Our first Dear Susan post of the year. Joy sent me this e-mail…
I’ve been writing for five years, sent out what seems like lots of stories. I know I’ve been close to getting published a few times but it doesn’t seem like it’s ever going to happen. Any advice about when I should call it a day…does an aspiring writer ever know when it’s time to stop writing?
This was another one of the been there, felt that questions. I can’t tell you how many times I thought, okay if this one comes back with a rejection letter, that’s it, I’m done. Then I’d think, maybe the next one and the next one and so on.
The only time I really thought about giving up the dream of being a writer was when I went through the I can’t write anymore drought after my dad passed away. I think that was more down to grief and depression than the actual writing and rejection cycle that often wears you down.
Before you make the drastic decision to quit, ask yourself what’s your why?
Why do you want to be a writer? Why do you want to write a book?
If it’s something that’s in your heart. If it’s something that still excites you each time you sit down to write, or if it’s something that you know would leave an empty void in your heart, then the answer is simple. It’s never time to quit.
If, on the other hand, you started writing because you couldn’t find another hobby or outlet for your creativity. Maybe you thought telling people you were an author would be a great conversation starter at the next office party and nothing more, then it probably is time to call it a day.
Writing and getting published is not for the faint of heart. You’re going to get rejected, you’re going to have days when you want to burn all your stories. The days when you convince yourself you’re not as good as so and so who’s on the bestseller list.
Guess what? They had those days and moments too. If I was to ask them if they ever thought of quitting, most of them would tell me, yes.
If I was to ask them why they didn’t, the answer would be simple and this is my response to Joy.
In my heart I’m a writer, and no matter what the outcome, I’ll always be one.