They’re not porn. I’ll gladly fan those magazines out on the coffee table and invite guests to browse at will.
No, the guilt-inducing magazine is Romance Writers Report. I get one every month as part of my membership to Romance Writers of America, and each time it shows up, I want to slam my head in the door.
It’s not a bad magazine. It’s actually chock full of amazing articles about the romance genre, the publishing industry, and writing craft. I desperately want to read every page of it from cover to cover.
But somehow, I fail to do that. On a good day I might skim the headlines on the cover. Most days I don’t even find time to do that.
The magazines get tucked in a lovely metal in-basket that’s reserved for the day I have time to sit down at leisure and read every article from start to finish until I am the most knowledgeable romance author on the planet. Other authors will whisper about me. "She's the one who read every article ever written in Romance Writers Report. She knows everything!"
As you might imagine, that day has not arrived. That means my pile continues to grow like an unwanted meat wand. It sits there leering at me, reminding me every day that I’m a poor excuse for an author.
I solved the problem temporarily by shoving the basket in a cupboard. Still, I have to open the cupboard each month to put the new issue on top of the pile, and the whole thing is beginning to teeter dangerously.
Maybe I should throw them all in the recycle bin. Maybe I should blow off my copy edit deadline and spend the entirety of tomorrow reading those magazines.
I’m not sure what the answer is here, but I know the guilt is getting to me. The last time the mailman showed up with a new issue, I ran screaming up my driveway and hid under the bed until he drove away.
Is there anything in your life that makes you feel inexplicably guilty? Something you know doesn’t truly warrant the guilt trip it heaps on you, but you still succumb anyway? How do you deal with it? Please share!
I’ll be looking for matches. And lighter fluid. And maybe, just maybe, if the whole stack goes up in smoke….