Guilt Driven

When I started Mini-NaNo I promised myself one thing; that I wouldn’t push myself. Tonight, despite that promise, I sat down to write and I pushed myself to reach 18,000 words.

The reason?

Yesterday, I didn’t write. I sat back and thought about it, I talked about it, I kept telling myself that I had to do my words, but I just continued to sit and do nothing. Some might say that “you’ve been doing well and it’s good to let your body relax for just one day”. Others might say “be kind to yourself, you’ve been through a lot this year”. But my inner voice said loud and clear, “you lazy good-for-nothing blighter”. (I had to clean up the exact wording a touch.)

Last night, I went to bed and slept really, really well. Actually, I slept for almost nine hours straight without waking up once. That hasn’t happened in six months, since the night I lost my son. In fact, I slept so soundly that I didn’t even hear the alarm this morning and woke up an hour – yes, that’s right, one whole hour – later than usual. I was late for work, but, luckily, my bosses didn’t mind.

I’m getting way off track.

Anyway, I went to bed feeling fine with the fact that I hadn’t written my words. However, this morning, I had a bad case of the guilts. I can make excuses (which I’ve tried desperately not to do). I can make jokes about it. But, at the end of the day, I didn’t even attempt to write a lousy 835 words. That’s pretty pathetic on my part.

Tonight, I sat down with one thought in mind. I have to reach 18,000 words because then I’ve achieved today’s words and half of yesterdays. It wasn’t too difficult to reach the 1235 words I needed, but…not only did I push myself when I promised that I wouldn’t, I wrote for the wrong reasons. I wrote because I felt guilty, not because I wanted to write.

Mini-NaNo has taught me something. I don’t like writing everyday. I don’t want to write everyday. I would much prefer to write three or four times a week, leaving me free to do other things on the other nights. Does that mean I’m not really a writer? Does it mean I’m not truly dedicated? Does that mean I’m destined to fail? 🙁

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