I have the “Shoulds”

Writing is my main love, my primary hobby.  (I don’t make enough money at it for it to have anything more than “hobby” status.)  It is what I spend most of my free time doing and my non-free time thinking about.

But I do have other hobbies:  I crochet, I do counted cross stitch, and I collect stuff for scrapbooking.  And then there is my much neglected dollhouse renovation.  And a few million hobbies that I want to learn.  And I’d like to do some gardening this summer (if summer ever comes) even though it will just be container gardening.

Oh! And my rats!  We can’t forget the rats!  It’s way too hard to resist them when they tug at my sleeve or pant leg because they want to come out to see me.  It’s also really hard to type with a rat in your sleeve.

But (aside from cleaning the rat cage) I find that I feel guilty when I engage in another hobby.  It’s not so much like I’m cheating on my writing as it is having a case of the “shoulds” – as in, I should be writing.

But then sometimes when I’m writing I start to feel guilty about the stashes of yarn and cross stitch stuff that are going unused and I feel like I should be stitching or hooking. (Hooking = crocheting. Get your minds out of the gutter. This isn’t that kind of blog. Sheesh!)

But as soon as I start doing one of them, I feel guilty because I should be writing.

(Note: this only happens when I’m struggling to get words out – when I’m really inspired and the words are flowing well nothing else even crosses my mind.)

And, then, of course, there are the other “Shoulds.”

I should clean the house.
I should do dishes.
I should organize papers.
I should cook supper.
I should get some sleep.

Does anyone else suffer from this?  How do you balance writing with other hobbies and more mundane activities?




Filed under writing

12 responses to “I have the “Shoulds”

  1. Ok our life is the same except for the rats…I have children. Like I’m writing and I should be wondering what my children are doing. Or I’m picking up toys for the zillionth time and I should be writing. I’m also a Pinterest addict and love crafts…I want to make everything…but then I should be writing…or watching the kids. It’s the blessing and the curse of a creative.

  2. The “shoulds” – you nailed it, spot on! For me, it’s a constant tug between my two loves of music and writing. I don’t play enough music. And I don’t write enough. I also feel guilty when I’m reading, because here I am sitting with a book thinking “Hey, I could be WRITING one of these!” And when I’m writing, or reading blogs off the Internet, there’s that voice again, going “You should be reading a real book. How else are you going to be a good writer without reading a real book?”

    Don’t even get me started on those low times at work or school (or whatever “proper” thing I’m SUPPOSED to be doing with my life)!

    • Oh, yeah. Reading. I left that one off because I “should” be reading more (I had a college prof who was big on telling us to “read like a writer” to learn technique) so I can improve my own writing, but time spent reading is time not spent writing… Tricky balance and a catch-22.

  3. I know the feeling, and the answer is simple: I don’t balance them either. Lol.

  4. shegyes

    There are a whole lotta shoulds on my list… I’ll forget about them eventually. :)

  5. juliaras

    I hate to be the purveyor of bad news, but I don’t think there is any getting over the shoulds. I should call my mother more often, I should visit more too. I should call my daughter and my friends, but I get busy with my crafts or my writing or my dogs or my garden or that darn laundry and another day goes by . . .

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