Monday, September 24, 2012

Does This Post Demotivate You?

 
Sometimes I think writers must indeed be crazy.

I mean, not only do we have to be weird creative types, but we have to be the type of person who's motivated by defeat.

We have to be that kid who, when someone tells him, "What you produced here is absolute crap," replies, "Okay. Now watch me do better!"

I've been blogging for about three and a half years and I've made a lot of bloggy friends during that stretch.

Some are still writing and going strong. Others have fallen off my bloggy/writing radar because they've stopped blogging or asking for critiques.

I've had critique partners who lost hope in the query trenches and moved on to other dreams. But this is what I figure: if you're living a fulfilled, creative life, why complicate it with the complexities of the publishing biz?

Nobody's standing over any of our heads with a hammer saying, "YOU MUST KEEP GOING UNTIL YOU'RE PUBLISHED, OR ELSE!"

No. We do it because want to, because we're a little bit crazy.

If we change our minds and decide this isn't as important to us as we thought it was, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Right?

Or does a decision like that always hang over our heads? Is QUIT always a four-letter word?

What kind of person are you? Do you think you'll ever give up? 

Photo credit: despair.com

22 comments:

  1. You're right. That's the hardest part for me, I always flail about for a couple days after a rejection. I compensate by soon returning to thinking how I'm awesome and soon my misunderstood genius will be realized and then there will be world peace, puppies and kittens for everyone, and someone will swing by my house just to bring me a pony.

    Creative, Stubborn, and a wee bit Delusional: that's my secret to hanging by a thread.

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  2. I definitely have had those doubting moments, but in the end, I just love it too much to quit.

    That said, this us such a long, hard road that I'd never judge anyone for choosing not to pursue it.

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  3. I don't think I'll quit. But I've only queried one novel so far. And I probably wouldn't quit totally, just maybe quit searching for agents and publishers and try self publishing. But that's a long ways off for me right now.

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  4. So far, I've never given up on a project. I've always worked hard and persevered. However, getting published is a challenge like I've never faced.
    I pray I endure till the end but sometimes I wonder...

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  5. The sad fact is, not every writer is talented. Many keep writing and sharing their work more out of habit, like a mental tick, than because they have anything interesting to say.

    So sometimes people do need to stop. It's best when they do.

    The hard part is self-awareness, knowing if you're one of those! ha.

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  6. Won't give up b/c writing makes me feel more alive.

    Oh, and cheers to being a little crazy! :D
    ~ Wendy

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  7. That is a terribly demotivating poster--LOL! Look away, Amy! :D

    As for the question, personally, I can't quit. Too much has happened, and I feel like I've come too far.

    On the other hand, if someone I know says they can't do it anymore, I say, life is too short! Live it! Find a new dream that makes you happy.

    Here's hoping the best for you in all your dreams! :o) <3

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  8. If we change our minds and decide this isn't as important to us as we thought it was, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Right?

    Right. We all have to change course in our lives at times. Deciding writing isn't for us is no more blameworthy than deciding to switch careers or majors in any other field.

    Really...the fact is that some should stop. I think it was Hemingway who said don't write unless you can't not write. For anyone who's not truly called, it's too hard a road and calls for so much immersion that it'll probably keep you from what you should do instead.

    These decisions aren't limited only to the unpublished. Getting published isn't "enduring to the end." It's a whole new beginning, and plenty of writers freak out over book TWO, because nobody wants to be a one-hit wonder, a fluke.

    Sometimes published writers have to leave and do something else, too. I almost feel sometimes that in this market that favors the debut, a writer's longevity is beginning to look like a pro football player's.

    Does this comment demotivate you? (Don't mean to be a downer! :))

    I also like the caption with the picture, Amy. Just this morning, I read this: "If everybody's special, nobody is." I think we as a society need to start getting that.

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  9. I don't think I can ever give up. I find too much joy in writing. I'm trying to remember that joy and not worry about the business of it. But it's hard.

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  10. It's Catch 22, the greatest catch of all. If you give up, you're a good writer. If you carry on, you're a bad writer. But if you give up, you'll never know if you were good. And if you carry on, you'll never be a great writer.

    None of what I just said made any sense. Maybe it's time to quit.

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  11. For some, it's quitting... but for others, it might just be realizing that what they wanted at one point isn't what they want now, and that's okay too. lol Or sometimes "what they want" doesn't fit into everyone else's expectations of what's okay.

    Please excuse me while I just transfer-dump my issues on you. LOL

    For me, I blog six days a week... because I really really like it. And despite my mom's insistence that I write a book, I have eventually come to realize that I don't really want to. A book isn't important to me, but that doesn't mean that writing isn't important to me. It just isn't the format that keeps me going.

    And in a world where blogging has become little more than a tool to build platform, it took me awhile to realize that it was perfectly okay to be who I am and do what I want to do and be happy doing it.

    Jo
    In Which We Start Anew

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  12. Quitting is definitely part of my world. I quit being a scientist. I quit being an atheist. But I doubt I'll quit being a writer ... I may quit seeking publication, but those are two different things. Nothing wrong with quitting at all.

    By the way, starfish can move ... slowly.

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  13. I can't stand the thought of quitting, but am also afraid of failing...it is a combination that just leaves me in the muck needed a rope to get out!

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  14. I hope I never give up! So yes, I must be a little bit crazy. :)

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  15. You're definitely voicing some of my own thoughts there, Amy. I remember doing bloghops and wondering how many writers would "fall off the wagon," so to speak. I don't think that many have, but I started a new blogspot so I lost track of many of them. Then I "came out" as a Christian fiction writer, and I lost some that way.

    I'm glad we're still hanging in there. I know you have important stories to tell. Keep it up!

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  16. I've been blogging the same length of time as you and I have seen exactly the same. I always feel a slight twinge of regret for the person who no longer tries to follow their dream because it got too hard.

    As for me, I'm glad I stuck it out. I've had more success this year than in any other.

    You have to work hard, really hard, for a damn long time in this business.

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  17. I can't imagine ever giving up - I've got way too much invested in this now.

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  18. There's definitely nothing wrong with that.

    Back at the beginning of the year, I was seriously considering taking a step back from all of the querying/trying to get published and just writing to write again. At first, the idea repulsed me--I've NEVER been a quitter--but then I realized it wasn't so much quitting as it was reevaluating. You have to do whatever makes you happy, and if trying to get published isn't making you happy, then putting that goal on the back burner actually makes a lot of SANE, RATIONAL, HEALTHY sense.

    Of course, if you decide you want to try again at some point down the road, then you pull that dream off the back burner and turn up the heat. But if you never come back to it, that's okay, too. There's no one way to live life.

    *clambers down from soapbox*

    P.S. But for the record, you know how I feel about you and your writing:)

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  19. I won't give up. The voices in my head won't let me ;)

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  20. I was just thinking about this! You put it very well.
    We'll all be glad for being crazy in the end, I think! :)

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  21. I've been tempted to give up several times but I haven't given in yet. I don't want to.

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  22. I'm in for the long haul, whether anyone else wants to read it or not. Writing is good for my mind in the same way that exercise is good for my body.

    And there is this delusional part of me that thinks I can make a difference by writing. In reality, I probably make more of a difference by teaching my students how to read and be nice to each other.

    You do what's best for you, but I'm a fan.

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