Category Archives: Why write?

5 Reasons Writers Quit

Remember when you were filled with a passion to write? You carried a notepad, jotting down the plethora of ideas swirling around in your head. You couldn’t wait to sit down in front of your computer and start putting words on paper. You dreamed of finishing that first novel, getting published, reading rave reviews . . . and then, one day, you quit. Why?

Writing Is Harder Than I Thought It Would Be.

Gathering ideas is the fun part. The story is in your head. You’ve created characters that are so real you talk with them (Admit it. You do.) But when you start to write those characters misbehave and you can’t tame them. Your plot goes in an entirely different direction than you’d planned. Your outline, if you had one, is a mess. You write a thousand words, rearrange paragraphs and rearrange them again and they’re still not right. A little voice in your head whispers, “This is hard, maybe too hard. Maybe I’m not good enough. Maybe I should set it aside for a little while and come back to it.” And if you listen to all those maybes, maybe you’ll quit.

It Has to Be Perfect.

You’ve written a thousand words, but as you wrote you edited yourself, second guessing every word. Is this sentence grammatically correct? Should I have used a better word here? Should I use an em dash or maybe an ellipsis at the end of this sentence? Perfection never occurs on a first draft, or the second, or third and likely—never. If you strive to be perfect, you’ll give yourself the perfect reason to quit. Author Margaret Atwood said, “If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word.”

I Should Be Published by Now.

You got through the hard part. Your novel is finished, and now you’re trying to find an agent and a publisher. You’ve done all the homework, targeted agents, written query letters, followed up, and still you haven’t connected with someone willing to get your book in front of publishers. This is where many writers give up. Self-doubt kicks in. That voice in your head speaks a little louder this time, “Maybe I’m not good enough.” Patience is key. It takes time to sell a book. Before you quit seek advice. Connect with a published author or someone who teaches writing. Get a critique. See if maybe you can improve your query letter and/or your manuscript to make your book more marketable.

What Is That Editor Doing to My Book!

You’ve connected with an editor. She/he is interested in publishing your book, but according to him/her it needs work. The editor makes suggestions, quite a few suggestions, and when you read them you’re offended. “What is that editor doing to my book!” You want your words exactly as you wrote them. In your opinion there’s little, if any, need for improvement. So, you decide to withdraw your manuscript. You’ll find an editor who’s willing to work with you. The truth is that probably won’t happen. An editor’s job is to make your writing even better and more marketable. That means providing you with criticism, even if the criticism seems harsh. New authors with big egos rarely place their work. Instead, they quit.

Marketing Takes Too Much Time.

Your book is published, either through a traditional publisher or you decided to publish it yourself. You’re not done. Now, you have to market your book and that often means marketing yourself. This means establishing a platform on social media and engaging with not only those who might buy your book but also with writers, editors and others in the publishing industry. Writers who engage successfully on social media ask for opinions, post cover reveals, and post updates on their writing progress. They sprinkle in fun things like showing off their writing space, their pets, even favorite recipes. They share good news, say thanks for good reviews, and they share posts from writers and readers. Some use Facebook Live and Instagram Live to engage. Others set up virtual events. . . Whew! That’s a lot of work isn’t it? It’s enough to make a writer want to quit. And some do. Older writers especially aren’t willing to tackle the ever-changing world of technology.

Should you quit? Yes, you should. If it’s not working you should quit your method or approach to writing. Have a serious conversation with yourself and decide if your passion is still there buried beneath all your reasons to quit. If you find it, then write. But if the passion is gone then it’s time to give up. Maybe you didn’t want to be a writer after all.

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How to Fall in Love With Your Writing

writingDo you enjoy the act of writing? Do you love to write? Let’s find out if you really love sitting down and putting words on paper.

Answer these 12 questions honestly:

When you have writer’s block or when your writing isn’t going well are you patient?

Are you kind to yourself when your writing doesn’t go well, or do you have negative thoughts about your ability?

Have you ever been jealous of an author’s success?

Do you brag about your work?

Do you/would you celebrate publication with an attitude of pride, or with humility?

Do you get upset and respond rudely when someone interrupts your writing time?

beautiful journalist looks typewriterHave you neglected responsibilities to family or others by being selfish with your writing time?

Do you count the number of times your submissions have been rejected?

What is your attitude toward rejection?

How do you accept constructive criticism?

Are you patient waiting to be published? Trusting and always hopeful?

Do you feel like giving up?

productdetailsIn his letter to the church in Corinth, the apostle Paul provides this beautiful definition of love:

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and it is not proud. Love is not rude, is not selfish, and does not get upset with others. Love does not count up wrongs that have been done.  Love takes no pleasure in evil but rejoices over the truth.  Love patiently accepts all things. It always trusts, always hopes, and always endures.
—1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NCV

Apply his definition to your answers; then ask yourself:
How can you put more love into your writing?

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Filed under Aspiring Writers, Dealing With Rejection, Inspiration, motivation, Uncategorized, Why write?, writing