I Wish I Knew How to Quit You (Ok, Not Really)

I’m back after taking a long(er than usual) break.

Honestly, I thought about giving up on the blog.

I flirted with giving up on writing altogether.

And then I remembered a goal I set for myself: You WILL submit your book to agents before the close of 2017.

Oh. Right. My book.

If you’ve been following along, you know that I (semi) officially finished my book during the fall of 2015. That’s a little more than two years ago. That’s a long(ggggg) time to be sitting on a(n almost) finished book.

Some stuff happened in those years.

I gave the book to a (once upon a time) close friend early on in 2016. I waited the whole year for this friend to read it and give me some notes on it. I let this be the excuse for me not moving forward with writing. I need the notes! I can’t move forward without the notes! (Honestly, I was just too scared and/or lazy to start something new. I can be honest about it, we’re all friends here.)

The book made its way back to me in 2017 when this friend and I broke up (but that’s for another blog post). I flipped through my manuscript to find nothing. Absolutely nothing. It looks like I wasn’t the only one sitting on my book during 2016. I vowed to move on and not let this snub deter me. I WOULD be submitting my book to agents before the year was over.

Fast forward to December 31, 2017. I didn’t submit it.

I’m not a huge fan of failure so I got together my query letter and sample chapters and submitted them to a ton of agents on January 1, 2018. I’m quite dramatic like that.

Looking back, I realize that I submitted my book not because I was necessarily passionate about it but because I felt that it was something I had to do. I did all this work and spent all this time on 314 pages and I was just going to let it gather dust? No.

That’s kinda how I was feeling about the blog. I was writing because I had to not because I wanted to.

I’ve always loved writing but in the last few months, the passion was gone. I wanted to quit.

I set these goals and timelines and I put a ton of pressure on myself to fit this mold that I created myself. It can be overwhelming and would make anyone want to give up.

How easy would it be to let the months go by and ignore the blog until it became a distant memory; a memento of a life I used to live?

How easy would it be to forget about my book; to forget about all the other stories in the queue, waiting to be written?

I could have gone the easy route. Tons of people do it. Life happens and sometimes it leaves little room for the things that make us passionate. Necessity takes over.

I could have…but I’m stubborn….and I don’t quit.

In the weaker moments when I wanted to give up on the thing that makes me…me…I was reminded of all the good writing does. It keeps me sane, it gives me an outlet. More than that, I literally can’t keep my thoughts to myself. I can’t bottle up the stories that come to me. It seems almost criminal to do so.

The itch started to come back. Just write a little post for the blog. Just open up another notebook and write another story. No deadlines. No expectations. Just words.

But I fought it and focused on other things.

But then someone came into my life who seemed genuinely excited about my writing. She even invited me to teach her class about character development. It stirred something in me.

But then I was hearing back from different agencies and I felt myself getting excited about the possibilities. It stirred something in me.

But then last night someone told me they were rooting for me and it almost broke me. There was nothing left to stir because it all wanted to bust out.

I’ve been suppressing the desire and need to write because sometimes it’s too hard. It’s not a good enough excuse, though.

There are times I wish I could quit. I wish I could walk away and be content with a life without magic but I can’t. When I really think about it, when I’m truly honest with myself I know that putting down the pen isn’t something I want to do. It’s just the easier thing to do.

Luckily, I’m not one for the easy route. Even when I want to be, my body, my mind, my soul won’t let me. And I am so thankful for that.

I’m thankful for the people who have crossed my path who have offered words or actions that have jumpstarted this desire again.

The road towards your desire isn’t always simple or easy or quick but I’d like to think it’s worth it.

Sometimes, I wish my dreams were smaller and then there are times, like right now, that I can’t wait to dive into something new that might lead me towards something pretty great.

I won’t make any writing goals or promises this time around. I will do the best I can with what I have and it will be enough. No pressure.

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