Robber Barrons update, and guilty feelings

I’ve completed five chapters! The Prologue through Chapter 4, and I’m in the middle of Chapter 5. All of my main characters have been introduced and the main plot has been set in motion. I’m pleased with the progress and the feedback I’ve received.

I’ve posted three mini-excerpts on the blog, which hopefully you have checked out!

Character-wise, this novel is Victoria’s story, but I really love writing Nika Rabdim. My friend Robin described her as a combination of “lady” and “broad,” which fits Nika perfectly. I keep wondering if I’m going too far when it comes to Nika, but the answer is always “no”. She has no internal censor, which is completely opposite of me.

All of this progress makes me feel proud of myself, but whenever people tell me I write so fast, I can’t help but feel somewhat guilty. I have a lot of free time. I don’t have kids, so other than my full-time job and at-times very demanding dog, I can pretty much do whatever I want.  Which, right now, mostly consists of writing this book. I take time off to read, watch Netflix, partake in Taco Tuesday shenanigans, and visit theme parks on the weekends. (Starting next weekend, much of that precious Saturday and Sunday writing will be spent at Star Wars Weekends.) I have to take care of my house (which I should be doing right now, but alas). And while I have pretty good time management skills, I sometimes find myself in the black hole of the internet. So it’s not like all I do is write, but I have a lot of flexibility to write when I want to.

So what’s the problem, you ask? You’d kill to have that flexibility. And that, right there, is the problem. Most of my friends don’t have as much time to write as I do. My biggest cheerleader on this project is busy with a full-time job and a toddler. She’s a writer, too, but can only write at night after her daughter goes to sleep, which sometimes isn’t until very late. She has told me numerous times not to feel guilty, that not very long ago she had a bunch of free time, too, and that I should enjoy mine. Other writing friends have similar problems, where they have many more commitments or interests than I do, which equates to less time to write. Or they are still in school and working at the same time.

Because of this, I feel guilty for having all this free time, because feeling guilty is what I do. I’m Italian, and was raised Catholic. Guilt is in my blood. I’ve gotten pretty good at not feeling guilty for things that aren’t part of my control, but other times I can’t prevent it. Is it silly to feel guilty for having more time to write than my friends? Yes. Is it silly to feel guilty for being able to write really fast? Yes. Whenever people tell me that I write fast, I always make an excuse, usually along the lines that all I do is write. And while that’s somewhat true, it doesn’t acknowledge the fact that, yes, I’m a fast writer, and I shouldn’t be ashamed of that.

Writing this book has been amazing so far, and my friends have all been great and encouraging. But sometimes, I secretly wonder if they grumble under their breath about my writing speed. Then I feel even guiltier for being so self-centered. Alas, the vicious circle never ends.

People have told me I’m not alone with this, which makes me feel good. Hopefully, over the course of finishing my first novel, I’ll learn to let go of those feelings. In the meantime, I will continue writing on.

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5 thoughts on “Robber Barrons update, and guilty feelings

  1. I agree with your biggest cheerleader. You shouldn’t feel guilty about doing something that you love and are good at. You obviously have a good head on your shoulders and a certain amount of determination or you wouldn’t have made such progress in a short amount of time. As long as your obligations are met (ie bills/doing your job/food/etc), your free time is just that-FREE! I’m a single mother with a 6 year old. I write mostly for fun but its something that I started for one and only one reason-TO HAVE SOMETHING THAT IS JUST MINE. Selfish, possibly. But my daughter is healthy and happy, the lights are still on, and there’s food in the refrigerator if I need a sandwich. It is not a bad thing to have something to call your own. It’s not bad to take pleasure in something that you’re good at. And before they can grumble, they need to walk a mile in your shoes. i went through similar feelings, but for different reasons, I felt like if I wasn’t totally focused on my child, then she was being neglected in some way. I was wrong. So go forth and write. You have readers who are eagerly anticipating your next excerpt not to mention the finished product. Best wishes and congrats for the progress. I’m so excited.

    1. Thank you for the support! I’m so glad you like the excerpts. I’m going to keep posting more as I write.

      I completely understand your desire to have something that is just yours. For me it’s a desire to create something, something that I can point to in the end and say “I made that.” I’m not an artist or crafty in any other way, so writing is my main creative outlet. I’m grateful I have time to do it so often. And then my other guilt comes in when I should be writing but instead I’m doing other things…like wasting time on the internet. LOL.

      1. I’m not an artist, musician or anything either. Let that guilt go. You have no reason in the world to let it bother you. I have a firm motto: “Do what makes you happy!” I think that it sometimes sounds a little self-centric but no one else is gonna do it for you. You’ve sometimes gotta blaze your own road. Don’t consider it wasting time on the internet…call it recharging the creative batteries or research. LOL. Yeah, research is good!.

  2. You’re not obligated to curtail your writing time out of some weird sense of “fairness” to everyone else. Use that time while you can before life finds ways to use it up for you!

    1. That is true. One day I’ll be kicking myself for feeling guilty. I guess it’s still remnants from college, when I felt like I needed to be working all the time.

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