I was going to write a blog post about how to keep going in this (sometimes) punishing game of pursuing publication, but my friend Adam Heine beat me to it, and did a better job with his post 5 Secrets to Keep in the Game. So check his blog first, then read on.
Sometimes I get frustrated. Which is truly ridiculous because I’ve had nothing but crazy good luck. But frustration is part of this game. It’s hard work, and a long haul, and there are lots of pits to fall in along the way. This is not a normal job, where you’re paid for your time and talents, get vacations and benefits, and maybe even an “atta girl” every so often.Writing is unlike any job I’ve ever had, both a hundred times more satisfying and a thousand times more frustrating.
There may be good reasons to stop writing. Things like personal health and family issues. Contrary to these Top 10 Reasons to Quit Writing, butting heads with the Frustration Monster is rarely a good reason to quit.
I’m always inspired by reading about long-time authors that have the same struggles that I do: frustration with the craft itself, struggles with the industry, difficulty with reviewers/critiques. In hopes of inspiring you to keep on the path, I’m sharing my personal …
10 Reasons to NOT Quit Writing and Why*
*Yes, these all happened to me.
#1 You’ve just gotten a devastating critique that left your heart in shreds.
Why: Anything that wounds you that bad is not helping you become a better writer. Leave it behind and move forward.
#2 You’re afraid that someone will actually read your novel, and hate it.
Why: For every person that hates your story, there will be one (or many more) that love it.
#3 You get back a critique that finds a fatal flaw in your story destined to kill the entire novel’s reason for being.
Why: That critique will make you a better writer.
#4 Re-reading your first attempts at fiction make you want to either gouge your eyes out or invent a time machine to go back and disable your computer.
Why: It’s not the flaws in your old work you have to worry about; it’s the flaws in what you’re typing now that you need to work on.
#5 You read about a writer who got representation after sending out 100 queries and you’re not sure you can live through 99 rejections.
Why: You won’t know if they want your story unless you ask.
#6 You read a famous author’s book in your genre and you panic, thinking there’s no way you can ever measure up to that and it might be a good idea to quit now so no one is disappointed.
Why: That author didn’t get there by giving up before they got started.
#7 You read a post on the interwebs about how your genre is dead, has been in the doldrums for decades, and you have as much chance of publishing in that genre as being hit by an asteroid.
Why: Genres are dead until someone writes something fabulous. And then they’re called “trends.”
#8 You read a post on the interwebs about how your genre is hot, hot, hot – so hot in fact that it’s already burning itself out and your MS isn’t complete yet.
Why: Half of all you read on the internet is wrong.
#9 You don’t know if you can possibly survive another revision of your MS.
Why: Having faith in your story will help you grow as a writer in ways you never expected.
#10 You find a movie on the Blockbuster shelf that has THE EXACT PLOT of your novel.
Why: You are unique, and your version of that story will never be the same as someone else’s.
I’m sure I’ll find a lot more reasons to not quit along the way, because I’m not giving up any time soon.
What reason do you have for NOT quitting?
Please excuse me while I go put my butt in a chair …