#A-Z Challenge: G is for Guilt

For the A-Z challenge, I am posting writing and editing tips to help you improve and enhance your writing.

G is for Guilt


If you spend any amount of time writing, whether for pleasure or for work, then the chances are that you probably feel guilty.

  • Guilty about writing when the house is a tip
  • Guilty for doing some research when the dog is pleading for a walk
  • Guilty for stopping to look at Facebook when you have a deadline looming
  • Guilty for popping out to the Costa drive-thru when you fancy a soya latte
  • Guilty for doing something you enjoy, that makes you happy, when there are a hundred and one other things to do that will make you miserable instead (ironing, washing, cooking, paying bills)
  • Guilty for not earning enough to justify what you’re doing
  • Guilty that some days when I’m writing it actually looks a lot like this:

johnny writer gif

Well, it’s time to stop. I have various hats – I’m a freelance editor and writer and I also write novels. All these things mean I work from home (lucky me!) and that sometimes leaves me feeling fraught with guilt. I feel bad if I stop to look at the news, or send a few tweets. But, as my lovely husband keeps reminding me, if I worked in an office, with other people, I wouldn’t be at my desk for the whole seven or eight hours, head down, talking to no one.

I’ve also been made to feel guilty if I don’t answer the phone, or don’t drop everything because someone ‘urgently’ needs me to do something. I get the distinct feeling sometimes that some people think, because I’m working from home, I don’t have a real job, it can’t be that important and I can just drop whatever I’m doing if I want to. But I AM AT WORK!!! And, if you are writing, so are you – whether you earn enough to pay the mortgage or just enough to buy a muffin to go with that soya latte.

Do you feel guilty about spending time writing? Share your stories by leaving a comment below.



  1. You are really haunting me with this series Alison, I’m in the middle of a week’s holiday from the day job to write!

    I’ve just whizzed round the sitting room with a duster, made two beds, emptied the dryer, put clothes in the washer, blue stuff in the loos and taken the bin out. Guilty, moi?

    I’ve arranged to have lunch with friends …I know, outrageous …to pick brains of one regarding an illness one of my characters has and beg other to write the review she promised me last month!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Housework? That only gets done on rare occasions when visitors are due. I burn the dinner, leave things boiling dry, have the kids begging me for meals, they think I’m addicted to my computer.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This post resonates with me so much. I am lucky to have a supportive husband. But he seems to be the only one who understands. Several people I know feel that a work from home job is more like a hobby. It is so frustrating at times. 😦
    *Shantala @ ShanayaTales*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I understand completely – and am also so grateful for my extremely supportive husband. I don’t know why it is that people seem to think working from home is more of a hobby than a job – although I certainly wouldn’t want to do anything else 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I can so relate to all of this. And the picture of Johnny is so me. Haha!
    Wouldn’t it actually be nice to have an office to go to to do all the writerly things we do from home? Ugh, that would be heaven, and so guilt-free!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have today managed 200 pages of edit – on time to get back to the editor by Friday, I think, she said smugly. Also creosoted some of the garden fences (because husband said I needed fresh air – don’t laugh, he meant it – cough, cough,). Made several important phone calls. Made a meal. Fed the dog – and am now off to bed. Oh, forgot to make it! Guilt? Pah!!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Alison, I managed to get the ms to the editor by 2 o’clock Monday morning. As you can see, it’s taken me all week to catch up on social media, I still have three book reviews to write, another class this morning and the weekend is hurtling towards us – .again More creosoting to dom – summer house this time!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. We shouldn’t feel guilt, yet we do. Maybe a twinge is a healthy thing? It reminds us of what it takes out of us and out of life to write, yet we wouldn’t change a thing, would we?

    Liked by 1 person

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