Monday, September 5, 2016

Positivity for Writers #4: I Almost Gave Up... And Why I Didn't!

My last post was in March.


That's insane. That's insane because so much has happened since then!

So why?

Because for the last six months, I've been in the process of giving up. Quitting. Throwing in the towel. Saying F this! You may have wanted this when you were a little girl, but you were young and foolish then...

Writing is hard. Publishing is hard. Interpersonal relationships are hard. It's all hard.

If you've ever put fingers to keyboard, submitted a manuscript, collaborated, or been part of a community you know this particular struggle.

I quietly closed down my Facebook. I put away all my Raine trappings. I decided I would... or wouldn't... or maybe...

And it sucked my friends. It sucked ALL the butts. More than that, it hurt my spirit.

Because a life without writing is a million times harder than the other day-to-day noise... And that's what it is, it's just noise. And doubt.

I wish I could show you clearly how I got from Point A (Let's quit this shizz!) to Point B (OK, I'll just put it away for now) to Point C (You know what? I'm strong enough to handle this.) Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure I stumbled like a drunk person along the path. Here are some of the things that I totally donked up before kinda, sorta, getting it right.

  • Acknowledge how you feel. I fought against the feeling of discontent without acknowledging it for so long that my psyche eventually went snap, crackle, pop! and I was forced to acknowledge for I felt. Believe me, if you can do it quietly and on your own terms, it's much better.
  • Let yourself sit in it. Man, I fought it. Once my psyche broke and I realized how I felt... I was like, "MUST! DO! SOMETHING! ABOUT! THIS!" and that 'something' was to burn my writing house down. It took four incredible friends practically sitting on me to get me to stop flailing and just be.
  • Weigh your options. But...but...this is the path I'm on. I have no other options! Not so. Going a different direction can be scary. And it definitely won't be easy. A new writing style? A new name? A new publishing house? Getting an agent? Or maybe becoming an indie publisher? Even stepping away from the publishing game? I didn't like all the options I came up with, but at least I finally realized I have some.
  • Ask yourself the hard questions. Is it worth the shitty feelings? You'll probably start with that one. And if you feel half as miserable as I did, you'll say, nope. But you have to ask yourself this question as well: Will I regret quitting? And Can I be happy taking a break instead?
  • Listen to the universe. Seriously. Don't ignore the kind words of your readers, your betas, your peers. Don't ignore the quiet opportunities that come your way, or the signs that point you toward your own contentment.
  • Cut out the poison. Ohmygawd I have a habit of doing everything wrong when I feel bad! I eat too much, I'm too sedentary, I spend like a millionaire even though I only take home a librarian's salary. I seek affirmation from the wrong people and pack away projects that would make me feel good. So... I consciously stopped. I don't read reviews anymore, I don't read my the Facebook newsfeed. I try to be a good friend to people who are also good friends to me. And I chopped the shizz out of those credit cards. But it took over a year to get here.
  • Be creative. Even if you don't feel like you can write, create. Draw, dance, sing, play, garden, sew, design, dream. This is one thing I did right. In the time I was figuring my shit out, I started drawing again. I started customizing dolls. I started doing decoupage. I made my own stamps and played around with calligraphy. I tackled color. Copics, prismas, and new lining techniques. I didn't let that creative energy stop.
  • Try again. If you're going to quit forever, surely one more go at the keyboard isn't that much to ask? And if you can't manage that, at least read something you've written. For old time's sake? That way, you can say you gave it your all. 

Writing is challenging. Same with publishing and collaborating and interpersonal relationships. They are all challenges.

If you're feeling overwhelmed by those challenges, give yourself a moment to breathe. Allow yourself to see your options. Change directions if you need to. But don't quit.

I promise you, there's someone--probably many someones--in this great wide world who will be worse off for not having read your words.

But more than that, you will be worse off for not having written them.

With Kindness,


  1. Feels good to talk about this kind of crisis, doesn't it? *hugs* Taking a step back from time to time is healthy. I think all creative types do it. It's not that the well runs dry, but that we get worn out drawing and pouring all that creativity out for others to consume. It consumes us.

    I find writing for publication to be incredibly traumatic. Writing is fun, challenging, and fulfilling. I write whether I publish or not. Publishing stresses me, maybe because I don't like the options. Not publish? That would mean no readers. Self-publish? I can't even properly promo for a book with a publisher. Just put free reads on my blog? Other people steal them and say they wrote them, and make money. I'd rather not publish at all than be that kind of idiot. So back to publishing. My work deserves a chance to find readers. It's a gentle place to be. The stress is self-imposed, after all. :)

    Sounds like you're getting to a happier place, and I hope to see more of you in days to come! *more hugs*

    1. Lovely Tali! WOW, you just went into my brain and word-for-word laid out the cycle of graggle feelings I have about publishing! And it always ends, like you, "Back to publishing!"

      I think you summed it up perfectly with "I find writing for publication to be incredibly traumatic." That's the word for it!

      Right now, I'm writing a story I may or may not ever publish. Which is SUCH a weird feeling. But who will read it?? But what's the point?? But...but...but...?? And then I realize that I can do this and that and the other and not worry if it fits certain expectations. I truly can just write what I enjoy writing! It's pretty neat!

      You've always been a lovely and kind friend--thank you so much for being you!

  2. I felt the same way about my art. I put it away because life got in the way or so I thought. Now I art journal, paint and tangle almost every day because it makes me feel complete. Keep writing.

    1. You're my hero, Lizzie Rose! To make beautiful things everyday <3 That's wonderful! Thank you for your kind encouragement.

  3. You are an amazing and strong person and so very self-reflective. You are the princess weilding her sword in battle, fighting for her kingdom, slayimg her enemies without mercy because this is your world and you will be the ruler.

    1. Camron! *^_^* This makes me *SO* fundamentally happy. You always say the best things... I'm tucking this away right next to the flower quote you told me. Thank you so much for always being such a wonderful friend. I *adore* you.