything.

  2. At times. What's funny is that as soon as I decide to put it aside for a day or two, everyone's suddenly happy and not in need of me. Guess that's a sign to keep writing huh?

  3. Yep. And when I'm "doing" I come across articles or hear talks about developing our talents and how important it is to speak up for what we believe in, etc. Then I feel guilty for not creating. Guilt seems to be one of Satan's favorite tools. A little bit is good for us...motivates us to do the right things, etc, but Satan is so good at taking a bit of truth and stretching it. Thank goodness for prayer and promptings. Terri, maybe it was just a "test" to see if you were listening! Ha!

  4. I just want to thank you three for your comments. They help. And there is the need for balance in our lives, we hear that constantly from the leaders. And yes Kari guilt is one of Satan's tools.

  5. I can feel guilt over anything and everything and prettymuch do. I try for balance but if you find the secret to balance let me know.


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