Wednesday, July 7, 2021

ISWG: What Would Make You Quit?


This month's question: What would make you stop writing?

Note: This post is updated content from my June 7, 2017 ISWG post.

I have many different times in my life when I wanted to quit. The longest stretch was about twelve 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?

About five years ago, I almost quit again. I had gone back to work full-time after many years at as a stay-at-home mom. I didn't see where I could squeeze writing in. 

How did I find my way back?

Both times, I asked myself 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. Now I'm working on a YA sci-fi I'm really excited about. Instead of writing for the market, I wrote just for me.

That book didn’t sell, but I got a lot of good feedback on it. It served its purpose though. 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 dealing with those bad days or or months when writing comes harder 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.

Is there anything that would make you quit writing?



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. 

13 comments:

  1. Hi,
    Excellent Jenni! To realise that whatever is happening in your life bears a burden on your writing, is maturity. because these thing do pass. The question is for me is am I willing to hang in there until the storm passes over.

    I enjoyed reading your article today.
    All the best.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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  2. I've gone through long periods where I wondered if I wanted to quit writing too. Many, like you, happened around life changes. But the love of writing always has brought me back to my writing like it has for you.

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  3. Exactly! We do it for us first and because we love it.

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  4. I've also come to the conclusion that I can't write for anyone. I write for myself. Because the stories are born in my head and want to be told. As soon as you remove the traumas of publishing from the equation, writing becomes so much easier.

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  5. That is an excellent question to ask yourself - and one we should ask ourselves often. Kind of like a gut check to make sure we're doing the stories we need to tell!

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  6. When I'm in a lull I rely heavily on source material. Re-read earlier books of inspiration. I believe we all start out trying to write like our favorites, and slowly our voice becomes our own.

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  7. Thank you for sharing your journey with us, Jenni! As for most of us, it's full of twists and turns. I'm in 'that' place right now, too. (If you read my post for this month then you already know that. Sorry for the repetition.) I find strength in the words you chose to express your struggles and all that life has thrown at you. Always remember that you are not alone in this writing gig. I'm with you, and I'm sure many others are, too!

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  8. We enjoy writing the most when we write what we want to read. There's nothing better than when our tastes match up with what the market wants. Always write what excites you.

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  9. I go through ruts like that, too, when other aspects of life take up too much room and don't leave enough space for writing, or I'm just plain old burnt out from the work. It always helps me to write something "for play", something low stakes with no expectation of publication. @samanthabwriter from
    Balancing Act

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  10. Writing is so ephemeral at times, it feels like nothing much is happening when the words are just sitting there on the page.

    I agree, don't show first drafts to others. I write those for myself. When I want to write for publication, then I am a different writer - more editing oriented - and the writing somehow feels diminished in some way.

    Best of luck with your words. Keep them flowing and flowering!

    Q

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  11. Hi
    Very nice post. It's a true.

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