1. GoldenFeather
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    GoldenFeather Active Member

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    When you aren't writing, do you feel you're neglecting your art?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by GoldenFeather, May 14, 2015.

    For many writers, their art is a huge part of themselves. As a result, or at least for me personally, I feel that when I'm not writing I am neglecting something important, and I feel guilt.

    Anyone else attached to their art this deeply?
     
  2. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I would hesitate to consider not feeling guilt as indicative of a lack of depth of attachment to my art. Sometimes real life intervenes. Sometimes, there are other things I am doing for my "art" that are just as important as writing. And sometimes, I just need to change things up. Right now, I'm in that last situation. I'm not writing much right now, as I have just completed a major project and I'm trying to get it out there. In the meantime, I keep fumbling around for the next one - for the most part bouncing between two ideas, both of which involve reworking previous material, but also considering embarking on a completely new project that has been on my mind for quite some time.

    In truth, I'm not being neglectful, I'm allowing ideas to come to fruition. Part of this means actively poking at them from time to time, jotting down ideas as they occur to me, and part of it is reading works from all over the place.
     
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  3. Masked Mole
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    Masked Mole Contributing Member

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    I only feel slightly guilty if I leave it for weeks on end. I feel as though I'm letting my characters down in some way.
    I have a good work ethic, and I never procrastinate, so that helps. I very rarely neglect my writing.
     
  4. carsun1000
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    carsun1000 Active Member

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    I can relate to this! When I'm not writing I feel like I abandoned something very important even though I only write for fun. But then, I don't write unless the ideas are flowing in my head. In my case I usually know the beginning and the end of my story. I use the time I'm not writing to fill in the blank mentally, then put it down on paper which means one day I may only write five hundred words and some other time, I may write five thousand words.
     
  5. Remainder
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    Remainder New Member

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    I only feel guilty if I go a few days without writing anything at all. I try to write something every day even if it's just a little bit. Sometimes I feel guilty because I'm writing. I'm a stay-at-home mom to two young children, so if I write while they are awake, I feel guilty, like I'm neglecting them even though I'm not.
     
  6. CMastah
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    CMastah Active Member

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    Since I've never published anything, I'd hesitate to call my writing 'art', but I sort of know what you're talking about. I only write during a specific time of the day, which means I only get four hours. The rest of the time, which is around another four to five hours, I spend doing nothing. I don't feel guilt, but I feel like I'm wasting valuable time doing nothing.
     
  7. UpstateWriter
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    UpstateWriter Member

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    Simply put, yes.
     
  8. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sorry, I'm not going to congratulate you for this. If you're feeling guilty about not writing, go write.
     
  9. GoldenFeather
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    GoldenFeather Active Member

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    A piece of artwork doesn't need to be published (or sold, or famous etc) to be art.
     
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  10. Dunning Kruger
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    Dunning Kruger Active Member

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    I feel guilty when I am short with my wife or dont give my kids the full attention they should get when its their turn. I feel guilty when I am a jerk to a stranger like a cashier or customer service person. I feel guilty when I dont work to my full potential at my job. I DONT feel guilty when I have an occasional donut, an extra glass of wine, or skip calling my mother every once in a while. And I dont feel guilty when I am not writing. My guilt is at capacity. I do however feel a subconscious urge, or perhaps a slow burn, when I am not fulfilling my need to either produce something or expand my horizons. Guilt no. Unpleasant self nagging that motivates me, yes.
     
  11. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Depends on the cause. I mean heck we can't write 24/7. lol. So no the lack of writing doesn't make me feel bad. Heck in a sense life is art and writing. When I am not writing I am living and living fuels future art.

    Think of it like cooking pudding. First you heat it up but for it to finish you have to let it cool. With art and writing the same applies I think. You can write and write and write but at some point you have to step back and let and the project cool down so it can be ready to be what it is eventually going to be.
     
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  12. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I get restless, but I don't feel guilty. I don't think I have a responsibility to write, so why would I feel guilty if I'm not doing it?
     
  13. DeathandGrim
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    DeathandGrim Contributing Member

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    I'm a man of many interests so I'd say yes and no. I took a break from writing just to think about it all. Because I have a shared universe I wanna write, so things all have to sync up. So taking a break isn't too bad.
     
  14. Fullmetal Xeno
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    Fullmetal Xeno Protector of Literature Contributor

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    Until this month i was clocking about a little over 100 pages a month, so i don't usually stress about it too much if i miss a day or two.
     
  15. DeathandGrim
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    DeathandGrim Contributing Member

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    I admire that. I barely get a page every 3-4 months. I wanna write but I rarely have the drive to just do only writing. I get straight up ADD'd to other projects
     
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  16. james82
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    james82 Member

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    Not really, I mean, it really depends on what you are cooking up. If you are in the middle of writing a STORY
    that you are confident in & very passionate about, the potential is just all over the page(s), the characters are
    speaking to you, dialogue in coming naturally, the themes have emerged, etc.. than you may get that urge
    to wake up every morning and jump right to it. You've found that groove & if you don't show up everyday
    it may dissipate, so you feel you HAVE to stick with it, but you are not necessarily neglecting anything if you don't write because other days, if you don't have it, you don't have it. Or... there might be days when there is a lot of resistance involved, as there typically is during the writing process as a whole. You're almost scared to sit down and write thinking you may not come up with something, scenes, that match the quality of what you've been producing so you feel that resistance and instead listen to some music for inspiration or watch an interview with a famous screenwriter/author. But you are never going to let go, to give up, on that particular story(s). You'll finish it when you'll finish it. The only time you really need a deadline is if you're getting paid to write. You don't need one now.
    So if you skip a day, a week, all your story is doing is resonating. By the time you go back to it, maybe more things within it will make sense. In the meantime, you didn't neglect something important, you actually aided your work
    by stepping away for a bit, for whatever reasons, and then going back and suddenly finding...

    ...this is what I needed to do all along.
     
  17. mg357
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    mg357 Active Member

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    honestly no I do not because the whole writing process can be stressful at times and a writer needs a break from it.
     
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  18. GoldenFeather
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    GoldenFeather Active Member

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    I wasn't referring strictly to stories, as many have been referencing. I am also referring to writing for personal enjoyment, or writing snippets just because. It's not necessarily all for a book or a story that's in development.
     
  19. Vrisnem
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    Vrisnem Member

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    I only feel guilt if I've an upcoming deadline that I'm not on track to make and I'm filling my time with more trivial activities.

    If it's just something I'm doing in my free time and I don't feel like working at it then I won't force myself. Sometimes I just get the urge to do nothing but play video games in my free time for a few weeks and if I've the time to do that without compromising other areas of my life then I'll just go right ahead and do what I like. The story will still be waiting for me when I'm ready to come back to it.
     
  20. DeadMoon
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    DeadMoon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Writing for me is broken into parts. The actual writing, research, organizing, even just thinking or daydreaming can be considered part of the writing process in a way. I do feel some guilt when not writing but only because I spend so much time working at my job, which I HATE, compared to so little time writing which I like.
     
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  21. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    A few days off from writing is no big deal for me. If I'm letting months and months go by without writing, then I feel like a failure to my art, like I'm not who I said I was.
     
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  22. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    I wouldn't say neglecting my art, more neglecting myself.

    I see my writing as a big part of me - even on the days it pisses me off - so to walk away from it or ignore it would be like ignoring myself.

    It used to be the be-all and end-all when I was writing my first fiction. I let myself get totally absorbed by it to the point that nothing else in my life, mattered. I was lucky my hubs understood how much it meant to me because he stuck with me through it. That first fiction was a learning curve in so many ways but one major thing it taught me, was not to let go of what I already had, family and friends wise.

    As a result, I can take on other things and not get stressed out thinking that my writing is suffering. I'm working on formatting a collection of stories by 18 other authors, I'm taking time out to help hubs re-jigg the garden and I'm making time once in a while to stop and smell the flowers (as well as the usual work/family stuff) but yes, I do still feel a pang of neglect when I'm not writing.
     
  23. Rafiki
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    Rafiki Active Member

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    No. I do what I do because I choose to. There isn't some higher calling, or reason, or l'art pour l'art philosophy that guides me. I simply follow the path that grants me the greatest satisfaction.

    Who's to care if I spend one day masturbating and binge watching television? On the next morning I'm still me, still the same guy that's doing the thing that makes him happy. Guilt serves no purpose and is a piss-poor motivator.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2015
  24. Ivana
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    Ivana Contributing Member

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    I do. Kinda strange guilt for being lazy, cause that's actually the only thing that makes me write so slowly.
    But, at the same time, I always have a story in my head. This one I'm writing right now, started to appear in my mind couple of years ago, while I was writing my first book. Just fragments, a hint of a plot. Until recently, I didn't write a single word, but I knew I will, eventually. I felt like I needed to wait for it to mature inside my mind. Now it's haunting me. :)
     
  25. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I'm always working on my story in my head, doing research, etc. When I'm ready to write, I'm ready to write. But I'm not one of those folks who feels the 'need' to write every day. Unless you count emails and the like.
     
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