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justpat
06-09-2007, 07:04 PM
I've been a struggling writer for over two decades now (ever since High School), but recently discovered a new past-time which is making me think I've been going in the wrong direction all these years.

When I sit down to write, it's really hard work and I have to force myself to do it every day. Recently I discovered how much I enjoy creating websites, and began to realize something. When I'm programming, the time flies by. I forget to eat or sleep. I've gone all night without even realizing it, something I could never do writing fiction. And the final results are, in my opinion, hugely better than any novel I ever wrote.

This has been bothering me a lot lately, ever since I created the QueryTracker.net (http://QueryTracker.net) website.

So, what do I do? I know it's not easy for you to answer such a question, but any ideas? Anyone else go through something like this before? Am I having a mid-life crisis? I don't feel a need to buy a Corvette.

scarletpeaches
06-09-2007, 07:27 PM
All I can do is answer from personal experience. I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that writing is my favourite thing in the world. I can't imagine not writing.

So ask yourself this - how would you feel if you looked into the future and imagined never writing again?

If it's a possibility, or not scary or disappointing, then...I think that says it all.

For me, even with my imagination, a future without writing in it is an impossibility.

Jamesaritchie
06-09-2007, 07:31 PM
I believe life is short, and I believe we should all do whatever it is that makes us happiest. I don't think it's ever about quitting. It's about trying different things until you find the one that makes you happy.

Sandy J
06-09-2007, 07:32 PM
When I sit down to write, it's really hard work and I have to force myself to do it every day. Recently I discovered how much I enjoy creating websites, and began to realize something. When I'm programming, the time flies by. I forget to eat or sleep. I've gone all night without even realizing it, something I could never do writing fiction. And the final results are, in my opinion, hugely better than any novel I ever wrote.

I cannot imagine a day without writing or planning plot or thinking about scenes, but, then again, I'm still new to the craft. If you feel so wonderful about web design, go for it. That doesn't mean you have to stop writing. Not by a long shot. But life's too short not to do what makes you happy.

Sassenach
06-09-2007, 07:34 PM
Why would the opinions of disembodied strangers matter? If it's something valuable to you, you'll continue. If not, you'll find something else to do. But we can't tell you what to do.

veinglory
06-09-2007, 07:39 PM
I don't like writing all the time, it comes and goes.

Azure Skye
06-09-2007, 07:41 PM
Can't you do both?

triceretops
06-09-2007, 07:41 PM
justpat...this is a truly tough, unforgiving business. So I have to tell you how I got through it. I got mad. I got conceited. I had thoughts of revenge, and knew that they (editors/agents) were wrong, nay, everybody was wrong and it wasn't me. I really had to convince myself that I could and would be a lot better writer. I gave myself such a shot of ego, I overdosed. It's the mindset that has to endure. I can't tell you how many times in the past 27 years I've given up, sold my computers, and busted my pens. I lost ten novels in a fire (with no backup) and didn't even care. I think the ones who make it are the ones who stay aboard for the very long haul. Here...I wrote you something:

A writer is...

A humble, receptive student and negotiator
But the heart that beats within his breast
Is a determined savage
Who is unfamiliar with surrender

BTW, I like your Query Tracker very much.

Tri

Andre_Laurent
06-09-2007, 07:49 PM
I'm a programmer...I hate it...it bores me to tears....it's work. I love to write...every day...as much of the day as I can give it. I have found what I want to do with my life. Sometimes you follow a path then realize it isn't the right one. Do the one that makes you happy. You aren't having a mid-life crisis, you've found something you like more, that's all.

veinglory
06-09-2007, 07:52 PM
Also bear in mind that new activities have the novel 'zing' but then they also become more routine.

The_Grand_Duchess
06-09-2007, 07:52 PM
I ask why you can't do both as well. Prehaps you just needed a break. Concentrating on programming is new and fun for you, prehaps you'll look back at your writing with fresh eyes after some time programing :)

nevada
06-09-2007, 07:54 PM
I'll be the one to say it. Yes. Life is too short to waste it on things that don't make you happy. Design websites. It's something that requires great skill and there are lots of websites out there that are horrible. Follow your bliss (i know, it's so touchy feely) and do what makes you happy. Stop writing completely. If you really are meant to be a writer you'll come back to it. I did. If you're not, you'll be able to move on without regrets and go to something that truly makes you happy and will give you the rewards and satisfaction that are not coming from writing.

It's not about quitting. It's about re-examining your options and repositioning yourself to take advantage of what has come your way. Opportunity's knocking, answer the door.

joyce
06-09-2007, 07:54 PM
I've been writing a long, long while now, but it's only in the past year I've tried doing it seriously. I'm a firm advocate of a person doing what makes them happy in life. Can't you do both? I mean if you like writing, put down the pens for a little bit and do the computer thing if that's what makes you happiest at this moment. It's not like you never have to write again. Sometimes I find taking a break to get fresh ideas flowing helps me. Follow your heart.....make yourself happy in whatever it is. Good luck.

ChaosTitan
06-09-2007, 08:04 PM
I'm with JAR and nevada on this. It isn't about quitting. It's about finding what makes you happy.

Plugging away at writing even when you know it frustrates/angers you is like watching a movie you know you're going to hate: what's the point when there are other things that will you will enjoy more?

Cav Guy
06-09-2007, 08:05 PM
Go with what makes you feel the best. No matter what some might tell you, writing isn't the be all and end all for everyone. I toss up between writing and a couple of other activities on a weekly basis. You can always do both, but just because you stop writing to devote time to something that makes you feel good doesn't mean that you "quit writing." Like most other things, you can always go back to it whenever you feel like it.

Too often people want to frame these things as an "either-or" choice when in fact they are not. It's more of an "if-then-else" thing, to use some old Basic lines. If web design makes you feel good, then do it, or else go back to writing for a time, then go back to web design.

There is a great need for folks who can design a clean, clear web site that lets people find things on it (if you don't believe this, go look at just about any university's web site...they are testimonials to poor design and organization, IMO). But if the urge strikes you to write something, just do that, too. It can become a hobby as opposed to a living or calling. Nothing wrong with that at all.

Lady Cat
06-09-2007, 08:09 PM
I've been writing off an on for probably 3 decades now. I've finished about a dozen short stories but never published - which is not the fault of the stories, I'm just lazy when it comes to pursuing the changing markets. I have several novels in various stages of completion, and only one is close to being done.

I've set my writing aside, decided I don't have what it takes to be a writer, and given up completely more times than I can count. But I always come back to it.

I also got into web design and I agree, it can be totally consuming. And I did it the hard way too, in HTML coding instead of using a web design program. It was so cool when you'd struggle with a code and it would finally work.

But I'd always come back to the writing. It's only been in the last year or two that I've finally taken myself seriously as a writer. I like to write. I love the creative process, creating characters and getting them in and out of trouble.

If web design gives you that much pleasure and satisfaction, by all means persue it. But don't give up on your writing.

Dancre
06-09-2007, 08:18 PM
I've been a struggling writer for over two decades now (ever since High School), but recently discovered a new past-time which is making me think I've been going in the wrong direction all these years.

When I sit down to write, it's really hard work and I have to force myself to do it every day. Recently I discovered how much I enjoy creating websites, and began to realize something. When I'm programming, the time flies by. I forget to eat or sleep. I've gone all night without even realizing it, something I could never do writing fiction. And the final results are, in my opinion, hugely better than any novel I ever wrote.

This has been bothering me a lot lately, ever since I created the QueryTracker.net (http://QueryTracker.net) website.

So, what do I do? I know it's not easy for you to answer such a question, but any ideas? Anyone else go through something like this before? Am I having a mid-life crisis? I don't feel a need to buy a Corvette.

Dr Phil says, are you doing what you're doing b/c you enjoy it or b/c you were doing it yesterday?

If you don't enjoy writing, then maybe you should just do it as a hobby or drop it? If you enjoy doing websites, then do them. It's ok to do what you enjoy. And if it's not writing, then that's ok also. I give you permission to do what you enjoy, LOL!!!

kim

Sofie
06-09-2007, 09:07 PM
I absolutely hate writing. It's a chore and a pain. I love painting, singing and dancing - like you described web design, these are activities that really make me happy and time just flies by when I do them.

However, I can't imagine myself being anything other than a writer. No matter how hard it is, it's what I want to do more than anything else in the world. Yeah, that's right - it's the thing I hate the most and the thing I love the most at the same time.

So my advice to you would be to just search your soul basically.. find out what you really want to do (not what's the most fun - there's a huge difference! Dancing is fun when I do it, but writing is what makes me happy in the long run.) and then go for it. Keep in mind that these things change, too - a couple of years ago writing was like "walking on clouds" to me. I imagine (fingers crossed!) that feeling will return to me eventually.

Anne Lyle
06-09-2007, 09:09 PM
I would like to second the feedback so far, and offer an additional thought from my own experience.

I write web applications for a living - and I also maintain my own website (which can, admittedly, be a distraction from writing fiction). What you have to realise is that writing code is creative, too. Designing a good web application requires a lot of the same skills as writing prose: understanding and empathising with your audience, an appreciation of structure and information flow, the ability to communicate clearly and concisely. Perhaps you were initially drawn to writing because you didn't know of any other outlet for these talents?

See where this new road takes you. If you still want to write novels in six months' - or six years' - time, the words and stories will still be there. Just enjoy yourself!

Scrawler
06-09-2007, 09:12 PM
When I sit down to write, it's really hard work and I have to force myself to do it every day.
Me too. I was hoping one day I'd sit out on the terrace and write flowing prose while sipping a class of chardonnay, but no. It's really hard work. Still. Huh.

Rich
06-09-2007, 09:15 PM
"Writing" has too much magic attached to it.

Namatu
06-09-2007, 09:24 PM
Do what you enjoy doing. There's nothing that says you can't stop writing and come back to it later if that's what you want to do. There's nothing that says that a writer is someone who writes every day or even every week or every month.

We have enough obligations in life. Spend your leisure time doing the things that give you enjoyment.

larocca
06-09-2007, 09:25 PM
I'm the guy who pursued writing during high school and for quite a while after, then left it for 15 years, then exploded onto the scene with EPPIE finalists and successes, and haven't written fiction in 7 years.

So, you can probably guess that I'm going with the consensus here. Follow your heart. If you have something you must say in your writing, you'll write it. If not, why bother? I do also enjoy writing a good website myself, despite lacking your ability, so go for it.

And yep, I agree with the consensus again when noting you can do both. And even a bit of underwater basket weaving if it floats your boat. (That's not a mixed metaphor but it's still painful...)

swvaughn
06-09-2007, 09:26 PM
"Writing" has too much magic attached to it.

Too much magic for what? To do it, or to not do it?

I agree that writing seems magical -- that is the attraction for many, the ability to create something from nothing.

I am not knocking your theory... I am merely intrigued. Care to expound?

alisarish
06-09-2007, 09:26 PM
Yes, I'll also suggest you take a break.

Rich
06-09-2007, 09:50 PM
I'm fermished. Should I expound or take a break?

Siddow
06-09-2007, 10:10 PM
Expound until you break, maybe?

Rich
06-09-2007, 10:22 PM
Considering the last two posts, I prefer breaking before I expound.

Jamesaritchie
06-09-2007, 10:23 PM
Ever hear the saying "Everyone wants to go to heaven, but no one wants to die?"

Seems this fits a lot of writers. "Everyone wants to be a writer, but not many actually want to write."

Just go with whatever makes you happy. If you don't like the journey, the destination probably won't please you, either.

JoNightshade
06-09-2007, 10:24 PM
I always think of the advice given to me by my seventh grade math teacher: Don't ever settle for money. Do what you love.

If you love writing, then write. If you love programming, program. If you love painting, then paint. And whatever you do, do your best.

Oh, and incidentally, I'm a writer, and my husband is a programmer. Guess who pays the bills? (Hint: not me!)

allenparker
06-09-2007, 10:25 PM
I write because I can't stop the voices in my head. I write because I want to live. If I stop writing, I stop living.

If you write because you like the idea of being a writer, hang out here and get your fix mingling. If you write because you love the world and want to believe the world would be better with more writers, then stay at it.

If you find that creating websites is what lets you live, do that. If there is time afterward, write.

Don't take my advice. I hear the voices in my head...

Andre_Laurent
06-09-2007, 10:33 PM
Oh, and incidentally, I'm a writer, and my husband is a programmer. Guess who pays the bills? (Hint: not me!)
Which is why I'm still a programmer...haven't made a penny writing, LOL.

detante
06-09-2007, 10:43 PM
If you can quit writing, then for the love of all that is good and green, wash your hands of the disgusting habit and never look back. There is simply not enough of an upside to continue writing unless you absolutely want or need to do it.

SpookyWriter
06-09-2007, 10:43 PM
Which is why I'm still a programmer...haven't made a penny writing, LOL.I love both programming and writing. Since I make good money as a programmer I can't find the incentive to become a poorly paid professional novelist.

Carrie in PA
06-09-2007, 10:52 PM
I write as a hobby. I've done it since before I could write. I'd dictate stories to my mom. I've "quit" off and on for years at a time while I'm off doing other hobbies that captivate me at the moment.

I also do crafts. Lots and lots of different crafts. Sometimes I'll spend a year painting, and then I get bored with it and write for a while again.

It's never a matter of quitting. I write whenever I have stories that I want to tell. So do what satisfies you. If you're not depending on writing to pay the bills, then why force yourself to do it if you're not getting any enjoyment out of it?? That seems foolish.

Hobbies are about enjoyment, and if writing is just one of many hobbies for you, it may be time to set it on the back burner for now. There's not a thing wrong with that.

Siddow
06-09-2007, 11:05 PM
Should I give up writing?

The short and simple answer is: why the hell not. If I found something that I enjoyed more, I would certainly do it.

brianm
06-09-2007, 11:10 PM
Also bear in mind that new activities have the novel 'zing' but then they also become more routine.

So true, VG.

You can't be a writer 24/7. You have to find other ways to express yourself other than writing that you enjoy.

If you're having trouble writing, and find it tiresome, then get away from it for some time. Do other things that fulfill you.

I love my family, but sometimes I need a break from them. When Iím away from them I forget the things that irritate me, and all I think about is getting back to them.

Even things you truly love can become tiresome and irritating. It doesn't mean you aren't passionate about it, it only means you need a break. A period to re-energize.

Jo_
06-09-2007, 11:11 PM
I've been a struggling writer for over two decades now (ever since High School), but recently discovered a new past-time which is making me think I've been going in the wrong direction all these years.

When I sit down to write, it's really hard work and I have to force myself to do it every day. Recently I discovered how much I enjoy creating websites, and began to realize something. When I'm programming, the time flies by. I forget to eat or sleep. I've gone all night without even realizing it, something I could never do writing fiction. And the final results are, in my opinion, hugely better than any novel I ever wrote.

This has been bothering me a lot lately, ever since I created the QueryTracker.net (http://QueryTracker.net) website.

So, what do I do? I know it's not easy for you to answer such a question, but any ideas? Anyone else go through something like this before? Am I having a mid-life crisis? I don't feel a need to buy a Corvette.

Wow! If this was a commercial for your website, it was a darn good one!!! Follow your bliss and I'll be sending a donation soon. I want that site to be up when I am ready to use it.

SpookyWriter
06-09-2007, 11:12 PM
If you're having trouble writing, and find it tiresome, then get away from it for some time. Do other things that fulfill you. That's why I go to nudy bars. -- Al Bundy

NiennaC
06-10-2007, 12:39 AM
Just do what you want to do. Nothing you choose to do has to be forever. Besides, you could always combine the two things. I note Andy Budd and Cameron Moll as two designers who have published books on website design.

But, if you just don't want to write at all right now, then don't. If you give up writing and then two days later say "maybe I want to write now" then write.

Go with the flow.

Stijn Hommes
06-10-2007, 12:42 AM
1) Program for a while and make sure it's not just the new buzz that makes you like it.
2) Someone already said it and I agree. I thought I liked my job (aka uni study) until I got stuck with it. You need to make sure you'd still be happy to do programming on a daily basis.
3) Why not do both. Perhaps you like writing more if it's just something you can do in your spare time. That way you can still write novels, but you wouldn't depend on it for income.

akiwiguy
06-10-2007, 01:37 AM
I'm a computer programmer as a living, and there is one complication that I think is, as a result, thrown into the mix when it then comes to writing. For me it's the time spent on computers, and I'm going to be honest, I've owned and spent a lot of time on computers for 20 years now and they no longer hold a lot of attraction for me. Don't get me wrong, I'm not discontented with my work and it can at its best be highly stimulating, but I do think it can become a real chore when you sit down at a word processor at the end of a day that has been already spent sitting at some other software. Also quite difficult at times to absolutely break from one task to another that is totally different.

So I'm starting to approach writing a bit differently. I've begun taking time sitting somewhere that I enjoy, sometimes down by the beach for an hour or two, doing a lot of my first edits, a few crude paragraphs at a time, on a digital notetaker. When I play it back it's quite a jumble, almost me working through ideas out aloud, but that in itself can be interesting. I also play around on paper a lot, for example searching for phrases. In other words I'm beginning to enjoy using more diverse processes to do a lot of the initial exploration of my ideas. Then I find that I'm beginning my work on a word processor full of ideas, quite enthusiastic, and often with a reasonable first draft already in place.

That's just me, it's still rather experimental, but I want to enjoy writing. It's not my day job, probably never will be, so I want it to be one part of my life that inspires me rather than plain pisses me off.

Jamesaritchie
06-10-2007, 03:21 AM
So true, VG.

You can't be a writer 24/7. You have to find other ways to express yourself other than writing that you enjoy.

If you're having trouble writing, and find it tiresome, then get away from it for some time. Do other things that fulfill you.

I love my family, but sometimes I need a break from them. When Iím away from them I forget the things that irritate me, and all I think about is getting back to them.

Even things you truly love can become tiresome and irritating. It doesn't mean you aren't passionate about it, it only means you need a break. A period to re-energize.


And the more things you do away from writing, the more things you have to write about.

SpookyWriter
06-10-2007, 03:28 AM
And the more things you do away from writing, the more things you have to write about.Like go to jail, or stay in a flop house in Europe, or meet a foreign woman twenty years younger and have a fling, or move thirty times in five years. Yep, staying stagnant only makes the moss grow even deeper into the cracks.

Jamesaritchie
06-10-2007, 03:33 AM
Like go to jail, or stay in a flop house in Europe, or meet a foreign woman twenty years younger and have a fling, or move thirty times in five years. Yep, staying stagnant only makes the moss grow even deeper into the cracks.

Well, I've been in jail, I've stayed in a flop house, I've even slept in a dog house. Haven't move thirty times in five years, but I did have a period of about seven years where I lived on the road, so I guess that counts.

You got me beat on the foreign woman, though. These days I think everyone on earth is at least twenty years younger that I am, but I don't think my wife would let me live through a fling.

NicoleMD
06-10-2007, 03:42 AM
Heh! I'm a writer/programmer too. We need our own subforum! I guess good logic makes for good story crafting?

I like to escape from the computer, too. Sometimes it's nice to see that there's more depth to the world than the three feet immediately in front of you. I agree, changing up the scenery helps. I've been doing a lot of time editing in the hammock lately. It's like work and relaxation at the same time.

Nicole

wordmonkey
06-10-2007, 03:46 AM
As wise man (a writer himself, as I recall) once said:

To thine own self be true.
Only you know what that is, but seize it, embrace it, and if you don't know what it is, go find it.

SpookyWriter
06-10-2007, 03:47 AM
Well, I've been in jail, I've stayed in a flop house, I've even slept in a dog house. Haven't move thirty times in five years, but I did have a period of about seven years where I lived on the road, so I guess that counts.

You got me beat on the foreign woman, though. These days I think everyone on earth is at least twenty years younger that I am, but I don't think my wife would let me live through a fling.I knew there was a reason why I liked you so much. Sounds like we got some things in common. How about come over and visit me in Ukraine next year. I will show you another side of life. Cheers

argenianpoet
06-10-2007, 04:05 AM
When I was a kid I wanted to be an artist. I sit down every day, whether at school or at home behind a drafting desk, my parents bought me for Christmas, and drew. I mainly drew comics and cartoons, (usually copied from a comic book or cartoon) and the occasional landscape or something of the like. I drew what was in my mind (the original stuff), and that did not work very well for me. I had deep visions that when I closed my eyes I could See crystal clear, but...when I tried to transfer those concepts to paper it never turned out to my satisfaction. I can't remember how many times I ripped an entire page out of my sketch book and balled it up. One evening I was drawing as usual and because I'm a perfectionist, the picture I was working on went awry and in a heated fury I ripped it to shreds and gave up artwork for good. "I will never do it again," I told my mom and dad. The next day my I was talking to my sister in her room and she said, "I'm going to be a writer when I grow up." "A writer," I said, amused. Well, that was the beginning of the Dream and ever since I have been a writer. My sister however never pursued the dream. Maybe it was just a thought at that time in her life, or maybe it was meant for me to hear those words, dunno, but at any rate she doesn't remember saying that. After that I started writing short stories and novels, and even though I don't do artwork anymore I have changed my attitude toward it and plan to start back one day in the future, this time with paints. I found writing, and it has given me so much joy, because it is another form of artwork. And despite I'm still unpublished it doesn't matter. I write because it is my passion.

Do what you are good at and what you LOVE to do. But I wouldn't suggest totally giving up on writing though. Maybe it's all just your outlook...

It never hurts to take a break away from it also. I do from time to time myself ;-)

scribbler1382
06-10-2007, 04:11 AM
Simple answer is, if you ask yourself this question and your gut doesn't scream NO!, then yes you should quit. As others have said, don't do something just because (for whatever reason) you think you're suppose to. That's how child custody in a divorce is created.

SherryTex
06-10-2007, 04:48 AM
If you would do it for free, you should keep doing it.
If it brings you joy, you should keep doing it.
Do you love writing? Do you love writing even if no one reads it? If so, write on.

Shady Lane
06-10-2007, 05:13 AM
I mean...it's not as if you need to decide now, and you can't turn back. So don't write for awhile. Stick with the websites. And if you feel the urge to write...do it.

Raindrops
06-10-2007, 08:19 AM
a couple of years ago writing was like "walking on clouds" to me. I imagine (fingers crossed!) that feeling will return to me eventually.

Sofie, I know exactly how you feel. I wish I knew a quick solution to fix the problem, but I guess it will have to fix itself. :Shrug:

lfraser
06-10-2007, 11:56 AM
It's easy to fall in love with writing when you first start, because you have no preconceptions about how hard it is to write well. You just start out with an idea and get to it. Once you understand just how much work it is, and how much dedication it takes, you start to doubt yourself. I've been through a lot of that. And there have been times when I felt I should not go on. I've taken breaks from writing for a week or two. But when I stop writing, the story keeps spinning along in my head, and I always get back to it.

There is no "should" about it. Some people seem to be compelled to write while others write because they enjoy it. I suspect that you may be feeling a bit of anxiety about whether you're any good, which is the stumbling block I keep tripping over. When I think I'm no good, I stop writing for a day or two. Then I get over myself and get back to it. But I have other interests, and I see nothing wrong with pursuing them when the writing isn't going well.

Raphee
06-10-2007, 12:17 PM
I am in business and loved it when I started out. Getting those sales raised my self esteem and my bank account.
Then I just lost it. Lost the fun of making a deal. I am now in business to make a living and believe me with the zing gone, I am making less.

But I am writing and I love it and I know I am not half as good as others out there. But I want to succeed.
I know, if i put the same hours into sales deals I would be better off. Yet I have decided to take the chance. Follow your heart. Do what you enjoy.

Jamesaritchie
06-10-2007, 07:47 PM
I knew there was a reason why I liked you so much. Sounds like we got some things in common. How about come over and visit me in Ukraine next year. I will show you another side of life. Cheers

You have no idea how much I'd like to take you up on that. I spent all my younger years wandering about, mostly living a seedy life, involved with people who did everything possible to stay off the radar. I suspect you know the kind of people and the kind of deals that are made in the back rooms of some bars, or how easy it is to make money when you're willing to cross a border.

I was never actually in the military, but I tried to join, wanted to go off to war, but I scored very high on the tests, Viet Nam was winding down, and they said there weren't sending anyone else except cannon fodder. But would I like to do something that didn't involve the army and a uniform, but could be just as dangerous?

Had to spend several hours with a military psychiatrist before they finally said I was qualified, but what the heck.

I even got shot twice, though neither wound was at all serious.

After that I wandered off to the southwest, built a little cabin, roamed around the desert for a time. I was on my way to Alaska when I met my wife to be. Never could stand to stay in the same place for more than a month or two before that, but now I've been married for twenty-seven years, and I've only moved three times.

I really became a writer because I was working menial, low-paying, nine to find, manual labor jobs in an effort to support a family. I'm not cut out for that, and never was. Don't like having a boss. Don't like having to get up at a certain time. Don't like doing anything I don't want to do.

And my body is paying the price for the abuse it received. I'm lucky if I can take a trip to Wal-Mart now.

scarletpeaches
06-10-2007, 07:51 PM
I'd sure love to read your autobiography some day. :D

Manderley
06-10-2007, 08:32 PM
I believe life is short, and I believe we should all do whatever it is that makes us happiest. I don't think it's ever about quitting. It's about trying different things until you find the one that makes you happy.


Nice.

SpookyWriter
06-10-2007, 09:40 PM
You have no idea how much I'd like to take you up on that. I spent all my younger years wandering about, mostly living a seedy life, involved with people who did everything possible to stay off the radar. I suspect you know the kind of people and the kind of deals that are made in the back rooms of some bars, or how easy it is to make money when you're willing to cross a border.Yep. I think we do have a lot in common. These adventures in life give us material to write and it also helps us to stay grounded in reality. I have to admire you for the struggles you've overcome to succeed as a professional writer. Keep the stories coming!

Raistlin Justice
06-11-2007, 07:13 AM
Why would the opinions of disembodied strangers matter?



Hi there,

Speaking from personal experience, when I ask such questions in a forum I am usually seeking input from people in similar circumstances who might voice informed opinions based on their own personal experience.

For me it is seeking wisdom no matter where one may find it. That it comes from disembodied strangers over the net just makes me less self conscious about the asking. (:>

In this case my advice to him would be to do what makes you happy. Life is just too short to do anything that makes you miserable.

Personally I keep writing because of the rush I get when a scene I write into one of my novels is just unforgettable. I've never seen a word of mine sold but I have had the pleasure of writing for a major company's forum for a while where my Brimstone series is posted serial style periodically. I mention this to set the stage for this next.

If you think writing a big scene is a rush just wait until people from around the world post fan mail regarding the scene and ask you how in the world you ever developed the ability to reach people the way you do with your writing.

If it was all about the money to me I woulda quit writing ages ago. Hey I'd love to see my work in print too. That's my big dream. It may never happen but even if it doesn't at least I have a lot of fond memories of my experience and the fan mail posted on that forum.

It sounds to me as if you have the talent to take on an even more ambitious web site design project. How about a web site that writers could file with that publishers and agents could go to in an effort to see if there is a talented writer out there somewhere without a lot of sales savvy looking for a home for their work. The electronic equivalent of a job service for writers lol. A place where they could place query letters and sample chapters of their work. A place so good that the agents and publishers would be fools not to go to and see what new talent might be out there just waiting to be harvested by the shrewd agent / publishing house.

Of course such a place would need to filter out those without the talent for the work. In other words they'd need to be able to reject some, possibly a lot of applicants so that the agents and publishers would have some assurance that they weren't wasting their time looking there. You'd need guidelines. Say only completed projects could apply with a sample chapter and query letter? You'd probably need to proofread the entire manuscript to verify that the sample chapter reflected the entire manuscripts quality.

LOL the point is you could use your talents to become a great influence in the literary field and never sell a book. Now how about that? In today's electronic age the time of the agents and publishers having all the power is going to diminish. Fifteen years ago a writer who was unpublished in print form couldn't possibly hope to have thousands of views at his work. I am a prime example that this no longer holds true. Check the thread view counts at eAcceleration's Brimstone forum someday if you are curious. There's a link to it at my site. Fifteen years from now the electronic age will have prgressed even further. Is there a Bill Gates of the writing world out there now just about to revolutionize the reading world the way that Mr. Gates did the computer world? Probably. Is that someone you? You tell me.

Good luck either way you decide.

Have a great day,

janetbellinger
06-11-2007, 07:17 AM
I can only echo what others have said. Do what makes you happy.

justpat
06-11-2007, 09:07 PM
I'd like to do both, but there just isn't time enough in the day (single parent limitations). But I think I'll take a break from it as many of you suggested. If it calls me back, then I will give in to it. If it doesn't, then it is not ingrained deep enough into my soul and I can live without it. How does that sound?

Sassenach
06-11-2007, 09:09 PM
I'd like to do both, but there just isn't time enough in the day (single parent limitations). But I think I'll take a break from it as many of you suggested. If it calls me back, then I will give in to it. If it doesn't, then it is not ingrained deep enough into my soul and I can live without it. How does that sound?

It sounds fine to me, but as I mentioned earlier, why should my opinion matter to you?

justpat
06-11-2007, 09:32 PM
It sounds fine to me, but as I mentioned earlier, why should my opinion matter to you?

They don't. I could care less what you have to say and never want to hear from you or anyone else on this board again. ;) Just kidding. It wasn't really opinions I was after, but people with similar experiences, maybe even some justification for putting my writing aside. And I did get some good feedback that made me feel better about it. Thanks everyone.

Angelinity
06-11-2007, 09:57 PM
you mustmustmust persevere at that which you ENJOY.

JeanneTGC
06-11-2007, 11:07 PM
I'd like to do both, but there just isn't time enough in the day (single parent limitations). But I think I'll take a break from it as many of you suggested. If it calls me back, then I will give in to it. If it doesn't, then it is not ingrained deep enough into my soul and I can live without it. How does that sound?
Sounds like: If you love something, set it free. If it comes back to you it is yours. If it doesn't, it never was.

Do what moves you, what makes you happy. Whatever it is.

thepainpasses
06-12-2007, 01:17 AM
If we told you not to give up, and you were honestly unhappy, would you be able to churn out successful work that makes you happy because we said you should?

scarletpeaches
06-12-2007, 01:20 AM
I'd like to do both, but there just isn't time enough in the day (single parent limitations).

JK Rowling managed it and she's doing okay these days.

rugcat
06-12-2007, 01:41 AM
Sounds like: If you love something, set it free. If it comes back to you it is yours. If it doesn't, it never was.If you love something, set it free. If it comes back to you it is yours. If it doesn't, track it down and kill it.

expatbrat
06-12-2007, 01:11 PM
Can't you do both?

I second this idea.

KingRat
06-12-2007, 09:21 PM
I can relate to your situation, in a way, because I am a programmer by day and I love it. The two (writing fiction and writing computer programs) are similar because in both cases you are creating something with a blank page and words. For the time being, in my case, one puts food on my table and the other gives me something to dream about. Sometimes, most times, it's hard to find enough time to do both and do them both well.

For a while I found myself taking my programming projects home with me. Many a weekend I've worked 24+ hours on some programming project because I just loved doing it. So, I made a new rule for myself: Just as I wouldn't dream of working on my novel at work, I no longer work on "work" at home. Home is for writing, family, and my new John Deere tractor.

My advice would be to put your writing on hold and concentrate on your websites. If the urge to write doesn't slowly begin to keep you awake at night then you will have your answer.

justpat
06-13-2007, 07:36 AM
JK Rowling managed it and she's doing okay these days.

Who is JK Rowling?

trumancoyote
06-13-2007, 08:36 AM
Who is... what?!

Give it up. Writing. Right now.

Shady Lane
06-13-2007, 08:55 AM
Who is JK Rowling?

You are kidding, right?

Will Lavender
06-13-2007, 09:02 AM
Ooh. Possible book title for all you biographers out there:

Remember That Time I Got Shot?: A James A. Ritchie Reader

Carry on.

emilycross
04-18-2009, 06:56 PM
Heres a question i asked a couple of people before and always seems to leave people a little stunned.

Put website design and writing out of your mind for a minute and answer this question

"if money, health, responsibilities etc. didn't matter or weren't an issue, what would be your dream career"

think about it.

Doug Johnson
04-18-2009, 07:09 PM
In my opinion, anyone who can quit should. Whether those who can't are blessed or cursed is a matter of opinion: maybe a little of both.

Ctairo
04-19-2009, 04:21 AM
Heres a question i asked a couple of people before and always seems to leave people a little stunned.

Put website design and writing out of your mind for a minute and answer this question

"if money, health, responsibilities etc. didn't matter or weren't an issue, what would be your dream career"

think about it.

I wonder what JustPat decided. It's been two years after all.

The suspense, she kills.

Phoenix Fury
04-19-2009, 07:39 AM
Well, since his Query Tracker site has become one of the best writing service sites on the net, I'd say he feels pretty good about that part of his decision, anyway!

emilycross
04-19-2009, 02:17 PM
lol, well you see now, i never spotted the date on this thread. see what happens when you use the search button!