Reasons Not to Quit
**Please note, blog contest ends tonight! See last Friday’s post for details.
You may have noticed from some of my posts that sometimes this job gets a little frustrating (like any job). If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile or if you follow me on Twitter, you know I love my job, so that’s not the issue. But, like anything in life, it’s sometimes really hard and I wonder if it would be easier to do something else.
I never would have admitted that before I read Michael Hyatt’s post on July 31, What Keeps You Going When You Want to Quit? He admits that he frequently feels like quitting something – whether it’s a run or a job or even marriage. So I admit it. The job is hard, and sometimes I’d just rather watch TV. Think I could find a way to pay the bills that way?
Anyway, Mike’s blog post made me wonder:
Q4U: As a writer or a publishing profesional, how do YOU keep yourself motivated when you feel like quitting?
I look forward to reading your answers! Have a great weekend.
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Fantastic blog post, saw on…
When I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Thanks!
>Why not quit?
I'm a writer. Although I'm also many other things, my soul is a writer's soul and to quit would be to erase myself.
I also feel that the writing is a gift I was given (I've been aware of this gift since I was six) and I owe it to the Universe to honor it, no matter how much work or how long it takes — because gifts are meant to be shared.
I also do rescue work — I have a dog and horse sanctuary saving large dogs (the ones least likely to be adopted from the kill shelters) from euthanasia and horses and donkeys from slaughter.
My dearest dream is to publish my novels and further fund my rescue efforts now and in the future.
I'm sure if I approached writing and publishing from the standpoint of fame and fortune, then quitting would be a real threat on Query Road.
Instead, each morning I greet nickering, prancing horses and smiling, wiggly-butt dogs so happy to see me, and to be alive. I could never quit on them.
Hands down, Query Road is one of the hardest roads I've ever traveled. The lessons are plentiful and sometimes fierce, but the journey has made me a better person AND a better writer. I think that's as good a prize as publication.
>God said to do it. Who am I to argue?
>The story won't let me quit. If I try, the story shouts, the characters stare and ideas keep coming. I have to keep writing or my brain will explode. HA!!
>I feel a responsibility to write. If God has called me to this, I can't lay it down till He calls me to something else.
>Remember that there are bills to be paid.
Remember that I don't want to return to editing and rewriting other people's books for a living.
Re-read something I wrote that I really love.
Read a good book, take a walk, play with my dogs.
And realize, finally, that writing is what I do – it's ingrained in me, and I could no more not write than not breathe.
>HAPPY BIRTHDAY, RACHELLE! MAY YOU ENJOY A DAY FILLED WITH WHAT YOU LOVE!! PEACE & BLESSINGS! (& enjoy the fact that you're 8 weeks younger than me 😀 )
>First time to your blog. I am not in your business. I refocus on my purpose and the value of what I do. That helps me.
I looked for your email address in regard to your above request, to hear…I coudn't even find a mailing address. How can someone contact you?
>Camille – Seriously.
I can't remember a time when life was easy, but if I give up now it's like I'm admitting to the world that I can't make it.
I've been on the edge many times: on the brink of truly succumbing to something terrible and adverse. Fortunately, I don't have enough motivation to kill myself. But I seem to be completely capable of sitting here waiting for death.
>I think it's okay to allow yourself a season (a day, a week, a month, a year – whatever you can actually live with without going nuts NOT writing) to refresh your heart and mind. You spend that dry dock time getting refitted and recharged and then you head back out in the open water because if writing is in your blood, you will eventually tire of retirement. You will be restless to do what you are wired to do. There is a lovely quote that keeps me out on the open sea when I feel like calling it quits: "A ship is safe in the harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
>I wonder how much struggling is simply part of the package with writing. In the recent movie "Bottleshock" a vintner is taking an intern through the rows of his vineyard. The best wine comes from vines that have to struggle, he explains. A comfortable, well-fed vine makes grapes that produce lousy wine. It's the struggling that gives the wine character. I'm coming to suspect that much the same is true of writing.
>When I feel like quitting I read one of the emails from someone whse life was changed by something I wrote – like the man who read a piece I wrote about the importance of fathers, called his daughter living on the streets and told her he loved her and wanted her to come home and she did! Or the young woman who'd been raped who read my novel and called her mom to say the book made her believe that God really does love her in spite of it all. Those kinds of letters keep me going.
>When I want to quit, I look back at some of my old manuscripts. And I think, "Hey, this doesn't suck as bad as I thought! Maybe I'm a real writer after all!" If that fails, I ask the Husband (He's an artist, and we've both agreed to give each other tough love on our work.) He'll say, "You're a great writer. Now get back to your computer and try to sell something. We need the money."
>Eat chocolate, listen to Gotta Be Somebody and Diary of Jane, and talk to my writer friends. They're good at cheering me up when all I want to do is throw a manuscript out the window…
>No matter how many nights I go to bed discouraged, I wake up knowing I have something important to say, that I love the process, and that my work can only improve.
>Writers write. Sean Connery's grumpy old "Forrester" character didn't stop writing; he just stopped being a public person. His choice makes a little more sense every day (!) but he certainly didn't quit writing. Writers write. It's not about what you do; it's about who you are.
>I want to quit more often than I care to admit. Whatever other reasons I keep writing (like I usually love it, others say they love it, my agent says she'll kick my butt if I don't), the ultimate reason I don't quit comes down to this one reason.
Every time I ask God He says "No."
(So far, anyway.)
>We Christians sometimes [foolishly] think that eternity begins when we die. How silly!
If we take a leaf from Buddha's books of wisdom, we find that today is one of the days in our eternity.
What better way to spend eternity than writing stories? We reflect our creator when we choose to be creative. And heck, it's just plain fun. Bearing in mind that I'm experiencing a pocket of my eternity right now, I rarely feel like quitting.
>I just got my tenth rejection letter this week on a novel I've worked on for six years. I cried. A lot. The whole cycle of hoping and then having my hopes dashed is wearing, to say the least. There are days when I wonder why I insist on doing this–not the writing (which delights me), but the trying to be published (which drains me).
And then I think of Madeleine L'Engle, whose books deeply influenced my faith and my writing. Her A WRINKLE IN TIME was rejected not ten times but for ten years. Ten years of rejection. And yet she persevered.
I will, too, and for the same reason: I believe in my work. And I hope that someday someone will be as glad that I didn't quit as I am that Madeleine L'Engle didn't.
>When I feel like quitting, I turn to my husband. He has the ability to inspire me to write. To stay motivated, I read the blogs of fellow writers on the journey.
>If I quit, I don't get to find out what happens to these characters I've fallen in love with.
And if I quit, there's a 100% chance that no one else will ever meet them.
>Nathan – seriously?
Hey — I appreciate that so many of us were born writing and share the notion that to quit would be like ripping out a lung, etc. But I'm really interested in hearing from someone who, in spite of a burgeoning compulsion to keep breathing/writing, have gotten knocked into a cold brick wall and have sat dazed & confused and seriously questioned whether or not you have it in you to go on. I'm not talking about am I good enough? or writer's block or any of the writer's daily diatribes. I'd like to hear from someone who has looked in the face of something wicked hard and found or prayed down the nerve to press on.
>There's a big difference between "giving up" and being realistic. Unless you're in it for the LONG haul, it may not be worth the sacrifice of time and energy.
Some days I wonder…
>One more thing to add to my list:
– If I quit, my head might explode. And who has time to clean up that mess? I sure don't.
>Writing IS like smoking. Exactly… Except for the 'killing you' part. But lots of overlap.
>How do I keep myself motivated?
I let myself take breaks, but only little ones. Too long and I get out of habit.
If I'm REALLY unmotivated… I take a look at my story and figure out what's wrong. Usually my lack of motivation means my current story is dragging.
Prayer, also, is a good motivator. Or, at least it's a good thing to do when I lack motivation. For that matter, it's a good thing to do ALL the time to KEEP motivated:-)
Venting to loved ones. Usually if I tell them all the reasons I should quit, at the end I've convinced myself that I really should keep going.
>Having an editor interested in my work keeps me motivated. Now to rearrange my life so I can truly follow through. That is my biggest problem right now, and it's ever so frustrating. But I admit, it's a good problem to have because hope is everything. Without that, I'd definitely be tempted give up. Past success also motivates me during dry times. I am reminded that this is a long journey that requires persistence.
>I can't quit. No matter how hard it gets, how exhausted I am, how frustrated it is to receive rejection after rejection, the only job I've ever wanted to do come Monday morning is write… and I've had a lot of jobs!
But here's the biggest reason: If I quit, I couldn't look myself in the mirror or my children in the eye. I teach them every day to reach for their dreams, no matter how impossible it seems. Every single day presents a challenge, and we must rise to it. It's that simple.
You can "punt it" for a brief period to regroup, but never, ever quit.
>Motivation is transparent and fragile. An echo, whisper, or sudden gust of wind can shatter motivation, leaving you empty and void of desire and purpose.
Motivation is always dependent upon something else. For me, what drives me – if I break it all down to the very essence – is spite.
I think this world, this life we live, has been contorted in such a way that it continually negates and counters all positivity within it. I force myself to keep going, to say "Yes I can" and f**k everything else. Spite keeps me motivated.
On a completely separate subject, I've just written something, it's not much (a page), but I would appreciate it if you'd look it over.
>Great question. I think it depends on whether you look at writing as a job, or part of who you are.
If like a job, then of course you can quit – but that reminder of, "Hey, I need money to pay bills" can be quite convincing.
If it's part of who you are, then it's like saying "I'm going to stop having this bellybutton" and we all know you can't NOT have a belly button! (Or can you?!)
>Something would be missing in my life if I quit writing. It's been a part of me for as long as my memory goes back.
There are times I get frustrated, like every writer. I may take a break for a few days, but I always have to do something with writing, even if that's just a bunch of research or book summaries or character bios.
Now, finding motivation for my day job for which I have no passion is a bit of a challenge. I think that's the difference–one thing I have passion for and the other I don't and I can't stay motivated. Perhaps passion is the key, for me anyway.
>I've taken more than one long hiatus from writing. At least twice in the past 10 years I took a whole year off, just to figure out what I really wanted.
But during that time, I continued reading and going to my writer's group.
Eventually the stress (okay, I confess, I was working in publishing and it CAN get to you), would dissipate and I would get back into writing.
My passion for the written word, my own desire to tell stories, and the encouragement of writer friends got me back in the game.
>But, if your heart's not in it, you should quit. Quitting is too frequently condemned, IMO, but it's like the Yes, No, Maybe option… if someone asks a question, Maybe is the worst option…
If you don't truly love/enjoy what you're doing, stop… otherwise, keep chugging up that hill.
>My kids are my motivation. I don't want them to be quitters, so neither may I.
Last fall, I received a devastating critique from the final-round judge in a contest. I was ready to quit. I loved the book. I had high hopes it might be The One. And an editor had totally trashed it.
My teen said, "Editors are just people too. It's only one opinion. Besides, if you give up writing, how will you fill the void?"
She was right. I hung in there. The ms finaled in the Golden Heart. I started querying again. An agent loved the book and offered me representation.
My teen is smug about the whole thing, as well she should be.
>There are times to persevere and times to cut your losses – I learned that through hard experience.
But quit writing? When they take the pen out of my cold, dead hands. Projects come and go, the direction of my writing (genre, medium, etc.) may change, but the writing remains. Until I crumple it up, throw it in the trash and start with another blank white sheet.
>If I quit I can't strive toward the goals I've set for myself. Besides, I've invested so much in my writing, I can't afford to quit.
>I'm pretty new at writing so still in the stages of loving it with no downside. I also write first and foremost for myself. Writing fills a part of me that allows my spirit to soar. I've had these feelings though about my "real" job. What makes me stay there is how much opportunity I have to help others realize their dreams and goals.
>If there's something I really don't want to do, then I know it's not what I was meant to be doing- I don't think God is a sadists and try us beyond our capacity to bear things.
>I've already quit–at least three times this week.
But I keep coming back to tweak, and polish, pick at that latest WIP like a scab that won't quite heal. A few days without working on something and I start to get those voices in my head again,see characters everywhere I go: That fat lady in front of me who just said something funny, the little boy on the dock with the chapped cheeks…I need to know who he is. So I sit down and start to write again.
>Another reason not to quit…You Guys, out there in Blogville.
We'll probably never meet in this life, but I look for your names and pictures every time I come to this page. You have voices, as individual as God made you.
You've helped me over some rough patches (not just in writing!), and how can I let you down by quitting?
When we all get to the big stand-down at the end of this life, I hope I can look each of you in the eye and say, "I didn't give up. Thanks."
>The demand to Contemplate, Clip, Compile, Compose, Craft, Choreograph and, and oh yeah . . . Commerce this ‘Art’ is, well . . . Crushing. Writing is a Delight. Editing is just Monday films of Friday night – no problem. But this thing called ‘Building my Platform’ is tough. I guess that’s my Goliath.
Got the day job – 20 years now – Praise God. My wife and I answered a Vocational Call in 2006 when she became the Director of our local Crisis Pregnancy Center. So I get to hold her arms high. I also get to serve several ministries, including the mission field of high school football (through which I’ve shared some sweat equity intimacy with my son, and in God’s humor, my new son-in-law)! Cool.
A dozen years, five manuscripts, 300 queries and two published novels. Well-wishing friends and family have the nerve to say, “Hope you’re still writing. Loved ARROWS.” I’m not sure how God pushes me from the stool in the corner back into the ring to go another round with Muhammad Marketing Monster. But I pray He never stops.
Sorry for the Word Count Abuse! Thanks for this spot, rachelle.
>Quitting to me is deciding not to take another breath. My writing and my life is what keeps me from not quitting. Because I've dedicated my life to use my God-given gifts, I truly enjoy each day of work. My new marriage at times has me wondering if I made the right decision. But then I remember the Lord placed my husband and I in each others life. How could I question His choice for me? Faith and joy of life keeps me from quitting.
>When I feel tempted to quit (and yes, it happens), I just remember that God has called me to write. And since I want to be faithful to do what He's called me to do, that gives me my second (or third or fourth…) wind, and on I go. Comforting to hear that others feel like quitting sometimes, too…
>I've heard people say, if you can quit the writing business, you should. I can't. That's why I write.
>I think I told someone the other day that giving up writing would be like losing a limb. Okay, a bit dramatic, but it's part of me. Even when it gets frustrating, I don't feel like quitting. But I DO keep my mind open and pray to see if it's time for a change or time for a break. And if necessary I'll motivate myself with a new project or even read a book to relax my mind, rejuvenate my thinking, and build that excitement again.
When I feel like quitting, I try to remind myself of how much I love to write, how it's more than just a hobby to me. It's what I believe I'm called to do, even if publication never happens. I try to remember what it feels like when everything is going great and the words are just flowing out of me. Soemtimes I look for old letters or mentally replay compliments from writers I respect. That can be really encouraging. Also, I remind myself who I write for. It's not for me or for anyone else. It's for Him.
But most of all, I think if I were to quit, I'd stop breathing. It's just that much a part of me.
Have a great long weekend!
>Writing is like smoking. I can quit any time I want.
Really. I just don't want to yet, even though I know it is bad for me.
>For me right now the biggest motivator is that I've yet to finish the novel that I've been working on for 7 years. I want to get it finished which is keeping me from quitting and from constantly revising what's been written. I keep telling myself that if I can just get it finishd, then I can revise to my heart's content.
>I've the good fortune to have a wife who writes (successfully) to keep me from thinking about quitting. I also have a brain that requires creativity. I can only go for so long before it demands an outlet or it starts to affect my well-being. Even when life interferes and keeps me from writing regularly, I always find that itch coming back. It's unavoidable, and let's face it, I don't want to avoid it. I love writing.
>Negative motivation — if I quit, I won't be able to pay my bills, and I'd rather pay them this way then do anything else.
Positive motivation — a letter from a reader, a new idea that excites me, the appeal of continuing to work in an industry which, overall, I love. The conviction that God has called me to this.
The sheer joy of words :).
If one part of my job is making me want to quit, chances are another part of it will inspire me to hang in there.
>My writing was always limited. Then my husband and I retired in 1957 and I wrote very little until I started blogging about 1 and 1/2 years ago. The return to writing has stimulated me to think again. It gives satisfaction in the middle of health issues.
Some days I break into a cold sweat as I sit by the computer–other days it's pure joy. I've plugged away and think I might have found a new writing voice–over a year after I started. But whatever I accomplish on a given day, the effot is life; quitting now would be a form of death. I thank God for moving me to begin writing again.
>My paycheck is what keeps me from quitting my editing job! The thoughts in my head are what keep me from quitting the writing (non-paying!) jobs. The elusive "We're going to publish your article in our print magazine and pay you for it" is what keeps me sending query letters. Diet Coke is what keeps me fueled through the day 🙂 .
>I haven't wanted to quit in a long time and I can't now, because I actually have deadlines. Back when I seemed to be getting nowhere and wanted to quit, I re-read my good rejection letters. The ones where an agent or editor took the time to point out something I'd done right and things I needed to work on. It always got me going again. I also attended writers' group meetings, they always get the creative juices flowing. And the few times I actually tried to quit, I couldn't. Words niggled, scenes jockeyed, and characters poked until I just had to write them down.
>For me, it's not complicated…I care about my characters. I'm interested in them. I want to know more about them and see them grow. I can't do any of that unless I write.
>I have a day job in contrast to my writing, and I've thought about quitting my career. When that happens, I usually look to make a change in my career, rather than quitting, in order to be able to the challenges on with a fresh outlook and renewed vigor. Change can be a good thing.
When it comes to my writing, I've never considered quitting, simply because I feel driven to write. I have to write to feel whole.
But if writing feels as if it has hit a brick wall, then I take it from a different direction, change my approach or even change to a different story that needs telling.
Good chocolate, a little baking and some nice port help that along a little too. 😉
>I can't quit. I've tried. I took a month off and didn't write a word. I was miserable. I had no way to put down my thoughts, the conversations in my head, the ideas, the way I see things. Writing is communication. When you're called to write it's because you have a message that needs to be heard. Someone, somewhere needs to read what I've written. It's that way with every writer. Someone, somewhere needs you. Don't quit. Not ever.
>Great post, Rachelle!
And doesn't Michael Hyatt always give us great issues to ponder?
Like I need more issues (but that's another post…LOL!)
Okay…when my muses are just plain ticked off with the writing journey and ready to find something else to make them dance, I get a big 'ole chunk of organic dark chocolate, a strong STRONG gin and tonic and pout on my porch for a bit.
It takes me only the time to consume the chocolate and gin (which isn't long btw) plus the brilliant sunset to realize 'yeah, writing-for-publication can be tougher than tough' BUT 'not being able to put words on pages would be my worst nightmare'.
I thrive on writing and someday soon, several shelves in big bookstores everywhere will be the brief home of my books before all my fabulous readers snatch 'em up.
And that's the toast I make to the sunset in between pouts.
Sexy, Sassy, Smart Sunset Pouting Wishes — D. D. Scott
>I agree with Katie that my life feels richer when I'm writing. I frequently quit because for me writing isn't a "rational" thing to do. Isn't it delusional to think I could get a novel published? But within 48 hours of quitting, I'm back writing. No one is patting me on the back and encouraging me, but sometimes I do pat myself on the back and say to myself after writing a chapter, "Not bad!" I have a full-time job, a family, and many commitments, but I try to write or revise a little everyday.
>I think of my brother. He never quit at anything, but he died at 24. He would never want me to quit, and if he were here, he would make fun of me for it. So, I imagine him mocking me for quitting in heaven and that gets me back on that bronco.
>There are lots of reasons I don't quit. And the few times in the last five years that I've honestly wanted to quit, God kept me going. But those stories are too long to tell in this blog comment!
Partly, I keep going because I don't want to quit. I want to write. I enjoy it and I believe success is around the corner.
>Good morning, Rachelle.
What keeps me from quitting?
– Having reasonable expectations,
– Getting excited when I learn something new about writing,
– Spending time worshipping God BEFORE I write so that I have something TO write, (This is my most important one.)
– Setting long and short-term goals – and working on them,
– Recognizing that I am a writer, (It is somthing I am, not something I do.)
– Working with God to use my writing ability to show others who He is.
I am an aspiring writer who longs to communicate with readers about God. That desire fuels me through the hard places.
Have a great week-end!
>Rare is the day when I don't consider quitting writing, due to the difficulty of breaking in to the publishing business. I keep going because I enjoy it and believe I have a story to tell to a lost world–if I can just crack that wall standing in my way.
>I have always been a dreamer. I can't remember a time when I was anything other than a dreamer. I see things as I wish them to be, not the way reality has presented them to me. I chase one rainbow after another. I have been known to challenge windmills to a fight to the death.
My wife, the pragmatist, tells me time after time, not all dreams come true. She reminds me that chasing rainbows will only get me wet. And picking fights with windmills should be left for the young, not the young at heart.
I keep dreaming my dreams, chasing rainbows, and righting all wrongs. All the while ending tattered and torn. I bump into walls, soaked to the bone. My wife is right, fighting windmills has only ever left me broken-hearted.
My latest dream is to be a published writer. That should be an easy accomplishment, right? Being a dreamer I thought all that you would need is a great story. I have a great story.
How wrong could one dreamer be? My wonderful story has had so many rewrites I can scarcely recognize it. However, it is still a great story. I have lost track of how many times my query letter has been altered. I have been told my current, last, second to last, middle query letter varied from great to perfect. I think my query letter is a good one.
The rejection letters trickle in bit by bit. The windmill wins with each new rejection. And I resolve to find the end of just one rainbow with each form letter.
Why don't I quit? I quit every day. There is not a day goes by where I don't throw it all away. I decide it isn't worth the pain. Quitting is the only sane option.
At night, when all is silent, and I am tucked safely in my bed, that's when they all come out to play. Sara, her mother and father. The evil toad, Appleton. The creamed corn farmer Jessup, and Clearance his pet/harvesting equipment. Janet and Maggie, the diabolical twin sisters. The fantasy realms I have created or have yet to create. Oh, and Horace Chance, my latest 115 year old character is there. Each and every one of them telling me quitting is not an option.
Sara, my protagonist, tells me daily that I have a God given gift, use it or lose it.
I have always been a dreamer. I know nothing else. I see things as I wish them to be, and not the way they really are. My latest dream is to be a published writer. One never gives up on ones dreams, quitting is never an option.
>I told my husband just yesterday that I want to quit. "Quit what?" he said. "Everything," I said.
Then I reminded myself that the BEST life is not an EASY life. My life's greatest joys have come in/through the hardest times.
My life is not all about me. Remembering that keeps me going.
>I remind myself of all the people who will benefit from whatever it is that I am writing. I remind myself of all the people God still needs to touch, and so I keep going. Even when it seems as if no one is reading and no one cares, I make myself keep writing.
For this time in my life, my writing is focused on eating disorders and beauty. I know that if I were to stop writing because it doesn't SEEM affective, I would not be doing what God has called me to do.
I would just like to remind everyone of that. When you want to throw in the towel, remember that your work may reach someone for God that otherwise would never come to know Him. It's our job to write truth, and that is what keeps me motivated.
>I communicate by writing. I could never stop. So since I am writing anyway, I am learning the craft of fiction writing. Some think I have a gift. Enough to be published? That is up to God.
Husband grain farmed for years. And raised hogs. The weather frustrated him. He often talked about quiting. So I went along with him. What would you rather do? What would you enjoy more? And he kept farming for years.
We are older now, but he still has a bit of farming going.
>"If you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life." I don't know who said it, but it's sort of true. When I get down, I usually get some sort of encouragement to keep going, and since I enjoy writing, it's easy to keep going.
But is it easier to sit & watch TV? Sometimes!
>It's simple. I've convinced myself that I have absolutely no choice in the matter (though sometimes this depresses me when it's really really hard and I can't quit even if I wanted to XD). If I don't do this, I will be miserable for the rest of my life. That's not an option.
So no matter how hard it is, I sulk for a bit, but ALWAYS return to the keyboard.
>Without writing, I have nothing to offer the world. I feel I was put here to write.
I'm still unpublished – querying my first novel and working on my second novel – and many days are hard because I have a full time job, a part time job, and a family to care for. . . some days my five hours of sleep don't cut it – but when I start typing and when one of my characters does something I didn't have planned, it makes it all worth while.
OR – when I finished my first novel, right after my wife read the last page, she cried. She cried because she loved the story, she cried because I had begun to chase my dream, and the important reason that she cried: she understood the story.
Moments like that keep me writing because when I get published, I hope to reach out and touch a big audience who will also understand the story.
– Encouragement. I love encouragement.
– an exciting writing session when ideas and words are just popping and snapping off my fingers
– the satisfaction of completing a novel or rehauling a troublesome scene
– reading stories about writing friends who got "the call"
– thinking about how much richer my life is as a writer
– just the knowledge that everything worth doing in life is difficult. What satisfaction comes from accomplishing something easy?
Which reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:
"We choose to go to the moon in this decade. We choose to go to the moon and do other things. Not because they are easy, but because they are hard." -JFK
>This hits close to home, Rachelle.
Twenty years ago I quit something important–the chance for a career in singing. I was shocked to be confronted by my voice professor after I sang one day. She wagged her finger in my face and yelled at me (!). She was trained at Julliard–and she said, "You have a gift, a rare gift. And you're wasting it."
And you know what I did after that? Did I scrap and fight and claw to be the best singer I could be?
No. I hunkered down in my thick coat, walked through the Michigan cold and decided, "Too bad. I don't want to use my gift in the way she says I should." By the time I arrived at my dorm, I had the plot of the rest of my life spun out, and it was safe and comfortable and involved no failure.
I don't regret that, because changing that decision might change other things too, like my family and the career I love so well. But now–family intact–it seems God has handed me another chance. Not a gift, perhaps not even a talent, but a chance. And I'm determined not to huddle up and walk away.
Right now I'm hanging by my fingernails, but that's okay. I'm hanging. I'm determined not to look back in another twenty years and realize I let another opportunity circle the drain because I was too doggone afraid, and sure I would fail.
Sorry so long, Rachelle. This resonated with me.
>I'll quit when the Lord takes me home! Some how, some way I'll continue to write as long as I'm here on earth. There may be many times of discouragement and rejection, but writing is an addiction that the only cure is to be home with the Lord!
I thank Him for giving me the gift of writing and all the incredible, wonderful, support, encouragement and direction from other writers like you!
>In my long-winded response, I never mentioned what I do to stay motivated. Sheesh, wake up, brain!
I stay motivated by praying about it, talking with my writing group about the current frustration and finding a solution, and reading books that make me feel the way I want my future readers to feel some day.
>Feel like quitting? Only about a thousand times a day. Oh, wait. You're talking about writing…not my day job. 🙂
Right now, I don't have the luxury of writing full-time. After a long day, I have to force myself to write–something I really enjoy doing, but hesitate at times because it's hard (insert six-year-old whine). I've gotten frustrated by contest scores, crit partner suggestions, and frustration with my characters to the point where it would be so easy to quit. After all, I'm not published. Who would know?
He called me to write. He laid a desire on my heart. He provides me with inspiration. He has put people in my path to move me down the writing road. I believe writing is part of His plan and purpose for my life.
I really like what Andrew said about if I quit, Satan wins. I believe that to be true. If I'm not obedient to God, then Satan gets a foothold in my life.
Yeah, I can get frustrated and whine to him about lack of writing time, frustration over characters and conflict, and wondering if I'll ever type The End, but it's all part of the journey. As a writer, I need to take as much joy in the journey. Being published is not the final destination–that's simply another fork in the road.
>It's 4 am and the Puppy Who Won't Be Housebroken has declared his manifesto yet again…sigh…and six hours of lecture await on the morrow.
Sure, it's tempting to say, I don't WANT to do this any more. Two day jobs and running a dog rescue, that's enough, and I don't want to think about my characters' lives and problems and then have to DO something about them…
But then I think about the gifts writing has brought…
…like learning why I pick up stray dogs…
…like understanding, and accepting, that having a handicap makes me different, with no road back, but that I still can contribute something…
…and hey, writing brought Christ into my life.
With all that, how can I turn away?
Even at 4 am…
>Well, I guess I should give God some credit, right? LOL Just reread my comment *cringe*
Yeah, I've made my life, parts of it, but also God has really blessed me so that I can stay home. He's blessed me with healthy children.
I totally didn't mean to sound that arrogant. *another cringe*
>I am making myself accountable by making my latest goal (finishing the novel I'm working on now by August, 2010) public. The simple act of blogging about the process on Writing a Novel, Living a Life seems to be what I need to make sure I don't give in to the "What does it matter anyway?" syndrome. I know hardly anybody is checking out the blog, but as long as I can fool myself into thinking that maybe, just maybe, there is an interested eye out there, cheering me on and waiting for the final product, I'm gonna keep cranking out the words. Besides, every day I get some writing done is better than a day when I don't. That's a tough fact to argue against.
Now my day job, what keeps me there is health insurance.
>I think if the motivations are appropriate, it makes it easier to not "quit". For instance, I have an understanding with myself… I can DO anything to make money. Money pays the bills and keeps my family in food and clothing. My hubby has his enjoyments, my kids theirs, and I have mine. Once the writing or whatever else I'm doing isn't doing IT for me anymore, than it might be the Lord's way of telling me I am done learning what I needed to learn with that thing. My deal? Don't burn it into the ground, Don't give up and don't burn it into the ground.
I hope everyone has a blessed day!
>Like Camille, I think about what I've put into it and how I would feel if I quit after all this work.
Then I think about what would happen if I quit. The image (whether it's quitting writing, marriage, being a sahm, whatever) is never pretty.
Life is sometimes tough, but I like my life. I've made it what it is and I hope I only make it better. I don't think quitting will make it better, in my case.
Sounds like a great post by Hyatt. I'll have to go check that out. Thanks!
>Well, I just know that I feel worse when I'm not writing, so it's sorta easy to motivate myself to get over that small bump and keep on plodding.
Sometimes, though, it's great to step back and regroup. I don't think that I (or anybody else) *should* feel motivated to do something all the time, even if they're good at it. Taking a break and working somewhere else is fine. If you end up liking that somewhere else better, even finer.
>I remind myself what time, energy, resources, and sacrifice I have vested. And what others have invested.
I also imagine having this conversation with one of my young adult kids when they contemplate giving up and what advice I would give them; about being more patient with your current abilities and taking it one step at a time, about how anything of value doesn't come easy, about how quitting ensures failure, etc. Then I imagine how I would answer to them if I ignored that advice and quit. The mental picture of their disappointed faces has spurred me past the temptation to chicken out and helped me face some colossal challenges.
>I have been writing my book on an almost daily basis for 18 years and 5 days–a couple hours per day. I am so thankful to God for all in life, and I love Him so much: I have never once quit because I do NOT want to fail or disappoint Him.
>I think about what my future would be like if I quit — it involves going back to full-time office work. I don't like that picture, so I go back to the prize picture I like a lot better.
I also set myself tiny goals — write 281 words. I always find myself overshooting the goal, and suddenly I'm writing again.
I re-read some of the things people have said about Three Beautiful Things.
>If I quit, Satan wins.
Satan's tools in this world are despair, ennui, hopelessness…those are the cracks in our armor through which he can drive a spear-point.
I will not let him win. Personally, I've seen what happens when he does, and I never, ever want to see it again.