Writer’s Remorse

No matter how miserably few words you wrote last week, it’s a new week. You can meet your writing goals this week, and last week doesn’t have a word to say about it. Writer’s Guilt is a real and insidious threat–you know, those voices in your head that get out the wet noodle every time you approach your writing space. They’re your inner critic. “You failed to meet last week’s goal,” one very mean voice complains. “What makes you think this week will be any different? You’re a loser.” Another voice drips with envy. “Well, if you had a shred of the (insert one) talent, connections, resources, education, that other writers have, you’d be able to turn out a best seller in no time!” Or maybe your voice sounds like your mom, your awful Aunt Gert with the sinus problems or one of your less encouraging high school English teachers. Today is a new day. I love the method good old Annie Lamott advises for tuning out these voices. She asks that you mentally put them all in a mason jar and let them rant for a short while. Then seal the jar and watch the fun as they scream themselves sillly as you plunk your BIC (butt in chair) and type away at your writing goal.
Writing Tip for Today: It’s easier to make goals than to achieve them. But any self-respecting goal shouldn’t be an easy one. If you say, “I’m going write five hours a day,” and you have four small children (I did), you might fall short. But if you say, “I have four small children–you can’t expect me to write anything!”, writing may never happen for you. Try a middle approach that you might actually follow. If 15 minutes per session helps you knock out a few pages a week, go with it. The voices are safely stored in a mason jar, remember?

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About Linda S. Clare

I'm an author, speaker, writing coach and mentor. I teach both fiction and nonfiction writing at Lane Community College and in the doctoral program as expert writing advisor for George Fox University. I love helping writers improve their craft and I'm both an avid reader and writer of stories about those with wounded hearts.

1 comment on “Writer’s Remorse

  1. I love this post! I’ve been feeling the overwhelming guilt of not putting my pen to paper- or should I say my fingers to the keyboard. 🙂 I’ve made a goal of writing at least 250 words per day. Even if I hate what I wrote, I can always build on it and modify it if I need to. Thanks for the inspiration, Linda!

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