In the lead up to the launch of Serenity Press’s upcoming Writing the Dream anthology (available for pre-order here), I’ll be sharing guest posts from some of the contributors. Michele Nugent is a former newspaper journalist and editor with 30 years’ experience, a passionate communicator and listener, and a consumer and teller of stories. She now works as Communications Coordinator of a large West Australian not-for-profit care group. Michele has been a regular blogger for several years, broaching subjects as vast as the challenges of being thrust into the solo world of parenting teenage daughters, her distaste for personalised number plates and the travesty of the cosmetic industry’s vacuous endeavours to guilt women into giving their vaginas the Mona Lisa smile treatment.

A lover of stories since birth and a reader of them since before kindy, she began writing as a youngster, and continues to successfully make a living from it. In her snatches of spare time, Michele is writing a coming-of-age novel for adults young and old. Read more of her blog posts at Olsolomeoh.


Guilt-Induced Duty-Bound Writer’s Brain. I’ve got it. Bad.

GIDBWB, or Gidbeedubbyabee-itis as I like to call it, has had me in its suffocating, pinching grip for weeks now. Probably three months. And agonizingly, it’s not going to abate any time soon.

This creativity-sapping malaise is evidenced by the complete lack of pleasure writing in my current life. Self-indulgent writing is something I do. In my head. Via my fingers on a keyboard. Sometimes with urgent scribbles in a notepad or journal. But, it gets done … like insurance for future writing projects … for my rainy writing days.

But not right now. No, I’m too busy, preoccupied with the far more serious writerly pursuit of gainful employment. And then some. Yes, part of it is a high standard of professional obligation, but most of it is a dire need to get a new job for when this one rapidly expires in around a month.

My written creativity has been sapped and corralled while I focus on Deadline-Driven Work Writing (DDWW – or, Deedeedubbyadubbya-onia) and Job Application Selection Criteria Writing-Hell (JASCWH – or Jacksydubbyahell-omy).

This lack of manuscription is causing my brain to squeak dehydratedly, squeezed of its signature self-indulgent scrawl. It’s currently so chronic, that I’ve begun to doubt my self-appointed status of writer, unless it’s web or newsletter content, social media bytes or formulaic CV sales documents.

I can’t even talk myself out of this quarantine – my brain is so set on having my work finished before my contract finishes while simultaneously applying for jobs by qualifying myself via Selection Criteria until I can no longer afford to pay my pesky mortgage and I myself am literally, finished!

This piece, as stressed and stilted as it is, was a reward for writing and sending off three job applications this weekend. And this is by no means a record – a couple of weeks ago I applied for five jobs between 7pm Friday and 7pm Sunday. And still no word on my wordy future. All the while, my creative chirography ebbs to a guilty trickle.

Help! What should I do fellow writing Doctors?

How do you balance professional and personal writing in a world of mortgage-induced fulltime employment necessity?

Am I really allowed to write for pleasure when there are so many Very Important writing duties to be performed? And if I do, how am I supposed to write something I’m happy with while afflicted with a chronic case of GIDBWB, complicated by twin bouts of DDWW and JASCWH. FFS!

*This post first appeared here.



Monique Mulligan

Monique Mulligan

0 Responses

  1. Written with humour and insight, as only a good writer can. I don’t think that Michele’s in any danger of losing her creativity, although I understand the fear. I hope a job comes up soon. x

Related Posts

Your basket is currently empty.

Return to shop