Wednesday, April 6, 2022

#ISWG: Losing that Loving Feeling

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Growing up, it was instilled in me very strongly to never quit. And that life skill has stood me in good stead through a lot of things, especially work situations. But it took me well into my adulthood before I realized that sometimes it’s okay to quit. Sometimes a hobby’s not for you or you grow apart from a friend, and it’s okay to let that go. (Like those socks I tried to knit. I should probably accept that I will never finish them!)

It’s still hard for me to decide when to set aside a manuscript.

I have written several complete manuscripts. I have queried four of them to various ranges of success. I have two that I decided to abandon before I even got to the querying stage. And now, I have one I’ve been working on it for a year, but I have lost all my excitement for it.

In last month’s post, I talked about being versatile. But the thing about trying lots of new things is that in the process, sometimes you realize what you don’t like.

And maybe this genre, which tends to be dark, is just not me. I look longingly at old manuscripts and think about how this or that genre made me happier--somehow forgetting that there are no easy books to write.

But if I set it aside, there's that nagging fear that I’m a quitter. I should just push through the boredom. Because I can’t give up. I can’t not finish. Aw! Will the insecurities ever stop?

Reasons why to set this manuscript aside:

1.    It’s dark and depressing, and I don’t need any more of that in my life right now.

2.    It might not be marketable. It’s in an over-saturated genre.

3.    I’ve lost my passion and excitement about working on it.

What to do? Although when I initially wrote this post, I was ready to set it aside for now or perhaps forever, I have decided to continue. It's helped to take baby steps. I don't think about finishing the whole book, just the next scene or chapter.

Have you ever taken a break or set aside a manuscript?

In other news, I found out that my short story for adults, "The Complete Jane Austen on a Desert Island" will be published in a local anthology in May.

If you'd like to read more ISWG posts or sign up, please go HERE. You won't be disappointed.  



  1. I had to set aside my first manuscript after working on it for years. I needed to move on and maybe go back to it later. If you're not excited about what you're working on, you should move on to something else. It doesn't mean you're a quitter. You're being smart because you're moving onto a project you can be excited about and complete quicker that one that is a drudge to write.

  2. Congrats on your short story! I haven't set a story aside, but I have returned to rewrite one I thought was done. Sometimes, we're not ready to write it. Only you can decide if that's the case. Good luck!

  3. I think the #3 reason is the only one that matters. If the story doesn't excite you anymore, it definitely won't be exciting for a reader. Some things just don't work out. But don't think it means you're a quitter. You're not. That manuscript that doesn't gel for you anymore was a lesson. It is good you learned it.
    Congrats on your short story.

  4. If you're not passionate about it, that will reflect in the writing, and anyone reading will see it. So it is all right to set something aside. Maybe one day you'll come back to it and be excited again.