Thursday, July 8, 2010

Abandoning Writing

Have you ever become so frustrated with throwing yourself at the brick walls that constitute agents and publishers whilst yelling, “Let me in, let me in. I deserve to be on the other side of this wall. After all, I’ve done everything you’ve said to do,

  • I’ve written a 86,000 word novel,
  • my punctuation is excellent,
  • my grammar impeccable,
  • I’ve deleted nearly all the adverbs,
  • I’ve even deleted conversation tags,
  • my characters are interesting,
  • they are three dimensional,
  • my plot is interestingly complex,
  • it is is not over done,
  • my query letter was exactly what you asked for on your web site,
  • my query letter had the hook, book, cook components in it.”

Still they ignore you.

Add Image

Certainly no writer worth her salt would abandon writing, like some abandoned toy, after one rejection or, indeed, after a dozen rejections. But what about after the 20th? Or 30th? Or 50th? At what point, in the agent rejection game do you sit down and seriously consider what you want to do? Keep banging your head against the walls or move on.

At what point do you (or, indeed, will you) set your favorite writing pen (metaphorically speaking, of course) aside and say, I can’t (won’t) do this any more? Is that an option for you? How much frustration will it take for you to stop writing?

Have you ever thought about giving up? I mean really, really thought about not writing any more? What does that feel like? Does the thought of not writing any more make you queasy? Give you a headache?

Does the thought of not writing fill you with dread? Especially after you ask how you will fill the void created by not writing? What will you do with all those hours you now spend writing? Is it a freeing experience?

Do you tell yourself that you’ll have more time

  • to read and perhaps reduce that towering pile of books you promised yourself to read,
  • to spend with your family and friends,
  • to watch the television programs your friends are into,
  • to exercise,
  • to just sit and enjoy the silence,
  • and a thousand more things that you never really wanted to do before you quit writing.

Will you ever quit writing even if you never get published? Have you set a time specific? For instance, if I’m not published by the time I’m 40, I’ll quit. Have you added another year or two with each passing year? Will you still be saying, “If I’m not published by the time I’m 70, I’ll quit?” Does putting an age limit on it make the decision to quit writing easier or harder than saying I’ll continue to write until I’m published?

I wonder if the time comes in every non-published writer’s life when he asks, “Should I continue?” How many writers, some quite good, have we lost? How many writers have abandoned their dream of becoming a published author?

No comments:

Post a Comment