Writing is my job.
Or, more accurately, part of my job.
The fact I'm an author and a blogger qualifies me to mentor my clients on blogging or book writing. And the fact that my day job has been as a trainer, and more recently, a business advisor for the past 20 odd years qualifies me to mentor businesses on blogging and book writing.
In 2015, my world as a writer and my world as a business advisor collided and I started my own consultancy business.
These days I trade as 'Learn To Love Your Words'.
I need both things to run my business.
So, why I do feel such a sense of guilt about 'wasting time' on writing?Madness, isn't it? Especially when I see it written down like this!
Yet, blogging about something helps me to work through it - like a kind of 'self-coaching'!
At the start of 2018, I went through my diary and blocked out every Monday and every Friday for writing/admin time.
I set a recurring reminder in my outlook calendar too, so every Sunday evening and every Thursday evening my computer helpfully reminds me that tomorrow is writing day.
Somehow, permission from my computer doesn't seem to be enough!
Is this just the maddening musings of an author?
Or, is there some underlying preconception at play here?...
Or, can I just swathe the whole thought process under the rather convenient, yet terribly demotivating label of 'Procrastination'?
Somehow, giving it a name makes it into 'a thing'. Like suddenly diagnosing a disease. Then we give ourselves an excuse to have a victim mentality and throw an extravagant, imagined, pity party.
I don't need, want or deserve pity for my inability to knuckle down and write, I need solutions.
But not some Elastoplast or pill to pop, something I can work through myself!
It's not 'creative block'.
It's a time allocation block.
I can't help but ask myself where it stems from?
Is it a Cultural or Societal perception?
Part of me wonders if it was the years in my childhood of being told by authority figures (Teachers, Careers Advisors etc.) that being an author was not a 'proper job'.
In Thatcher's Capitalistic-Orgasm that was 1980's Britain (when I was at school), only jobs that made money had any value.
In fact, we still hold this 'class' mentality at the heart of our national psyche, and class is defined by financial means. The implication being that if you don't have financial means, you're worth-less. If you're poor, it's your own fault for not working hard enough.
We instil this idea into our children from the moment they join formal education. It's about passing exams, not learning to learn.
Is it my own inability to appropriately prioritise?
Is it the instant gratification of blogging?
Is it a financial consideration?
Is it a lack of accountability?
I've tried declaring to the world that 'I've started writing a book', in the hope it will motivate me to crack on with it.
It feels like a cop-out, but it's a multifaceted dilemma.
My guilt stems from:
Societal perception - I 'should' spend time doing 'real work' - like invoicing, running workshops and record keeping.
Seeking gratification - It's easier to blog, because it's more immediate.
Accountability - Do I just need someone (other than my mum, who I rarely listen to anyway!) to kick me in the butt!
And the solution?
I'm still figuring that out!