Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Wouldn't It Be Easier to Just Give Up?

Yes. Yes, it would. There are days, weeks, months when my life is so crazy hectic with no end in sight. Giving up on the dream of publication would be the easy way out. I know I’m not alone, but sometimes it feels that way. When I'm feeling like this the voices get a little louder.

Publication is such a longshot.
Writing is time consuming.
Maybe my chance has passed me by.
I should have started when I was younger.

Doubts that my writing isn't good enough start to rattle my confidence. Frustration that I’m too tired at the end of a long day, a long week, and CRAP, a whole month has gone by and I’ve only added one scene to my ms. And the voice sounds soothing and sweet.

Wouldn’t it be easier to just give up?
You really don't have the time to pursue this now.
You're drowning in responsibilities.
Why don't you just quit?

Then while quickly browsing through my Blogger reader, I come across 2 posts from Adventures in Children’s Publishing which interview recently published authors. "How long did you work on this book?" ask the ladies of ACP.

Lousie Lambert – 3 years to write her book
Carole Etsby Dagg – started writing her book 17 years ago
Holly Black – Curse Workers 2 years
Malinda Lo – current novel 2 years; first novel 6 years
Martyn Bedford – 15 months
Jennifer Archer – from start to publication 6 years

Now I feel like a shmuck. My goal at the beginning of the year was to be finished with Nitpicky by June. I've been working on it for 17 months and I'm halfway through. After reading these interviews, a tiny glimmer of hope ignites.

Maybe I can do this.
I love to write.
If they can hang in there for the long haul, then so can I.

Then I visit Candyland. Not the place where you hope to turn over a Queen Frostine card rather than a Plumpy (didn’t you just hate when he sent you back to the beginning?) I mean the blog of the awesome Candace Ganger. I know she didn’t specifically write this post for me today, but it was exactly what I needed to hear. Especially because of this line...

"Because giving up is not an option."

It's nice to know we're not alone.


  1. You're sure? Because I've been feeling that way the last couple of days--like that's exactly what I should do. Give up.

    How can I presume to ever get good enough to be published? Who am I kidding? Are the kind people who have said nice things about what I've written the same type of people who tell some of those dreadful singers on American Idol that they can sing? *sigh*

    I'll cling to your quoted battle cry:
    "Because giving up is not an option."

  2. "A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit." - Richard Bach.

  3. Note to Donna above:

    I don't know about you, but a quick skim of Twilight always makes me feel like the most talented writer living today. Don't underestimate the power of realizing your charge is to save the world from dreck. Bounce against a bad example and jump high!

  4. Oh, and to Suzie--Good gods I hate Plumpy. We had to take him out of the deck. Although, he's a good card for a parent to keep hidden for a quick sacrifice-loss when your wee opponent is getting antsy!

  5. You give up if you don't enjoy it. How long it takes you to complete something is utterly irrelevant. 6 months or 6 years? It doesn't matter. If you are a writer, then you write.

  6. @Donna Weaver - Listen to the snakey one for she is very wise. I don't know if either of us will be published, but if we love to write then why give up, right? And the best part is we can support each other while we try. Hang in there with me!

  7. @snakey - I know, right? Plumpy is such a downer! I used to pretend shuffle the cards and peek at the top card. If one of the kids were close to a win I'd make Plumpy "disappear."

  8. @Donna H. - I know that in my head but sometimes life and relationships suck up most of my time. I think that our creative sides crave time to create. When I can't write for a long period of time, that's when the doubts and the temptation to just give up creep in.

  9. I'm at a reaaaaally tough point in the whole process- waiting to find Agent Right. They don't seem to be anywhere.