You want to write. You want to finish books and get them out into the world.
Weeks or maybe even months have passed and you’re no closer to finishing your latest work-in-progress. It’s still IN progress, only now maybe there’s a layer of dust on top of the box you keep your manuscript in.
If you’ve been working on a novel, you may feel disconnected from the characters and their dilemmas.
If you’ve been writing a memoir, you may have begun to doubt that you really can – or even should – write this book.
If you’re pulling together a collection of short stories or poems, you probably have pieces of work – some finished, some unfinished – lying around and the sense of chaos may be overwhelming at times.
Bon courage, my friend…every single writer and creative person has been in this place at one time or another. Or, in all likelihood, many times. It’s one of those experiences that tend to come back around.
Perhaps you got stuck because you tripped over a writing craft problem and didn’t know what to do next. Or perhaps your own unhelpful thoughts tripped you up.
Whatever the issue is, you’re not writing, OR you’re just going around in circles and not gaining any real momentum.
Bear with me for a second here…
No one is forcing you to write this book.
In fact, the vast majority of people who want to write a book never actually finish…so you’d just be like everyone else if you gave up right now. Most people don’t write books and they survive and even – reportedly – live rich and satisfying lives.
Pause for a second and just pretend that you’re giving up. Imagine yourself at the end of your life NOT having written and published the book or books you’ve been dreaming about writing.
Now: how does that feel?
If the thought of giving up pinches or hurts just a little bit, then I’m afraid you’re in this writing thing for the long haul: you’re a writer. Someone who writes and shares her writing with the world, enjoying the thrill of connecting with readers and other writers over the course of a long and engaging writing life.
But if the thought of giving up just raises a kind of “meh” reaction, complete with shoulder shrug, then maybe you do something else? Quilting or cooking, scrapbooking or watercolor painting. There are hundreds of ways to express yourself as a human being that don’t include finishing and publishing books.
You’re in charge of your own life and if you want to, you can just quit. No one – myself included – will think any less of you.
Not everyone writes a book, and that’s okay.
But if you DID feel the pinch of quitting, if that thought had a tiny barb in it for you, then that’s a reality you need to face. You’re a writer. And your work-in-progress must be finished and sent out into the world to find its Ideal Readers.
It’s time to commit. Or quit.
The choice is up to you.