Friday, March 11, 2016

What Do You Do When You Want To Quit

There will be times, I promise you, when you want to just throw your computer across the room and quit. Walking away from the story, the piles of rejection letters, the sore shoulders from typing, the blank starts to stories and all of that other garbage simply seems like the best approach. It happens to everyone. And yes, walking away is the easy way out.

But is it really what you want?

Probably not.

Writing is just a tough thing to do. Putting together a story of 70,000 words is not an easy task. Add in trying to create characters that are realistic, plots that are believable and conflicts that are not manufactured are big challenges. But when these moments start coming up in your life, it is important to stop for a moment, take a deep breath and relax. This will pass.

Before you even think about quitting, stop and ask yourself what got you writing in the beginning. The odds are, there was a joy of creating that story. You simply had fun. You might have sat down and created some pretty silly stories, but in the end, you were having fun.

If you are published, think of the joy you had when that first book showed up. When your editor, or the company you were writing for, sent you that first book cover. For me, I love seeing posts on social media of those authors standing in a bookstore pointing at their first book on the shelf. The excitement I see in their eyes is equal to kids when they first see Mickey Mouse at Disneyland.

You have to channel these emotions. Walk away from the computer for a moment and just go back to that time when that excitement was real. Once that feeling comes back, look at your story. My bet is that there are a ton of amazing things in that story that you are overlooking right now. Sure, you might have a pretty bad scene in the book. Maybe that chapter isn't working right. But look at the rest. It's pretty dang good, isn't it?

I know some of you are saying "Sure Scott, that's easy for you to say. You aren't writing the story." That's right. I am not writing the story. I am not sitting in that situation you are in right at this exact moment. But I have been there before.

And, if you still don't believe me, think of what it would feel like if you do decide to walk away. How will you feel when you go to your computer later on to write that Christmas letter, or draft a quick note to your kid's teacher, and there, in that Document File is your unfinished manuscript. It didn't go away. It is still waiting there for you to suck it up, get over your pity party and finish the dang story.

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