Monday, July 26, 2010

Quitter, Quitter, Quitter

Some days, I wonder why I ever decided to become a writer. What was I thinking? Oh wait, I know. I thought it would be easier. And probably that it would happen more quickly. And that my life would change dramatically.

Well, at least I was pretty close on that last one. My life has changed. Not in ways I ever expected, and most definitely not like I pictured, but it has definitely changed. And for the better even. So. That’s good.

But easy? Huh. Not on your life. Or in my life. Or anyone else’s either. It’s more like giving blood for a living. You go into the office, hold out your arm and tell the nurse, “Okay, hook me up.” (Ahem. The first time I gave blood—passed out cold for several minutes afterward. Have not given real blood since.)

And quick? Right. Since when has anything really, truly good happened fast? Patience is the story of my life. But I often find myself wondering if I should just give it up and go work at the gas station down the street. At least I’d have a ready supply of Dr. Pepper handy. (And chocolate. Black licorice. Gum. Yeah.)

Why do I bother? Why do I try so, so, so hard? Why do I torture myself, day after day after day?

Because I don’t know anything else. I don’t know how to quit this thing.

Because when it comes right down to it, I’m a writer through and through. And from the moment I first realized that, I’ve known deep, deep down in my innermost self that this is it for me. It’s who I am. And you can’t just stop being who you are. So. You keep going, because there’s no such thing as quitting when it comes to being who you are.

So I guess I’ll keep going. Even when it’s hard. And I’ll keep bleeding even when I want to pass out from the pressure (or lack of it). And I’ll keep writing, even when I think I suck.

When was the last time you felt like quitting? Did you try? What made you change your mind?

**Check out my review of Chocolate Roses by Joan Sowards and enter to win today!**


Bethany Mason said...

Thank you for knowing I'm not the only one. I've never really quitted writing though I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought about it over and over and over. I have stopped writing before and changed to acting but it crept back, it always creeps back so I think that even if I try to stop I'll always turn back to it because, as you say, I don't know anything else.

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

I did quit for 5 years, and it sucked. I'm glad to be back in the game, and I hope you stay back in it, too!

Angie said...

It seems like almost every day I want to quit. But then I think, what would I do with the rest of my life? Would I miss writing? Heck, yes, I'd miss it! You're right. You can't quit being who you are.

Peggy Urry said...

If I quit, I would just start some new writing project - and having that unfinished project would nag at me until I went back and finished it. Guess it's in our 'blood'.

Anonymous said...

We write because we love it. Simple as that. It's not just a hobby, and we're not in it for the money. We write because it's necessary to survival. It's like breathing.
Funny that we can compare it to something necessary to survival (like breathing) and at the same time compare it to something horrid and scarring (like giving blood). We sound crazy for loving it.
But writers are the best kind of people, so crazy's good, right?
I like to think so, anyway.
And I'm glad I stumbled onto your blog. It's fun to hear the inner workings of a fellow writer... it's amazing how similar we all really are deep down. And I'm not just talking about the crazy stuff. :)

Carolyn V. said...

Oh I feel like quitting at least once a week ('s more than that). I just don't want to regret not getting my work out there, or at least trying.

Karin said...

I quit working (some called it retired) when I didn't like the job I once loved. Because I tried to do the best I could I got the extra assignments until I was burned out. At first I was okay, then I really missed the people, the job, the... Oh, well, now I am doing so many things that I couldn't do before that I am glad that I retired :>)

LeishaMaw said...

I think about quiting when my house falls apart, and my kids need me, and when I think all my blood is gone, and when my characters are stubborn and won't do as they're told, and when ... you get the idea. But I can't. It's like breathing, but more painful. I need it to live.

Judy said...

Please don't quit. Us readers can't do without any of you!! I cannot imagine how hard it is sometimes for writers, but I guess there are ups and downs in most everything we do:) I think they call that "LIFE".


Nichole Giles said...

Wow. Just wow. I'm amazed and impressed and very touched at all your comments. It's true that writing is like breathing only more painful.

I quit every day, for like, five minutes. Then I open my computer and start again. Maybe that's why people sometimes refer to authors as tortured.

Anyway, thanks everyone. And if you have more to say, keep commenting. I love this whole sharing feelings thing.

kbrebes said...

I'm impressed at your determination to continue, Nichole. I'm looking forward to reading your book. After I came back from StoryMakers, I felt like quitting my job so I could write full-time, but I realize my job feeds into my writing, so I'm glad I didn't quit. The only thing is that now I feel more tired and stressed than ever, and I'm busier than ever!

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

Yep, you are a writer. You've got it bad, too. But so do I. I understand exactly what you're saying. When I'm not writing, I become listless and feel I have no direction in my life. Just know you're not alone. :)

Becki said...

I really could relate to this blog and always feel a sense of relief when i read how deep down the need to write goes in others. i love your insights so whatever else you write - don't quit blogging!