Authors Answer 66 – The Urge to Quit Writing

I quit.

No, just kidding. Some authors may feel like quitting from time to time. Writing can be difficult. The rejections from publishers can become too much. The lack of sales can discourage an author. And if someone gets overwhelmingly negative reviews, that could cause an author to quit. But have we thought about it?

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 66 – Have you ever wanted to quit writing?

Allen Tiffany

I did quit for about 15 years. It was not so much that I wanted to so much as life got in the way. There was a lot of good stuff going on in those 15 years that kept me excited and engaged (and busy), so writing just faded way, way back. Two years ago, while I was grossly under challenged by a job that only kept me busy 6 hours a day, I started writing again. There has just been an explosion of words hitting pages ever since, even as a new job is pushing me hard.

H. Anthe Davis

The temptation is always there, particularly in times like now, where I’m struggling through the first draft of a story.  Or when I’m bogged down in endless edits and rewrites, or when I’m eyeing my sales statistics, or…  Well, the point is, there are many, many, many easier things I could be doing with my time, but when I’ve actually tried to walk away, I may get some brief relief…until the story-ideas and characters start plaguing me.  If I ignored them for long enough, I’m sure the urge would eventually fade, and with it the skill; whenever I take a long pause from writing, I get this quiet fear that I’ve forgotten how to do it.  But I’ve worked too hard to reach this level, and I owe it to the characters to tell their stories — because they feel like people to me, and I’m their only outlet to the world.

So yeah, I could stop at any time if not for the voices in my head.  >_>

Jean Davis

I’ve never wanted to quit writing, but having babies did put writing on hold for a while. It’s hard to be creative when you’re utterly exhausted. I find writing relaxing and enjoyable. Even the editing. The only part of writing I’ve ever wanted to quit was the waiting to hear on submissions.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

Oh, absolutely. See, like many writers, I have to deal with this little brain sucking vampire called “a day job”,  and between it, family, being a mother, and all that other good stuff, time is a very limited commodity. Then you add in all the extra things you pretty much have to do in order to be a writer – blogging, marketing yourself, etc. – and there are definitely times when I want to throw up my hands and say “Screw this!” It’s exhausting, it’s regularly quite discouraging, and you can often feel like you’re getting absolutely nowhere at the slowest possible pace known to mankind.

Unfortunately I love it too much to quit. Even when I’ve been at my absolute lowest and couldn’t find a second in the day to breathe, let alone write, I just can’t quit. If I’m away for it for too long I start to get antsy and depressed. It’s too much a part of who I am.

Paul B. Spence

I have moments of despair/weakness. I expect most writers do. Those moments are fleeting. I could never stop writing; I have too many stories left to tell.

S. R. Carrillo

Never not ever. It’s in my blood. It’s part of me – a huge part.

Elizabeth Rhodes

I’ve never wanted to quit completely, but there have been stretches of time where I lost the will to write anything new or continue projects. The difference is that I’ve never said “never,” but “not now.”

Linda G. Hill

… I don’t understand the question. Haha. But seriously, I don’t think writing, for me, is a choice to begin with. It’s part of who I am, like the colour of my eyes and the size of my feet. I wouldn’t be able to stop even if I went blind and all the paper and pencils and keyboards in the world disappeared – I’d still be making up stories in my head.

Gregory S. Close

I’ve never wanted to quit writing permanently, but I think every writer has had his/her moment of frustration, futility and doubt that brings that question into sharp focus.  Should I keep at it?  Is it worth it?  Am I good enough?

Sometimes circumstances have forced long breaks in production, but my desire to write has only gotten stronger since my first novel was published.

To borrow a quote from Gloria Steinem, “Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.”

Eric Wood

I’ve never really considered myself a writer, so to speak. I’ll write a story here and there and I only started blogging consistently a year ago. I may not write for a day or for a week, but it never lasts. I’m always back at it. Or at least thinking of more things write. I’ve taken time off, but never really quit.

D. T. Nova

No.

I’ve been writing various stories in different ways for a lot longer than I’ve been thinking of myself as “a writer”, and at no point have I ever thought “I don’t want to do this again”.

Jay Dee Archer

I’ve never wanted to quit. I’ve had lengthy breaks, though. In fact, when I first developed Ariadne, I’d planned the story, but never wrote anything until the last three years. And even now, I’m on hiatus due to lack of privacy, lack of time, and abundance of child.

I don’t think I ever want to quit writing. I have four novel series, two science fiction, two fantasy, that are stuck in my head trying to get out. You’re going to see a lot of writing from me pretty soon.

How about you?

Have any of you authors wanted to quit writing? How about bloggers? Did you ever want to click on delete and end the blog? Let us know in the comments below.

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28 thoughts on “Authors Answer 66 – The Urge to Quit Writing”

  1. One of the reasons I started blogging is the rejection factor. I got many compliments from fiction editors, but only one acceptance… a piece on the 1942 film “Ghost of Frankenstein”. Now I blog about old films, and things are going well!

  2. Writing itself, no…though I had to back away from it about ten years ago when I had all kinds of personal stuff going on in a short amount of time, which essentially burned me out. I pretty much had to completely change my writing habits and styles multiple times before I could get back into the groove, and that took quite a long time. I wrote a LOT of stuff that was pretty much all trunked. Not that they were horrible ideas…they were just weak. I was writing mainly to keep the blood pumping.

    The weird thing is that that time also corresponds with my disconnect with music as well. There’s a stretch between 2005 and 2009 where I can’t really think of any songs/albums that completely blew me away unless I actively look into it. It wasn’t until our last move to a new apartment in late ’09 that I finally realigned with everything!

    1. Sometimes a move can make all the difference. That’s happening with me in late March. I hope that I will feel the urge to write strongly. I actually feel the urge now, but I just don’t have the privacy or a comfortable enough place to do my writing.

  3. I DID quit writing for about 10 years. That wasn’t about writing, specifically, though — I quit just about everything I’d been doing with my life before that. I came back to it because the effort required NOT to write was too great.

  4. Nope to blogging. I’ve made the effort to write as much as possible even if that means thinking about posts a couple of days out and writing them to schedule post. Sometimes you need a break and I get that, but don’t make it too long and for God sake’s please notify your readers that you are taking a break so that they aren’t surprised.

    1. I agree. I’m taking a break in early spring for my family’s move halfway around the world. But I may just manage to make several blog posts during that time.

  5. I’ve never actually quit…I’ve had times of thinking I may as well, because the process didn’t seem to produce what I liked, or I worried not “enough” other people liked my style, views, ideas. Blogging was something I honestly never thought about doing until recently. Once I did, it was terrifying, and took a while for me to really find my stride, and get into a community that I felt comfortable in, sharing myself.

    As far as fiction writing, sometimes it’s been very slowgoing because of children, a job outside of the home, going back to college, etc. Sometimes just plain lack of fresh ideas was my roadblock. I felt, deep down, that completely quitting, never trying to write again, would have been like kicking myself in the teeth (literally, for a pain reference).

    Good luck to you on your current and forthcoming projects!!

    1. Thanks. I don’t think many people actually quit. They’re always thinking like writers. Even though I haven’t been writing recently, I know that I’m always thinking of what to write in a story. It never stops.

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