Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Dirtiest Word

Guilt.

You guys, I am wracked with guilt on a daily basis.

Guilt that I'm constantly multitasking. Jack drew a picture of me for school. I had orange hands connected to what looked like a small tombstone. I thought it was Halloween related. But no, it was a computer. I immediately added an extra $100 to Jack's Psychotherapy Fund.

Guilt that I don't have time to read every single amazing book written by every single amazing author that we've interacted with on Twitter.

Guilt that we don't have time to respond to all of your awesome comments on our blog. You should know I respond to every single one IN MY HEAD. Too bad Steve Jobs didn't come up with a mind reading app before he died. Stupid cancer.

Now I feel guilty that I made a glib comment about Steve Jobs and he's dead.

So. Much. Guilt.

The problem is that I'm a mom. I'm a wife. I have friends that aren't on Twitter. I have a day job. And I desperately want to be a successful writer. And all of those jobs leave very little time for all of the stuff listed above. Intellectually I know that it's not a big deal. I'm sure you guys understand when it takes us forever to respond to your emails and you know that even though we try REALLY hard to reply to every single Tweet we get, sometimes we miss stuff.

Even though I know this, I can't stop the guilt. It just keeps coming.

So, how do you guys deal with balancing busy lives and writing and GUILT? Tell me your secrets in the comments. Please? I know I haven't really done much for you lately, but I'm BEGGING. Help a Roecker Sister out.

20 comments:

Jill Hathaway said...

YES. I don't blog or tweet or FB much anymore. But it's actually kind of a good thing. I don't obsess about the writing world nearly as much. Which is good for my family and me. Don't worry. You're paying attention to the stuff that matters the most. Everyone gets that.

emery said...

Oh girlfriend...I find working full time and writing so hard, and I'm often guilt-ridden over all kinds of things- even without having kids! Step back from the social media if you need a breather; no harm in that. And remember, though your kids may be too little to understand now, someday they'll be in awe that you cared for them, paid the bills, AND chased your dream. I know I am!

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

Hi!! It's been forever since I visited your blog -- and I feel guilty about it for...yeah, all the reasons you listed above. I think we all struggle to find balance with writing, family time, networking, reading, etc. (God, I'm a stay-at-home writer-mom. How do WORKING moms do it???) My answer to the guilt was to step back, cut back on my blogging and a few other things, and concentrate on my writing. It's so hard! I'm afraid I'll fade off everyone's radar. But it was the only solution for me, at this point in my life. Good luck to you, as you find the solutions that work best for you. ((hugs))

Katie Anderson said...

I'm with Jill. You'd be surprised at how much more you can BREATHE without all the social networking. And although it's weird at first, you don't die. Ha! Yes, you still live and still write books and eventually have no guilt :)

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Darn it! I was hoping you had the answer. I think I read a solution for it on a blog last week. Now I feel guilty I don't remember whose blog it was on. ;)

*hugs*

storyqueen said...

It'a hard. And the hardest part is that this is what we all wanted so badly. But it has its price.

I have been at this a long time and I still struggle with balance. I do try to prioritize in this order:

1. real people (my family, work and all that. Now, sometimes they have to make concessions...I mean, I'm not going to be their slave. But they have to be at the top of the time-food chain.)

2. imaginary people (these are the people I make up and write about.)

3. virtual people (these are my internet friends. I hate giving them the leftover bits of me, but that's what it comes down to sometimes. I blog when I can, read blogs when I can, occasionally tweet and that's it.)

As for reading other author's books...I am struggling with that one! I am a fast reader, but I am so tired that when I get a little time to read, I fall asleep...so there's that.

Take care,

Shelley

Lisa and Laura said...

I love you guys. Thank you for all of these amazing suggestions. Sometimes it's just nice knowing that you guys are going through the same thing.

Part of my problem is that I love the blog. I love writing the posts and reading your comments, so I can't imagine giving it up.

Erica said...

I struggle with this ALL THE TIME, and I'm in no position to give work-life strategies, so I will instead discuss the guilt, I am an expert on guilt. The truth is, no one is perfect, and no one can do all the things, no matter how hard they try. And people understand that, because they aren't perfect either. So the most important thing is that you need to be as kind to yourself as you are to others, because I have a feeling you are not sitting around being all Judgy McJudgypants about how other people are handling their workload. You're just being extra-hard on yourself. Quit that -- you're doing a great job, even if you don't realize it. So I will say it again. BE KIND TO YOURSELF. You deserve it.

Shawntelle Madison said...

Pretty much every single point you had applies to me! You're not alone!

You're doing a great job!

Matthew MacNish said...

I'm feeling guilty right now, for decisions I'm going to have to make about blogging, but I think I'm ready to punch guilt in the face. I think.

Tere Kirkland said...

Reading gets sacrificed first, sadly, and I, too, feel guilty not having the time to read everyone's debut novels.

It's a struggle, but I think the writing has to come first (after all major family stuff and day jobs, etc.).

The holidays don't help make more time, though, do they? Good luck, and have a safe and happy holiday season.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I wish I could help you, but I'm right there with you in the guilt gutter. And now I have guilt because I couldn't help you! LOL. :-)

Sherrie Petersen said...

I spend half my life feeling guilty because if I'm doing one or two things well, you can be sure I'm sucking at a whole bunch of other stuff! *sigh*

Nicole Zoltack said...

I've cut back on blogging - only 3 times a week now instead of 5. Some weeks I'll post 4 or 5 times, but always at least 3 times. It's amazing how much time that frees up. But I still feel guilty about doing it.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

It's not always possible to comment on all the people who comment on your blog so stow the guilt. I try to take one day a week and hit as many blogs as I can.

A. Knight said...

*laughs* All I can say is life happens, and fellow bloggers and blog readers are bound to understand that because they lead busy lives, I'm sure. I'm in a similar position, as far as balancing school, blogging, and writing, but I try to give each thing as much of my time as I can. Sometimes I designate time to each one and try to stick to it. But, sadly, there's no perfect formula. Betcha Steve Jobs could've come up with something, but, alas...

- Asher (from Paranormal Indulgence)

Christa said...

Oh beauties, we are all plagued by this. Everyone knows YOU ARE DOING THE BEST YOU CAN. That's all there is. I like the orange tombstone. It's sort of funny.

Elana Johnson said...

Dude, I do what needs to be done so the guilt goes away. And you know what needs to be done?

The real life things. I read books. Not all of them, but enough. I read blogs. Not all of them, but enough. I spend time with my family. As much as I can, all the time.

The key is knowing when "Enough is enough." and being satisfied with that. Then you don't have guilt.

*hugs*

Miriam Forster said...

I know exactly how you feel. And I don't even HAVE kids. *sigh* Sometimes it helps to imagine the situation reversed. If I tweet an author and they don't reply, I might be disappointed for a moment, but it's not a huge deal. I don't expect everyone I comment on to comment on my blogs, or expect that busy people will have time to read my Facebook feed.

In short, I second Erica's suggestion. Try to be as kind to yourself as you are to other people.

(And if that fails, you could always try chocolate.)

Marsha Sigman said...

Guilt is my constant companion. How do you deal? You learn to live with it. Like a crippled left foot. Or a husband who refuses to do dishes...

I understand you only have so much time. But lucky for us all I have such an awesome imagination. I picture both of you laughing hysterically at my comments, saying 'that Marsha...she's our favorite follower 'cause she is so funny and talented.'

Yeah...

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