Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Do You Ever Think About...

quitting writing?

just stopping altogether?

saying, well, that was fun, but it really isn't going anywhere, and I have 10 other things I could be doing with my time, so...

Sorry. This isn't going to be a very uplifting, rah-rah blog today, because I'm feeling rather blue. I sent out 15 or so queries and have heard back from 5 of them. It's only been a couple of weeks, so I know that isn't unusual. And of the 5, 3 asked to see partials. So I know that's good too.

Here's the problem. I've been here before. 3 times. Had a partial requested. Had a full requested. And then was turned down.

I know my skin is thicker than it used to be. I don't take it personally, anymore. And I know it's a tough, tough business. And I know that even getting that many requests for full manuscripts is something many other writers don't come close to.

But how long do you go down that road and come back empty-handed? How many times do you start again? I know there are authors who do it, who write 5 or 10 or 12 manuscripts before they finally publish one. God bless them. I'm just not sure I have it in me.

Maybe I really shouldn't care so much about the end result. Maybe I shouldn't care if I ever publish a thing. Except somehow, that validates one's efforts, doesn't it? Publication makes one worthy. It means you haven't wasted all that time, writing away at the keyboard, while other things get put aside.

I'm taking a break this week, just a little one, to see if staying away from my computer either makes me miss writing or makes me think about whether I really want to pursue publication the way I have been in the last few years.

I'll keep you posted.


Marianne Arkins said...

EEK! Oh no... no... no... no...

Did I say no? No... no... no...


You're way, WAY too good at what you do to give up now. C'mon, girl. Hang tough.

Geez, you should talk to some of the ladies in Persist and Publish -- they've sent out literally hundreds of queries on multiple novels, gotten lots of partial requests, one even got an agent (who then got deathly ill and quit the biz), but they're still plugging along.

You're so close. So close. Why quit when you're about to make it?

So. Stay.


(Oh, no, no, no, no, no...)

Charity said...

I can’t say it any better than Jenny Crusie’s Writer’s Liberation.

Allie Boniface said...


That's a great column - I'm printing it out to keep by my computer at all times!

MaryF said...

Honey, honey, honey. I am right there with you. I've been writing for 12 years. I joined my local chapter 10 years ago. I am the ONLY unpublished PRO (the other PRO is published in a non-RWA recognized mystery publisher.)

I finalled in the GH 3 years ago and thought, this is it.

I got my first revision request the same year and thought, this is it.

I had an editor call me two years ago with revisions and thought, this is it.

I got an agent last year and thought, this is it.

Each of those things happened when I was ready to give up. Maybe I should give up. I've spent a fortune on contests and conferences and ink and paper and postage.

But I tell myself if I quit, I will always wonder. So I can't quit.