If writing is my calling, why do I feel guilty devoting myself to it?

I had another B.F.O. recently. I am a writer because writing is what I love to do. If writing is what I love to do, why don’t I make it a priority in my life? It seems so simple, and yet… With the schedule I have created for myself, I’ve left very little time for the hobby I enjoy the most. I’ve been worrying about wasting away my gap year, so I try to fit as many projects as possible into my waking hours. I try to take advantage of every single moment. In doing so, I have managed to push out the activities, like writing, that are most important to me. Perhaps, because I enjoy writing so much, when I spend a whole afternoon writing away I feel guilty. I feel like I am not getting enough done because I am used to productivity meaning pushing myself through difficulty and doing things I don’t want to do. (That was high school. Remember?)

In other words, writing isn’t hard enough. It comes too naturally. 

I spend so much time pursuing different projects. Some days I feel like I am plowing through my to do list out of habit. I have no inspiration or passion. I am moving fast fast fast, but still around in circles.

One of my projects has been writing about productivity for this blog. One of the things I’ve learned is that truly productive and fulfilled people are not the ones who simply do the very most stuff. The most productive people are those who spend their time wisely. They know how to say NO to certain opportunities in order to focus on their goals.

I pride myself in staying busy and getting a lot done every day. However, could it be that as I dutifully fill every single second, burning myself out to work on lots and lots and lots of good projects, I am still wasting my time?

Recently,  I realized how much I enjoy writing. I’ve been working on editing my first historical fiction novel. I already have another solid novel idea in my head that I cannot wait to start researching. And new story ideas pop into my head every day.

With this gap year I have extreme flexibility in what I do and how I spend my time, but I haven’t been giving it to myself. I haven’t been taking full advantage of this opportunity. I’ve been so busy trying to fill my time with good activities, I’ve missed out on pursuing my dearest passion.

Thank goodness the new year has just begun. I can now justify a change in direction. I propose a new year’s resolution like none I’ve ever had before. In 2015 I am going to DO LESS and ACCOMPLISH MORE. I am going to learn how to say no to projects that don’t line up with my goals. I am going to make the time to pursue writing and other pursuits that are most important to me. I won’t feel guilty about doing things I enjoy. I will pursue writing because I am a writer. Writing is what I love to do.

Author: Susanna

I'm Susanna, a 20-year-old Christian girl incorrigibly addicted spontaneous adventures. My first dream was to become a pioneer. Unfortunately, I was born a couple centuries late, so I've decided to read, cook, run, and travel the world until my time machine is finished. You'll mostly likely find me getting into trouble and/or eating licorice. I am currently blogging the misadventures of a middle-school teacher in training. Come join me on my quest to become the next Ms. Frizzle!

8 thoughts on “If writing is my calling, why do I feel guilty devoting myself to it?”

  1. Great post, Susanna! I'm often broken between the feeling of guilt in spending my free time writing (which is kind of irrational) and so I take a break, and then guilt at NOT writing for a long period of time. I should just accept it as something I love to do, and not feel guilty about it. (-:

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  2. I know what you mean! We tend to quantify tasks in order to feel productive with our time. Why spend time perfecting X when we can do A,B, and C all in the same hour? And obviously if we enjoy doing something, that can't be worthy of our time, right? I get caught up in the same circle. Hopefully this can be a year of quality productivity. Keep writing!

    Like

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