I, like many of you, used to feel guilty when I didn’t write.
Years of experience have taught me how to accept that sometimes, writing doesn’t get done and that’s OK.
Instead, I am constantly plagued by a different kind of guilt: not feeling like I’m writing ENOUGH.
I’m used to writing short — and let’s be honest, sometimes not very in-depth — posts and articles. I can get multiple done per day, check a dozen things off my list, and it’s fine. It’s a little different switching from freelancing to staff writing. Assignments take much longer and involve a LOT more research.
I’ll get about one piece of writing done in a single work day. Which is still a great accomplishment …
It just FEELS like I’m falling behind.
But I’ve started doing something that has really helped ease my writing guilt, and I hope it can help you overcome yours, too.
At the end of every day, make a list of:
- What you got done today (writing)
- What you didn’t get done, and why
- What you want to get done tomorrow.
This way you can be proud of what you accomplished, “forgive yourself” for the things you didn’t finish, and plan for another productive day tomorrow.
It helps to look at this list and say to yourself, “Wow. I did actually get some things done today, even though it doesn’t feel like it. Also, it’s OK that I didn’t get this thing done because it’s not even due for another week. But I can start working on this part of it tomorrow. That works.”
Sometimes, visualizing what’s difficult to lay out in your head can make all the difference.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a freelance writer and a nine-time NaNoWriMo winner with work published in Teen Ink, Success Story, Lifehack and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.