Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Day I Quit Writing

~ raw emotion ~
 Overcoming Feelings Of Inadequacy
Rejection after rejection,
honest critiques,
harsh blunt critiques,
negative feedback.
I don’t have thick skin.
I’m wounded.
I quit.

Could I ever write?
Perhaps my high school English teachers were right.

So now that I’ve quit writing… who am I?
My life is full without writing. I might actually be able to function better if I never wrote another word.
But here I am – writing down my thoughts, pretending not to be a writer… because I quit writing today.

I’m a mum. A wife. A home educator.  A friend. A playgroup co-ordinator. A church volunteer. A business owner. A charity auction co-ordinator. A reader.  A Compassion advocate. A student ... and the list goes on.
My life is full, I don’t need to write. I don’t need any more rejection. I …

About now I can hear all of the successful authors screaming at me … don’t post such negative thoughts.
But I know I’m not alone.
It’s tough.
I can go from cloud nine to rock bottom and back to cloud nine in a day.
I didn’t get back to cloud nine today.
And please know I’m not after your pity or sympathy.

Just remember when you read a book – especially the first book published by an author – there has often been a whole lot of unseen emotion, even a lot of rejection and questioning. And also, a ridiculous amount of time has gone into that which you hold in your hands, which translates into a couple of minutes or hours of reading pleasure.

Yes, I quit today.
[And I’m very aware that the day I quit I’m still here pumping out more words on my computer.]
And I’m thankful that tomorrow is a new day.
I’ve signed up for NaNoWriMo again this year – with the goal to write 50000 words in a month
If I don’t quit in November, that will give me three novels to work on or shelve.
I’m also planning on joining in with PiBoIdMo – a picture book idea each day for a month – I have ideas all the time – this discipline helps me to write them down.  I’m enrolled in an intensive writing workshop day in November during a writer’s fair.
So for me to continue and join in with The Word Writers Fair, NaNoWriMo and PiBoIdMo … I just have to remember not to quit tomorrow or hope that a very good friend comes along and tells me to stop beating a dead horse.


  1. I am not going to tell you to stop .... girl, keep going. The hard work will pay off. Every time you write you put it out there. Your hopes, your dreams and the possibilities of dreams coming true. Keep standing and doing what is in your heart to do. Don't quit, don't look back ... face the unknown, stare fear in the face, side step doubt and do what you know you have to do - WRITE. xx

  2. You are a writer whether you get a book published or not because you have a sincere passion for the craft. Let God open doors for you and enjoy the written journey as He leads you. I know you won't stop writing..but there are definitely more avenues to writing apart from books and nobody can stop you writing apart from yourself. I hope you start to enjoy writing again very soon.

  3. I agree with Carol. You are a writer whether you are published or not. Actually being published is a little over-rated!

    Have you read 'Bird by Bird' by Ann Lamott? Good book for writers to read.

  4. You might one day quit trying to be published, but I'm betting you'll always write. And you can post what you want on here, it's your space to say how you're feeling.

  5. The business of writing and publishing can be so tough and so grueling. Perseverance is a word that always echoes in my ears.

    Keep the faith and keep hold of your passion for writing.

  6. Being a writer is TOUGH. We really do have to have thick skins to deal with all the rejection and critiques. We all have those days where we think we're not good enough--our writing sucks. But the key is perseverance. Keep writing, keep getting better, and one day it WILL happen.If you want it badly enough it will happen. Maybe we won't all have the luck of Stephanie Meyer, maybe it will just happen in little steps. Remember this:
    Stephen King - received more than 30 rejections for his first novel.
    J.K. Rowling - 12 publishers rejected Harry Potter before it was picked up.
    Dr. Seuss - after 22 rejections he decided to go home, shred his manuscript and give up his dream of being a writer. A friend talked him out of it. That manuscript went on to become 'The Cat in the Hat'.
    Don't give up!

  7. You are a writer. It lights you up and I see you come alive when you tell me of a new plot or idea that you have. I know that you can write as I (and my boys) have enjoyed reading your words.

    Know that you are a success in my eyes published, or not. xoxo

  8. Oh boy do I know those days. I chuck a tantrum and quit. But as you've written, just for the day. And that makes me feel better, because I got to shout 'I Quit!' at my writing, and feel like I came out on top, because it's doomed without me.

    Then I wake up the next day and hop back on the saddle. Good luck with your writing challenges over the next few months Michelle. Quit as many times as necessary for you to succeed ;-) I know I will.

  9. For someone who is doing PiBoldMo and Nano you have a funny way of quitting :) I wouldn't dream of doing Nano even if I wrote novels. The pressure, everything is too much. And yet here you are saying you're doing both. Your writing is beautiful, and I for one will not let you quit. You have at least two stories that should be on submission now. Chin up lass. Take care.

  10. I feel this way every time I walk into one of those discount book stores. The thousands of books sitting sadly, reduced, clear out items.

    It is not an issue for me atm, for I am not writing. But one day again, soon I hope, I'll claw that hardened armour of outer skin back in and delve in once more.

    You already are back on track, you have put yourself back into the fray. Stay strong.

  11. A writer is a writer is a writer. Of course you don't need to get published to be a writer. It is a hobby - writing diaries or journals for personal purification and better understanding of oneself.
    Wishing you the best in everything that you do.

  12. Sending virtual hugs and cupcakes.

    Writing a book is a huge venture. It's exhausting and compelling and wonderful and has horrific pitfalls. Chocolate helps!


  13. yep, I think I threaten to quit every day. I quit for real many years ago and regretted it ever since, so really, I can't ever quit again. I love writing too much no matter how frustrating it can get or how loud the voice of my self-doubts become.


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