Do Writers Thrive on Guilt? by Christine Duncan I have been looking back at some of our posts recently. Okay, I was supposed to be organizing them somehow, but you know how that works. You have to read them again to organize and pretty soon, you’re caught up reading them and forgetting to organize. I’m working on this.

Anyway, it struck me that a large portion of our posts seem to be on writer’s block or motivation. Sometimes on both. And that led me to this theory. We writers like to feel guilty.

Now as someone who was raised Catholic, this is a familiar sensation. I even postulated a corollary that many or even most writers are Catholic but a Jewish writing friend objected. Apparently, Catholics didn’t corner the market on guilt.

So what, you say? Here’s the interesting thing about this. When I look through things I’ve written, I can’t for the life of me tell what I wrote just because I felt guilty (such as when I’ve been to critique for 3 weeks in a row and never brought anything so all my critique buddies are going to kill me) or because I had thought up something really cool that I really needed to add. So, maybe guilt is not such a bad thing.

Carrying the whole thing just a step farther though, writing about not writing does not trigger my guilt. I can always think of a thousand reasons why I haven’t written lately. For proof of this, check out my comment to Georgie B’s thought-provoking recent post,

    Routineous Interruptus

. Can I whine or what?

What I need then is more person to person real world stuff to trigger the guilt which in turn, triggers the writing. Nothing like a couple of friends to make you feel crappy for not doing what you should be doing. Only if they are good friends, they don’t say they’re guilting you out. They say they’re keeping you accountable.

Hmm, so do writers thrive on accountablity? I may need to join another critique group or two.


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