Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Insecure Writer and Quitting


Today is June's contribution to Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group.

What makes me an Insecure Writer this month?

The usual suspects. Nothing worth mentioning.

So this month I'll settle for answering the question of the month.

Did you ever say "I quit?" If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?

The simple answer is that I’ve never said “I quit.”  It’s not as if I haven’t had  reason to say it.  I’m an excruciatingly slow writer.  Writing doesn’t come as naturally to me as it does for most of you.  Every word can be a struggle.  I estimate that I’m only half way through my story, and during the years I’ve spent writing it, some of you have managed to put out trilogies. (Damn that Alex)  Heck, even one of my former online crit members has managed to publish a book.

https://www.amazon.com/Resistance-Divided-Elements-Book-1-ebook/dp/B01M6AXXKA
Resistance


So yes, I’ve thought about quitting.  But for some reason, no matter how badly I feel about my writing, no matter how down I am, no matter how many doubts I have, those feelings never last more than a day.  All I have to do is go to bed and when I wake up the next morning, the doubts are gone.   On some levels, my ability to ignore reality is almost frightening.  But it keeps me going.

I have no idea if anyone will care for my simplistic writing style, or my story, or my characters.  But to be honest, it doesn't really matter.  I’m going to finish this story no matter what, and when I do, I’ll move on to the next one. I like the story, and that’s all that matters. Hopefully a few people will like it enough to buy it.


I’ll never quit being a writer. It's just not an option for me.

ChemistKen

P.S.  Thank goodness I have a day job!


41 comments:

  1. Day jobs do help! With the bills, at least.
    I'm a ridiculously slow writer, too (six years on the same book). But I don't think I could ever quit no matter how hard it seems.

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    1. That's all we writers need to keep going. The will to not quit regardless what happens.

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  2. Sometimes ignorance and naive optimism is all you need.

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    1. And Dancing Lemur Press sent you a Twitter DM - you won an audio book. Need your email.

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    2. I do have plenty of ignorance and naive optimism, so I'm all set there. Sorry I haven't sent you my email yet. Things have been kind of hectic.

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  3. Great post, Ken. Enjoying what you do if so important in life. Have a super week.

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    1. Thanks so much, Nicola. I am enjoying the ride, I just want to enjoy stepping out of the car at the end for once.

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  4. Never Give Up! Never Surrender!

    I'm in the same boat as you. It takes me a while to make progress, but gosh darn it, I like my story. ^_^

    I am still looking forward to reading some of yours.

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    1. I still plan on sending some of it to you soon. Be ready!

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  5. Awesome attitude. I think the first book is always just for us. It's the hardest. Once we've reached that magic finish line, there's a sense of confidence that we can do this, even if it was tough. Keep aiming for that hurdle, eh?

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    1. These days, the finish line I'm looking forward to is the end of the school year. I spend most of my time checking that they're doing their homework.

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  6. Finishing that first one is always toughest. We don't know what we're doing and we're stumbling around in the dark. But finishing the first one is a big step, it proves you can do it, and hopefully you learn a few things along the way.

    Keep plugging it at! You have the right attitude!

    IWSG June

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    1. I could write a book of all the things I've learned over the course of this journey. But then again, it would take me forever to write it! :)

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  7. I'm grateful for my day job as well. I don't dare add up all the money I made writing. Could be almost a hundred dollars over five years. hehehe

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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    1. As long as you're enjoying the journey, that's all that counts.

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  8. I may have put out a trilogy but thank God I still have my day job as well!

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  9. Things do look much better in the morning. That's when I write!

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  10. Good for you. Write what pleases you because there are others out there who will connect with it, just not everyone. I think that's what all writer come to realize.

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  11. I'm glad those feeling never last more than a day. Keep at it. You will finish your book. I know it. And then all of this will be worth it. :)

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  12. I love that--"my ability to ignore reality is almost frightening". Don't we all?

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  13. I like that same bit as Jacqui did. I do feel I'm so far behind other writers at times, but we all take this journey on different paths and at different speeds. Keep on going! :)

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  14. Keep going! I remind myself all the time that it matters less that people read it and more that I just get it out of my system.

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  15. I agree wtth Jacqui, love that quote. I am slow too. Kudos to you for hanging in. I have not said I quit, but I have thought but ever do it. Happy Writing.
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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  16. I really got a lot of inspiration from this post, Ken! Kudos to you for persisting! I suspect that your day job is pretty demanding, so congratulations for continuing to write on top of your day job. It will pay off! Thank you for saying that you are an excruciatingly slow writer. I am, too, and sometimes it's really hard not to get discouraged when I see all that others are publishing. All I can do is what works for me. Good luck with your story this month!

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  17. If you're not doing it because you love it...then you shouldn't be doing it. So, all that really matters is that you're enjoying the process. Good for you. I've been sucked into a place where writing became work for me...so glad to be past that and enjoying it again :)

    www.jessicatherrien.com

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  18. I am very grateful for my day job. And I've learned to stop comparing myself to other writers and how fast some publish. I almost ruined the joy of writing by trying to force myself to meet goals that work for other people but not for me. Now I'm just enjoyed what I'm doing again and it's a great feeling.

    Loved reading about your running on my blog! That's so cool. My goal is to be doing three miles soon.

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  19. Love your thoughts on this Ken. I guess all those times I "quit" I didn't end up finalizing it because I love writing too much to let it go.

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  20. Everyone writes at there own pace, so don't worry if you're slow. With your great attitude you will finish your story.

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  21. I believe the majority of writers keep the day job but only because we want to eat. It's fun to read what a dedicated bunch writers are.

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  22. Day jobs help when you don't put out as many books as other writers. I swear I am cursed to publish every two years so I need the job to pay bills while I'm building up a backlist. ^^;;

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  23. Don't worry about your pace. It's more about enjoying what you do.

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  24. Quitting isn't an option for me because I don't want or like doing anything else. I have no back-up plan because I have no other career interests.

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  25. We all work at our own pace. Keep at it and you will succeed! Actually, you've already succeeded because of your awesome attitude. :)

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  26. I love the epic picture at the top of your blog! I find that sleeping on a problem helps me a lot when I feel like quitting. And besides that, my husband always talks me out of it. LOL
    Ann

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  27. Love your P.S. LOL Remember the old Aesop fable about the tortoise and the hare? Slow but sure wins the race. Keep plugging along and you'll finish that book.

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  28. Once you get there with the first one, the next dozen will be a piece of cake! :)

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  29. Writing my first book, which still sits on the hard drive, took me a very long time. 5 years or longer. We've all been where you are, and I think writing is hard.

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  30. That's awesome, Ken. It sounds like you've found true internal motivation, rather than external, and that's what we're all supposed to strive for. Some people who took years, even decades, to finish a book, ended up finding the greatest success.

    It's your story. Tell it in a way that makes you proud, no matter how long it takes.

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  31. At least you have the motivation... that is extremely important. You will finish your story and write the next one. As long as you are enjoying the writing, you will keep writing.

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  32. It's been much the same for me. I've had moments when I felt like quitting, but those moments don't last long. The instinctual urge to write is too strong.

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  33. Thank goodness for day jobs indeed! I'm keeping my day job for as long as they'll let me work here. Heh. Keep on writing. :)

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