How to Keep Writing When You Want to Quit
“I just can’t bring myself to do it anymore.” This came from a writer friend of mine who had found that it wasn’t the end-all be-all in her life the way it once had been. She wanted to quit. She did quit. Have you ever been there?
It happens to me all the time. Quitting is something that I am very familiar with. I started quitting things when my mother put me in Art Linkletter’s dance classes at like six years old. Just yesterday, I wanted to quit doing sit ups after five. It hurts. After the first ten, my flabby tummy asked, “Are you trying to kill me?” For a while, I heard that mournful voice with each movement.
But if it’s not exercise, it’s writing. Or it is something else equally as vocal. My evil day job, my writing career, my blog, or even my belief system. The inclination to quit comes up time after time.
And as if our own psyche telling us to quit wasn’t enough, the world is also out there with its messages at every turn saying, “give up”, “turn back”, “keep out”.
But there is something that we should think about. Meditate on, and never forget. You cannot have the success without the effort. Everything you want requires you to buckle down and get in there and throw some sweat around. You gotta work at it.
It’s sometimes easier to question my motives. If I ask myself why on earth am I in a gym doing sit ups when my flabby belly doesn’t want to, I can quickly remember that I want that flab to go away. I remember WHY I AM DOING THIS. And in so doing, I can see the goal again. I can focus on WHY and stop worrying about the thing I am enduring for now. There is a reason for this torture.
Now, having said that, I think we should examine the question about our creative side. So, why am I writing this _______? And please do not get negative with yourself. Negativism won’t work. You want to write. You want to publish. You want to have written. You want to be known for something bigger than yourself.
So, look for some reasons to keep going.
Why are you writing that______?
- Because I love it. Loving what I am doing is so important!
- Because I want to be known as a writer. It gives me a feeling of fulfillment to be known for something creative.
- Because by gum, I have something to say. The world will be a better place for my having said this.
- Because it is an innovative idea and I can enlarge upon it and make it into a series of works.
- Because I have gotten to chapter X and now I know where it is going, and this makes so much more sense now.
- Because I did a lot of research and I feel like an expert now.
- Because I want to leave a legacy to my family, my kids, my grandkids, the future.
- Because I feel that this is my talent, and the universe, the collective consciousness, God, or whoever is out there monitoring my thought life approves.
Try writing out your own list. Maybe it will become your sort of manifesto for writing. It certainly can’t hurt. I feel much better now.