Monday, May 9, 2016

When enough is enough... or is it?



How do you know when it’s time to quit?
Time to give up on a manuscript?
Time to stop querying?
Or even time to stop writing all together?

Straight talk… Last year I wanted to quit. Not just stop querying my YA manuscript, not just stop writing my MG WIP, not just stop generating and outlining ideas, I wanted to quit everything with respect to writing.

So.
Many.
Times.

I honestly lost count of the number of times I said it, and I thought it infinitely many more times than I admitted it. Life was crazy with selling/buying houses, planning a wedding, changing jobs, life drama, and numerous deaths in the family. Writing was the last thing on my mind, and yet… I still kept doing it.

For the sake of transparency, writing certainly wasn’t happening every day, let alone once a week. I was lucky if I was putting some words on the page once or twice a month. I hated my WIP, and despite many full requests for my YA manuscript while in the query trenches, I was tired.

Tired of waiting.

Tired of writing.

Tired of hearing no.

Just plain tired.

I wasn’t just at the end of my rope, I was done.

Finished.

Finito.

The end.

Soooooo Over it.

All.

Of.

It.

But there was a little voice in my head telling me not to give up. And countless other VERY LOUD voices of critique partners yelling at me to keep going, telling me that my time was coming, and threatening to kill me if I quit (as if that would help :-P).

Well if I’m being 100% truthful, I did quit. Numerous times. I just didn’t tell anyone that I went long stretches without putting anything on the paper, without sending queries, without thinking about writing. But my mind kept wandering back to YA manuscript that I believed in more than anything. And those MG dragons kept creeping into my thoughts and threatening to torch me if I didn’t finish their story.

And as much as I hated every word I typed as it happened, every time I revisited the previous writing session, I secretly thought… maybe this isn’t as bad as I thought. So I kept going until one day not so long ago, I wrote two of my most favorite words…
And then something amazing happened. I got excited. I pulled out my magical editing axe, swung it around a bit, and started dreaming about fixing that giant steaming pile of poo I just created. I wanted to keep going because I knew my time wasn’t up. I hadn’t completed the things I wanted to do. And despite everything, I still believed in myself. Not to mention the angry horde of CP’s running after me with torches and pitchforks. ;)

And while I haven’t had “my time” yet, I know one day it will come. And when it does, I’ll look back and wonder why I let all that stuff get to me so much… hopefully. **nervous laugh**

6 comments:

  1. Beautiful post, Jamie! I felt like that so many times while working on my book. And then I felt like it again with my most recent book and the two in between. Writing is exhilarating and heartbreaking and torturous, but most of all, rewarding. Your post is so true!

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    1. yes so many emotions rolled into one!

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  2. Despite the admonitions not to, quitting is a right, and it is OK. As many times as you need... ;)

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    1. very true! Sometimes you need to quit for a break!

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