This month's question: Did you ever say "I quit"? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?
I have many different times in my life when I wanted to quit. The longest stretch was about six years ago. I had a lot going on in my personal life (my younger son required two surgeries within the space of a few months), and I’d gotten some discouraging feedback on a new project. I’ve since learned never to let anyone see my first drafts, but I didn’t know that then. I was so discouraged I set that book aside.
That’s when the writer's block started. For a few months, I just wrote, “I can’t write anything,” in my journal. At least I was writing words, right?
How did I find my way back? I started asking myself what I really liked to read and what I really wanted to write if I didn’t have to worry about anyone else reading it. This led me to tackling a YA retelling, a book of my heart. Instead of writing for the market, I wrote just for me.
No, it’s not published, but that’s not the point. The important thing is that through writing that novel, I found my love of writing again. Because if I don’t enjoy writing, why am I doing this anyway?
I’ve since learned that I’m often most vulnerable to giving up when life presents me with a mix of writing obstacles and difficult life circumstances. But now that I’ve seen I can come back, dealing with those bad days or those days (or months) when writing comes hard is easier. I know they won’t last forever.
All I need to keep in mind is why I’m writing in the first place: What do I like to read? What do I like to write?
If that’s my focus, I won’t give up for long.
And that book I gave up on? It’s finished, and I’m now querying it. Setting something aside doesn’t mean forever.
What is Insecure Writer's Support Group?
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time - and return comments. This group is all about connecting!
To see more IWSG posts, go here.