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RG570
12-07-2009, 12:57 AM
Either for good, or an undefined period of time . . .

Has anyone here quit? If and when you return to writing, is it like starting over again, or does is it all still there?

I'm just finding writing to be a huge drain and it's actually deeply affected life outside of it, and now it's time to stop, but I also don't want it all to be for nothing. Like somehow if I could start again years later and still be as good as I am now, it wouldn't feel like such a waste.

Anyway, I'm not sure what the point of this is, since it's not really because I'm dejected by rejection, just unable to dedicate myself as I have been . . .

Kinda weird, envisioning life without that "writer" label.

Seaclusion
12-07-2009, 01:01 AM
I've quit dozens of times. In fact I should be writing right now and am instead here. Kinda like a mini-quit. Don't know when I'll start again.

I've found that I improve after a break. I go over my previous work and find things (many things) that I don't like and can be improved. Then I set out to improve them.


Richard

wannawrite
12-07-2009, 01:02 AM
Funny you should ask. Just last night I had a conversation with my daughter in which I told her about a few of the story idea that I'd been thinking of writing. I was upset because, even if I write every day for the rest of my life, I will never get a chance to get them all written.

Then...I remembered that I had spent YEARS away from writing. From the time I was 18, I've taken time off now and again. But I always come back to it with a deep sense of regret that I wasted so much time that I could have spent writing, instead.

My advice? Just slow down a little. Don't completely quit. Schedule a couple of hours or an afternoon a week, just to write or do research. It's not hard to get back on the bike in terms of writing, but this industry is changing so fast right now, it makes my head spin. You will be light years behind when you do eventually come back (like I was) if you don't at least leave a toe in the pool.

nitaworm
12-07-2009, 01:52 AM
Why quit without a fight. Figure out a new direction for your writing goals. Start to think outside of the box. Take a break from novels and write short stories on your blog. Print out the stories you've written and give them as christmas gifts or donations - just don't waste a good story.

Good luck

Jamesaritchie
12-07-2009, 08:43 PM
No experience is ever for nothing. No experience is ever a waste. Any experience can always be useful in other areas of life.

Quitting is often the smartes thing any person can do. "Never, ever stop" is probably the dumbest advice out there.

When someting no longer brings pleasure, it's time to stop. When something begins to affect family or work life in a negative way, it's time to stop. When you realize that whatevr you;re doing is never going to work out, and for at least 99% of those who try writing, it never will, it's time to stop.

There are simply too many other things to do, too many other things that are pleasurable, that can work out, that won't affect your life in a negative way.

I'd try taking a break first, you may simply be burnt out, but when and if you do come back, it won't be the same, and if it still isn't fun, or if it's still affecting you life in a negative way, don't be afraid to stop forever.

Being stubborn can be good, but too much stubborn applied for too long is just being stupid, and every year that passes gives you one less year to find something else to do that is rewarding, fun, and that you can be highly successful doing.

kuatolives
12-07-2009, 08:54 PM
Another thing to try is just scaling back a bit. Instead of grinding out self imposed deadlines and feeling the frustration of sans success, just do an hour here, an hour there, no pressure. You might find writing less of a drain if you don't take it so seriously.

RG570
12-07-2009, 10:41 PM
about a million and a half words in around four years . . . I have a hard time not taking writing too seriously.

Maybe that will change after having an actual life for a while. And it probably wouldn't kill me to focus any spare time on actually selling what I wrote instead of making more that I'm too afraid to really push. Can't really complain about the rejection aspect if you give up on a novel after like ten rejections or less, I guess.

But yes, to continue at this intensity would be incredibly stupid.

Lyra Jean
12-07-2009, 11:05 PM
When I was in college, working, and planning my wedding I stopped writing because I didn't even have time for myself. I didn't start again until recently. Of course I am not making any money on my writing so if you aren't depending upon it for income there isn't anything wrong with quitting for awhile or forever.

Shadow_Ferret
12-07-2009, 11:16 PM
I quit for several years after my first son was born.

When I came back to writing, I felt refreshed and revitalized. It's like riding a bike.

And I take mini-breaks every now and again. I come back ready to write, and as Seaclusion said, improved.

Jamesaritchie
12-08-2009, 12:17 AM
about a million and a half words in around four years . . . I have a hard time not taking writing too seriously.

Maybe that will change after having an actual life for a while. And it probably wouldn't kill me to focus any spare time on actually selling what I wrote instead of making more that I'm too afraid to really push. Can't really complain about the rejection aspect if you give up on a novel after like ten rejections or less, I guess.

But yes, to continue at this intensity would be incredibly stupid.

It's more about how many hours you put in, than about how many words you write. It's more about how much of your life outside of writing you ignore, be it work, friends, and family, than it is about what you do in writing.

Life is about balance, and it's about priorities. Writing is one top lousy priority.

I do believe it's good and wise and smart to write at least a little bit almost every day, but just how much depends on all else going on around you.

I will say that we're all different. I've had to take two forced exits from writing, and for me, it was nothing at all like riding a bike. It was like starting over from scratch. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but that's how it was for me. I know writers who can't even take three days off without feeling like they're starting over.

But there isn't a damned thing wrong with quitting, whether for weeks, months, years, or forever. A lot more lives have been wasted from trying too long and too hard than from giving up early.

Wayne K
12-08-2009, 12:19 AM
I don't have anything else to do. I'm hoping that writing doesn't quit me somehow.

Jamesaritchie
12-08-2009, 08:13 PM
I don't have anything else to do. I'm hoping that writing doesn't quit me somehow.


There's always something else to do. Usually a couple of hundred things. You just have to go find them.

RG570
12-08-2009, 08:18 PM
Haha, no doubt. That's why I'm having to stop.

Too many other things that are a lot better, profitable, and socially engaging . . .

kuatolives
12-08-2009, 09:19 PM
Just dont play warcraft instead.

michellek
12-12-2009, 06:09 AM
Either for good, or an undefined period of time . . .

Has anyone here quit? If and when you return to writing, is it like starting over again, or does is it all still there?

I'm just finding writing to be a huge drain and it's actually deeply affected life outside of it, and now it's time to stop, but I also don't want it all to be for nothing. Like somehow if I could start again years later and still be as good as I am now, it wouldn't feel like such a waste.

Anyway, I'm not sure what the point of this is, since it's not really because I'm dejected by rejection, just unable to dedicate myself as I have been . . .

Kinda weird, envisioning life without that "writer" label.

Don't give up

Keep on writing

Don't take rejections to the heart

ania
12-12-2009, 06:48 AM
I quit for 3 years after my first child was born. I don't remember how I quit, but suddenly I wan't writing anymore. Then I learned about nanowrimo, and I jumped back in, and after spitting out the 50K words, I started writing flash fiction, and I think I was back to my previous form, if not stronger.

I think if you remain a mindfull reader, a break can be good.

ania
12-12-2009, 06:49 AM
I quit for several years after my first son was born.

When I came back to writing, I felt refreshed and revitalized. It's like riding a bike.

And I take mini-breaks every now and again. I come back ready to write, and as Seaclusion said, improved.

Yes, exactly my experience, I just posted about it, and then read yours.

creamofmushroom
12-12-2009, 09:15 AM
Don't quit!
But take a break. You'll come back more motivated, fresh and with new ideas

:hugs:

Jamesaritchie
12-13-2009, 04:34 AM
Don't quit!
But take a break. You'll come back more motivated, fresh and with new ideas

:hugs:

Or you'll get really lucky and find something else you can do better. Or realize you are never, ever going to be any good at writing, and not come back at all.

icerose
12-13-2009, 04:57 AM
I think you're facing a deeply person decision that only you can make. And no one can justify or criticize. It's all on your shoulders because writing is a very internal process.

It's all about assessing your priorities and finding out what's important to you. Writing is just too dang hard to do it for no other reason than aiming for the slim chance of succeeding.