Recently I saw someone post on social media they were done with writing and they weren’t going to waste their time on it anymore.
I can relate to that.
I think it’s a rite of passage that writers go through that during their career. I did. I’ve only recently pulled myself out of that funk. I had some pretty dark days where I wasn’t sure if I wanted to write anymore or not. I seriously thought about giving it up.
Most of mine stemmed from craptastic book sales – those indie published and with a publisher. I think the low sales that hurt my pride the most were the ones with the publisher, though. Not getting a royalty check—or even one for a couple of bucks—was like a total slap in the face. It depressed me on a monumental scale. I questioned why I was continued to do it because it was starting to seem like a colossal waste of time. I stopped writing for a while (I’ve mentioned that before).
But there was a little piece of me that kept thinking about writing and the craft and all that. I poked around the Writer’s Digest website a lot and remembered their annual writing competition. I decided to write a couple of short stories and submit – they couldn’t be over 4000 words. It’s not easy for me to write that short because I always have a lot of story to tell. About the same time, Holly Lisle offered up her How to Think Sideways class for the year and signed up.
The thing is… and what the point of my post is here today. Writing is hard. It’s supposed to be hard or everyone would be doing it. And even though the quote above is from A League of Their Own, I find it applies to writing as well. The hard IS what makes it great. The hard is what makes it worth it. The hard is what makes all your dreams come true. I’m still working on mine. 🙂
I think the bottom line is if you love it and if you’re not doing it for the money (because Lord knows writing is not a quick buck), then it’s not something you give up on after a year, five years or ten years. It’s something you keep doing and getting better and persevering because not everyone can sit down and write a book from start to finish. It takes focus and determination and a lot of patience. And a very thick hide. And as my husband says: Everybody wants to write. Anybody can write. But it’s an author who DOES write.
So when you think about quitting, remember this: Writing is hard and joyful and only you can tell your stories your way.
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