I have a case of the quits right now. Today was the day I was going to do it. Yes, I planned a day to quit being a writer. Put it on a calendar and thought of all the things life would be if I didn’t have the extra stress of pursuing this whole writing business.
I get the Quits a lot. It’s a terribly annoying condition that apparently does not care if you are on your first book or your tenth. But I’ve never set a date or planned the quitting stage before this time. I am grateful that a few people picked up on it this time and gave me a hand up or a nudge to keep going.
There’s a little part of me that still sings, “Fraud! Everybody is waiting for you to fall on your face, or give up and move on. Why do you keep insisting on doing something you stink at?”
I’d like to think that this all will go away “just like that” if I get a book deal with a company someday, but now I’m not so sure. I think we all have strengths and weaknesses, and we have to learn to live with them.
Doubt is both my strength and my weakness. So I guess I need to learn to combat the dark side of it while using the light side of it to become a better writer.
For now, I’m working on combatting the Quits by finding a way to make the duration shorter and maybe the intensity lighter. I thought I’d write down my current process on it to both help me today and perhaps help any body else who might be struggling with the Quits.
When confronted with the Quits, try to:
- Make more art. I have found that the more I do, the more I realize that this is a way of life for me. Write On, Writers. Create On, Creators. Sometimes making a different form of art can help you focus better.
- Focus on your followers. I have readers now, and that helps. Love on the people who love on you. Help other writers/artists on their journey.
- Remember that success is a marathon. Okay, so there are going to be all kinds of winners in this race of writing. Some will find success after a sprint. Some will find it after a marathon. Some will find it after an ultra. I will probably be one of those writers. You know, the ones who have to write 30 books before they get somewhere. To each their own. Focus on your race, and don’t limit yourself by comparing yourself to somebody else. We are each running in our own race. Eyes ahead!
- Rest. Sometimes I think I get the quits because I do put so much heart and hard work into something that’s not going very far right now. I am a hard worker, but that’s another plus/minus situation. Sometimes I have to remind myself to relax. The books will get written. The art will get made.
- Change your perspective. Art, in whatever form, takes time and patience. It’s not a bake for 20 minutes and you get something from it kind of deal. In a world of fast fixes, art is one of the remaining slow endeavors. It is okay. You are okay. We will get the art done, little by little if we have to.
- Quit. Actually, I’m not kidding. Set a date and quit. Sometimes you have to face your fears. If you try to quit, you’ll either find out that you didn’t want to do it in the first place, or you’ll open yourself up to another path.
- Push through it. So much of life is pushing past barriers. Sometimes you just have to do something even if you don’t feel like doing it. I may have to write through a season of not wanting to write. If you are series about writing or creating, then you will work if you don’t feel like it.
I don’t know when this Case of the Quits will finally quit bothering me this time around. Today I’m putting on my author panties, like it or not, and getting my job done. If you are having a rough time of it, you are more than welcome to sit with me at my table and stick your tongue out the frustrations of being an artist. Maybe we just need a good dance party. So Boo on you, Quits!