On Guilt

I've been thinking a lot about guilt lately.

Despite stereotypes to the contrary, many artists and creative types are not lazy slackers, but rather are perfectionists. I know I certainly am. Many stories and many projects have died between my ears because I never put them down on paper.... I didn't know how to finish them and so I never began. Or, as is increasingly the case, I feared I simply couldn't dedicate the time.

I'm not sure if guilt is a helpful emotion at all. I think there are plenty of ways to be in touch with your conscience without feeling guilty. And for me personally, it's a loaded word fraught with Catholic-schooling implications.

I've realized the past few days that I was feeling guilty about not writing. Not writing on my website and not writing creatively. I realized that in order to write about design, I need to actually be reading about design, exploring new things in design, and detailing my own process. I used to do all of these things and now I don't. January is full of short days, and I get home from work and I just want to eat and watch TV and talk with friends and go to bed. I don't feel like "working" more by doing these other things because somehow I've let it become work rather than relaxing.

I'm not sure what this says about me or about the Design World at the moment, but it's always comforting to feel like you're not the only one. Everyone feels stuck and wonders if they should be doing something more "meaningful" (and then feels guilty about making a living). I felt very inspired reading THIS on Brain Pickings about a famous writer's internal struggle against the daily grind.

It’s so foolish to live (which is always trouble enough) and not to save your soul.
— Willa Cather

Here's to catching up- both on deadlines AND with friends... :) Let's keep striving for that balance (even in the dark, short days of January).