Friday, October 12, 2007

I'm Quitting!

That's the topic that's been on one of my writers group's loops this week. The discouragement and doubt that comes with being a writer.

I'm not good enough.
Well, really, how can you get good enough if you don't work at it? And to get good enough, you've got to write. Seems simple, doesn't it?

What am I doing thinking I can do this?
If you're thinking of being a writer for the glory or the money or to make an impression, forget it. It takes writing and studying and more writing and years, and sometimes you make it. If you can't get away from it, if God wants you to do this, if you have the talent, if this is "the place" for you, you'll write. In spite of the doubts.

It's too hard.
Well, duh. It's hard work. It's not a hobby (if you're serious about it) or an easy-money route. It's a job. You labor through the research, and blocks and rejections to get where you want to go. And sometimes . . . it's fun.

I'll never get published.

So? If you're doing it for the fame, money, attention, or anything else but because you feel it's something you've gotta do, you're doing it for the wrong reasons. Do you have that desire, did God call you to be published or to write? Decide now.

You've got to have a liason to "get in."
Okay, sometimes the answer is, yes. Sometimes, no. When you're good enough, when you've done your best, you'll make it. You have to have faith.

Who would want to read what you wrote?
Depends on what you write and who for. That's who'll want to read your writings. Write what you love, what you know. But don't forget what the market is.

When do you have the time?
If you've got that thing inside of you to write, you make the time. You let some things go, you make decisions. But you write. There's choices here.

You've got too much to do.
Even with that you find some time. While stuck in traffic, waiting in a doctor's office, at lunchtime at work, early/late at night. Wanna write? find the time. Simple as that.

I'm quitting? Not really. I'll never quit. It's in me. Has been for years. I've never gotten away from it, and never will. Will I ever be published the way I want to be? Maybe. I'll certainly strive toward it. But published or not, I'll never quit writing.


Hints for some aspiring writers.
  • Want to write a poem or a play or a children's story? Then read the type of poems, plays and children's books you like. Study them. What makes them likeable? How do they flow? How do the children act? Do the poems rhyme? How are the plays put together?
  • Want to write your memoirs? Okay, begin. Start back as far as you can remember. Use a loose-leaf notebook so you can adjust pages as you want. Write whatever you can remember first. Fill in as things begin coming back to you.
  • Want to write your grandparents or ancestor's biography? Fun! Start with something interesting, catching, that will attract the reader's attention. Bring in things that won't be boring to someone not involved with your ancestor's lives.
  • Don't want all that, but you would like to record your thoughts? Believe it or not, this could be the easiest--or hardest--thing to do. But it is rewarding. Don't try to write pages and pages unless that's really what you want to do. A sentence or two will do it. Maybe a half page. Again, a loose-leaf binder works great here.
Have fun!

A writer's quote today:
AW Tozer once, speaking about Elijah and Elisha, and how Elijah tried to "shake off" Elisha at first. Tozer's words: "If you can be shaken off, you weren't called in the first place."

Dan Case's adaptation:
"If you can truly STOP writing, you aren't a writer anyway."



Sharlene MacLaren said...

Hi, Carole! Great post today!

I’ve certainly had my share of discouragement, and days when I wanted to quit, but knew in my heart I couldn't and wouldn't. I've listened to negative self-talk, those times I doubted and questioned. But here's the thing... negative self-talk comes from the Enemy.

Here is the advice he would give me—“Stop writing for God. No one wants to read what you write. Your good reviews just come from the people who know you anyway. Your time would be much better spent doing something else.” And so on.

My advice? Try to be as discerning as possible when listening to words of criticism. Always consider the source from which they come.

Keep writing, Carole. YOU HAVE the gift. It's clear by your blog that God's gifted you with a great deal of passion.

May God bless you and all the readers of this blog. And may you hear His whisper in your ear to "never, never, never" quit writing.


Lynette Eason said...

Hey Caroline, thanks for stopping by my blog. I need to stop by more often myself! Ha. Send me an email so I can get in touch with you privately and we talk critiquing, okay?

Caroline said...

Isn't Shar the sweetest person? I emailed her w/a question some time back, & she so generously took time to answer it. I was thrilled to get to meet her at conference & haven't chged my opinion. BTW, order her books from Amazon asap. She's a great writer!

Caroline said...

Hi, Lynette! Thks for stopping by. I look forward to our critting tog & reading your books. Congrats on your third book!

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