IWSG: Did You Ever Just Quit?


Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting! Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post.
The awesome co-hosts for the June 7 posting of the IWSG will be JH Moncrieff, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Jen Chandler, Megan Morgan, and Heather Gardner!

So, this month’s question is Did you ever just say “I quit” to writing? If so, what made you come back?

I’m not sure I ever quit quit. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing in one form or another, and writing regularly. There are highs and lows, of course, and there are moments when I think I should just make writing my secret hobby, and go sell insurance for a living, but quitting?

No. For me, the problem isn’t quitting, so much as starting.

I’ve always written. I don’t remember not writing. I have stacks of old journals in the basement, and files and files of hand-written, spiral bound stories. I entertain myself that way. Sometimes, I understand myself that way.

The problem for me, is getting to the point where I believe in my abilities enough to make this more than a hobby. Enough to do the heavy lifting that gets you from writing for your own amusement in the back of the classroom to writing professionally, with the intention of supporting yourself.

The trick isn’t–as far as I can tell–to keep writing. It’s to keep writing for others. Others who may not be cheering you on, yet, and who are definitely going to see that plot hole, and who are definitely not going to take “Well, it exists in my head” for an answer.

I’m getting there in baby steps.

There’s the first novel you write. And that revision nearly killed me. I kept going around in circles, and you know… since I’d only written ONE novel, and since I was having massive trouble getting it revised, and I was… probably having more fun writing for myself than working on this insurmountable, clean and polish until other people can read and enjoy it thing.

I’m not really to the place where I believe that I can revise quickly and efficiently, and not want to sell insurance. The write for others for a living thing just seems soooo far away.

But my version of quit would probably be start writing whatever suits my whim, without any professional intent, rather than actually giving up writing entirely.


  1. Jen


    There is nothing wrong with writing just for yourself. In fact, I’d say that’s the best place to start! Find a story you’re passionate about, one that won’t let you go. It doesn’t matter how bizarre it is. Just write it because you love it. See how far it takes you! And guess what? When you’re finished, when you do sit and polish it up and send it out there, you may be surprised at how far it really does go!


  2. Reply

    I’m in a similar position of making writing more than a hobby and turning professional. Like you, I’m also taking it in baby steps. For a while there, the thought of turning professional took the pleasure of writing out of it. There’s a lot of pressure on writers these days, but I’ve backed away from social media in some respects and concentrated more on my writing and have found pleasure in it once again. Writing our stories and practicing our craft is what’s really important. I’m glad your persevering with it – you’ll get there!

  3. Reply

    Actually, I think writing for yourself is the only way to go. Sure, you have to revise and get the manuscript in professional form, but you want that for yourself, as well as your readers. The fact that you have a completed manuscript in revision stage shows that you’ve got the spirit. Carry on!

  4. Reply

    Nothing matters quite as much as making sure you still enjoy it. And if you always come back, you’ve definitely never quit.

  5. Martin


    Oh, I’ve quit several times. There was a stretch of about seven years when I didn’t write any fiction. The world didn’t weep. It turns out, there was no shortage of writers to take my place.

    Some people can’t quit because the’re afraid others will see it as a sign of failure. Those “others” are wrong. You don’t have to win every battle to be celebrated for having fought in the first place.

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