Some Days I Just Want to Quit

Some days I want to know what it would feel like to abandon the page for more than a day, a week, or a month, or a year. I want to know if the longing to produce words would consume me or if I’d move onward without ever looking back. Would I choose a different way of expressing myself or would the need to express myself dissolve into the Universe never to be thought of again. Would anyone look back one day and say, “Hmm, Laura Best,  she used to be a writer, didn’t she? I wonder whatever happened to her?” Would it matter if they didn’t?

Some days I want to just quit and spend my time not thinking of that next sentence or the story that’s waiting to be written— perhaps the story that will never be written— because I’ve run out of time.

Some days I want to know what it feels like to not think about my books and whether or not anyone is reading or even caring about my work because in all honesty I know most of them don’t.

Some days I want to go in a totally different direction and forget the fact that I’m a writer. I want to play with my grandchildren, see the world through their eyes with only acceptance and love. I want to feel that love, be that love, unconditionally.

Some days I don’t want to face the fact that my writing is mediocre and not even second, or third, or fourth best. I want to throw away the numbers and simply see my writing as a gift, something to be shared with no strings attached to anyone. Sales figures won’t matter.

Some days I want to know what it would feel like to wake without that first thought being a new character, a new plot line, a new word that titillates the tongue when spoken. I want to drift off into dreamland without a story churning in my mind and just sleep. I wouldn’t be faced with the burden of getting the story right and the knowledge that no one else could tell my story. If someone else could take that same story, and mold it in their hands, would anyone even notice the difference? Of course they wouldn’t.

Some days I just want to quit, sit on that pity pot and show the world that I’m ready to give up. But the Universe doesn’t feel pity. I’ve known that since I was a child, and ended up picking myself up again and again because I finally realized that no one else would do it for me.

Some days I don’t want to be a writer at all. I just want to quit. Who cares? What difference does it make?

The answer to that is simple. It wouldn’t make any difference if I quit writing. The world would continue to spin. People would live and die. Day and night would come and go. Because you can’t miss what you’ve never known and there would be no one to grieve those unwritten stories. BUT ME.

Some days I just want to quit writing. But something won’t let me.

I won’t let me.

Tomorrow I will write. Again.

 

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26 Comments

  1. Ah Laura, you are saying what so many of us feel. That push and pull we can’t really ignore. If there were a time … a day when you could quit … you have long since gone beyond it. And thanks to whatever powers that be that you did. A gentle voice should never be silenced … and yours will not be … not even by you. Keep at it :)

    Reply
  2. Love it, Laura. You always speak right from the heart with so much honesty. We’ve all felt like you and still do. I often wonder if anyone cares about what I write and if it makes any difference but I care and it makes a difference to me, so I plug along even if I only hear the crickets chirp in response to my blog posts, stories and posters. Hey, I like crickets!

    Keep on going, girl! And I love your old fashioned and gentle down home style you have in your writing. I just know I’d feel comfortable with you if we met and I can’t say that about every FB writer friend I have, believe me!

    Reply
    • Thanks, Cathy. What surprised me was to learn about some very successful authors who also go through their times of doubt. It’s not something talked about openly, but it’s there. I’m pretty sure we’d get along really well, Cathy, if we ever met. You seem pretty down to earth. I like that. :)

      Reply
  3. Sometimes a little break helps or reducing number of posts.

    Reply
  4. Kathy

     /  May 28, 2014

    Isn’t it odd that the very thing that you love and makes one feel alive sometimes is the very thing we want to stop doing!!

    Reply
  5. It’s all about following the heart. If you love writing, write….if you feel like you need to step away to spend time with loved ones, do it. The page will always be waiting for you to return; but we never know how much time we have with the people we love. I write when I have the desire, I play when the time calls for it…and I put it all aside to enjoy connecting with the ones I love. Perhaps, I should be more disciplined with writing, but I have no regrets in pursuing other crafts and activities. Only you know what it is you should be doing and when. It really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.

    Reply
    • I do believe in following my heart, Susan, and sometimes it has me jumping all over the place. I try not to let it discourage me, and put trust in the fact that something is leading me in the direction I need to go. I don’t know it I’ll ever stop writing. I suppose one day, hopefully a long ways down the road, It will cease to matter, and I’ll move on to something else. :)

      Reply
  6. That’s the truth of it, Laura… YOU won’t let you — because you’ve discovered the pleasure and challenge of wordsmithing; because it’s not the numbers that matter, but the storytelling and following the path that has opened up to you; because you never know whose situation in life might be improved by the words that only you can write.

    I have the luxury of no deadlines or expectations because there is no contract (yet), but I still can’t stop writing. I do take mini-holidays from my novels by periodically diving into some other creative pursuit, but I can’t imagine not returning to tinker with the lives of my fictitious people. (When I do take myself away, however, I always set a date for returning, because habits become harder to re-establish the longer I’m away from them.) :)

    Reply
    • That’s exactly right, Carol. Deep down, I’m the only one who keeps me writing even those times when I can’t even be sure that what I’m writing is pure monkey crap. I have wished there were times when I could quit. We both know it’s not the easiest life, facing rejection and criticism, yet I find myself becoming curious, wondering what’s waiting for on that blank page.

      I think taking planned breaks is likely a very good idea. I may try that sometime and see how it works.

      Reply
  7. I think it’s easier for me to walk away from it. I have. I always come back. You will – and do – too. But … why not? You can’t STAY away, because YOU are a WRITER. And a dern good one, too!

    Reply
    • Nope, you’re right Lynn. I can’t stay away. I think I’m too nosy. I just have to see what happens next. And thanks for your kind words. :)

      Reply
  8. This is so true. I’m sure we have all felt that way. But in the end it’s not about the sales is it? You just need one person to say, “I really liked your book.” or “Was that Darlene Foster, the writer,” as I’m leaving a store. (Happened to me just the other day.) Then you realize you write because that’s what you do. Great post!

    Reply
    • Thanks, Darlene. Yes, those kind words from our readers go a very long way. It’s really the only way we know that we have touched someone with our words.

      Reply
  9. I pondered these same thoughts recently. Quit just won’t happen, it’s who we are and what we do.

    Reply
    • All writers seem to have their moments. It’s a good thing something keeps us plugging along. :) Thanks for visiting, Patti!

      Reply
  10. Not surprised to read this post after our l-o-o-ng coffee meeting the other day:) It would be strange to wake up at 3:00 am and not have manuscript thoughts drift into my brain, but at this point, it’s part of who I am – I would be so sad (and lost probably) if I could no longer go to my laptop and play make believe on a regular basis. I suppose it’s all about balance – family is about the only thing that comes before my writing (sometimes:) And we all know how quickly kids grow up – snuggle Levi and Charlotte every chance you get!

    Reply
    • Yes, this very thing came up in conversation, I believe. I’m not sure if “regular” folks realize just how much of our writerly brain is preoccupied with writing. Day and night. Balance is important, sometimes difficult to find, too.

      I think they should name that table at Vittles “the writer’s corner.” ;)

      Reply
  11. Food for thought. It’s interesting how the need to write follows us everywhere.

    Reply
    • Someone recently told me that many of us have these obsessions, not only with writing but whatever that obsession might be. She’s a card-maker and tells me she often thinks about the cards she wants to make in the middle of the night much the same way I think about the characters n my stories.

      Reply
      • Laura – I relate to all of it and so does my Tom. I know when I pack his bag to take to the hospital, no matter how physically ill he is, I must include 3 sizes of sketch pads and several different sets of colored pencils. He has numerous serious medical conditions going on at the time and often in the middle of the night, he’ll ask me for one of his sketch pads and start drawing designs that are free floating through his head. I know this helps him plan for getting better and on his feet again.
        I never leave for the hospital, with Tom, without my iPad, laptop and notebooks of scribbles and such. I’ve been doing more blog writing of late but when I wake in the middle of the night (when I do most of my writing) I hear your voice and nothing stops me until I at least have my initial ideas written down. Thank your spot on for this valuable commentary. I’m sending it on to my critique partner. She’s expressed the same feeling many times over. (At least now I know the voice is yours and I feel more comfortable knowing it’s a friendly voice).

        Reply
  12. Thank you for visiting. I like what I see here and will be back. Happy Monday. ;-)

    Reply

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