Tuesday, May 22, 2012

You Should (Not) Quit Writing

I've been struggling with my writing lately. Pep talks with Liz and reading The Forest for the Trees has helped.

Today I check Chuck Wendig's blog to find this post: 25 Reasons to Quit Writing. His sarcastic tone had me laughing out loud (among my favorites: #10: Writing Really Cuts Into Your Internet Addiction and #11 Writing Isn't Just Writing, Which is Super-Bullshit). 

His points are both funny and true, but it's not like these reasons have stopped me before. Sometimes what you need to hear is why you shouldn't be doing something to remind yourself why you're doing it at all (to be clear, he's not telling people they shouldn't write, he's telling them they shouldn't write unless they really want to).

So! I will soldier on.

How is everyone else doing? Any bumps in your road to writing, or is it smooth sailing? 


  1. Wait, I'm on a road? Maybe a 4X4 track, but it's not paved, that's for sure. Writing has been on again off again for me for a while. I've moved into full fledged freak-out, but it works for me.

    I've taken a lot of breaks from writing, and it wasn't until my little girl was 8 months that I could come back to writing. And seriously, it wasn't that I came back to writing, it was that writing grabbed me by the ears and said "You will sit down and write this novel now." It hasn't let go since.

  2. Don't forget that you have other pressing priorities right now. I promise you will eventually get more sleep and with that will come that desire to write more again. Your muse is just sleep deprived. Don't give up, but be patient.

    It's okay to take a break now and then. I'm just starting back up myself after struggling most of this year. the break helped. Now I have a goal of just one hour a day writing. I don't feel guilty about that, but if I get on a roll I keep writing. ;)

    Good luck and hang in there!

  3. Rena: YES! Not a road, but trail blazing through a WILDERNESS. A wilderness filled with BEES.

    I am glad I am not the only one to take breaks. I feel bad, like I am failing. when the horse named Writing bucks me off. It's good to know I am not the only one.

    Charity: Thanks. It's easy to forget that there are other things in my life, as strange as that sounds. I just expect myself to soldier on business as usual.

  4. I have a bad habit of dramatically quitting writing every time I get really frustrated. I rant and rave and rip papers (none of the important ones, of course) and throw away notebooks (in a handy garbage bag not full of anything yucky) and delete documents (but NEVER empty the recycle bin) and huff and puff. And then the next morning I sheepishly sift through the trash for my notebooks and restore my documents and go back to where I left off.

    I think doing it this way helps me to get over my issues a lot faster so I can get back to writing.

  5. Sarah: OMG I don't think I could ever do that! I have a minor heart attack every time I think my last hour's worth of work didn't save. But I do like your idea of being all dramatic to get over your issues quicker.

  6. Life is full of bumps, in writing and other aspects of life. That's - well, life, isn't it?

    However, I think when you have a new baby (well, that's redundant; they are all new; once they aren't new, they aren't babies anymore!), unless you have a. a dream child that sleeps through the night AND b. a sitter to give you uninterrupted time, then you have to concede that you aren't going to get as much done in a week as you did b.b. (Before Baby.) But heck, if you set a goal of a page a week even, then you are still making progress. Or editing a chapter a week. Or whatever you need for momentum. Just scale back for a while, but you still have some progress.

    That said, I'm not doing a lot. I did write a children's story (someone I know online has decided that her current husband can adopt her dd, severing ties with the bio dad, and said there weren't any books out there that addressed that sort of issue. So I wrote something. She thinks it is what she wishes she had to read to her dd, but I can't really assess a children's book as I haven't written any before.) But other than that, I am in a bit of a holding pattern. I can't juggle too many things at once; I'm just not wired that way, and I get too frenetic feeling, and do a lousy job on everything.

    So, my current status is: Finding a home (either an agent, or finally getting cover art squared away and self-publishing) for novel one and getting the rest of reader comments for novel 2 and working on revisions there.

    Nothing else. At the moment. But I hope that will change once I get one of these off my plate.

  7. Linda: You know, I CAN juggle a lot of things at once, but recently I wonder if that's such a great idea. I mean, we're SUPPOSED to be able to juggle more, but maybe it's best to focus on one or two things at once.

    Hmmm, sounds like a post...

    Good luck with finding homes for your novels.

  8. Actually, recent research has shown that we don't do any of the things well if we multi-task much. It really IS better to focus. Somewhere, someone online wrote, We can have it all, just not all at once. That really stuck with me. Different seasons, different foci, all that jazz.