Read This Before You Quit Writing

You’ve written a story over and over again. You’ve written many stories over and over again. You’ve persisted as long as you could and you cannot handle another rejection. You feel it’s time to quit. 

That’s a very natural feeling. When we try to do something that is very hard it’s easy to feel as though we are wasting time or that it’s no longer fulfilling and we are not seeing progress. We are essentially beating our head against a brick wall, torturing ourselves to make something that nobody else wants to consume. 

You’ve given it your best shot, but you are still so far from your writing goals.

Before you quit, hear me out. It is completely fine to quit. I’ve quit many things in my life and when I quit something I hate doing, I found myself gravitating to something I enjoy. So quiting is good! But understand why you want to quit. Are you quitting because you hate doing it? Or are you quitting because you feel as though you are not good enough to advance to the next level? 

I didn’t start out wanting to be a writer. I wanted to be a director and an actor. The thing is, the more I did that: the more I hated being on set and memorizing lines. I put three full years into pursuing those two careers, but in the end, I came to the realization that I didn’t even know what those jobs required to begin with. It took the doing for me to understand the industry I was getting into. 

See, I was thinking about that as a job, something I HAVE to do every day. Something to pay for all my expenses. Thinking of it as a job sucked the life out of it, especially when I was starting out. It placed so much pressure on me because I wanted to do well and impress people so they will hire me again. Not everything you do needs to be a job! 

I like to play hockey. And I’m at the age where it’s incredibly obvious that I’ll never play it in any professional manner. I’m too old and I’m not that good. Still, I like to play it. I’m a part of a beer league and it’s a big part of who I am. Does anyone aside from my team care if we win or lose? No! Sometimes I feel like we don’t even care. We just like playing. 

The same goes for writing. 

Not everything you write needs to be for a professional reason or to get published. You can still do it! You can still be a writer and not publish your work. You can still be a writer and not share it with anyone. You can just write because it’s something you enjoy doing. 

Don’t let external pressure force you to stop doing something you enjoy. If you have a day job and you want to write on your free time, do it without considering where you are going to publish it. People watch movies and play video games and scroll social media. So don’t feel guilty for wasting your time doing something you enjoy. Do it for yourself. Everything you do, do it for yourself. 

And the beauty of writing is, it’s not like hockey, there is no age limit or physical requirement. You can do it until you are old and withered. 

If you want to quit publishing your work. Fine, but I encourage you not to quit writing because writing is to the soul what eating healthy and exercising is to the body. 

What challenges are you facing as a writer? Please let me know in the comments below.

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5 thoughts on “Read This Before You Quit Writing

  1. I’ve been writing professionally for four years, but I have not made it. I write one day a week for a (still) up and coming lifestyle guide, and I have my own blog. I like the journalism side of writing. For so long, I have been applying for roles that suit my journalism skills, but nothing has budged. I feel like I’ve reached a door, and no matter how much I push on it, it won’t open. I’m also working in hospitality to pay the bills, but current company is being impacted by Covid, and I don’t like the idea of getting another hospitality job to pay the bills. I want to do journalism, but the world doesn’t seem to want me to do it. And there’s nothing else I want to do.

    • Thanks for the sincere comment, Christopher. The fact that you’ve been writing professionally for 4 years is amazing, and in a way, you’ve already made it! Writing is not easy. Journalism is even harder. Neither of them is a get-rich-quick scheme lol Only a small percentage of writers make a living doing the craft — and only the craft — full time. I’m glad you’re finding time to write for your blog. Keep it going! Good luck!

  2. I have written 6 books. I simply love writing. My books have been published. 3 a very renowned publisher and 3 self published. However, sales have been very low. i want to earn through writing. I know I do it well. Don’t know anything about marketing books. what should I do?

    • Hey Priya! Thanks for the comment! Marketing can range from content creation to ads. Definitely, too much to go into in a comment, but I recommend experimenting with different tactics and measuring performance. Develop a marketing strategy that works for your limitations. If you have time, focus on content marketing (blogging, YouTube, social, etc). If you have money, focus on ads (Amazon ads, Bookbub, Facebook, etc). Don’t do all of it at once, unless you have a whole team to help manage. Try different platforms and different approaches. If something works, double down on it. Experiment and don’t give up until you have a set of data that you can use to evaluate (Does the return on investment make sense?). Marketing is not a guarantee, it is an “investment”. Hopefully, over time, you’ll get your books noticed and develop a brand as well! Good luck!

  3. “Not everything you write needs to be for a professional reason or to get published. You can still do it! You can still be a writer and not publish your work. You can still be a writer and not share it with anyone. You can just write because it’s something you enjoy doing. ”

    I have read a lot of comments/posts online about writing, not writing anymore, etc. And you are the only one I have seen who has posted something like you did above. Thanks for sharing that important point with everyone.

    I have noticed that a lot of writers (especially on Twitter) are absolutely miserable because they are not famous yet. And it’s too bad that they are tortured/depressed by that part of it. I think they are missing out on the journey itself, because they are so concerned about reaching the end.

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