As creatives, we’re very good at coming up with ideas.
Unfortunately, many of us are just as good at coming up with excuses not to do the things we should be doing. Like writing, for example.
It’s much more tempting to come up with a handful of reasons not to write when we’re thinking about giving up the practice for good. You’ve been rejected one too many times. You’re not satisfied with the work you’re doing. People are being mean to you. No one is even reading what you’re writing.
I think it’s time more of us spend our creative energy coming up with reasons to keep writing, instead of excuses that keep us away from it.
So many people don’t realize, for some reason, that you can still write even if it isn’t your job. Even if your blog posts are private. Even if you don’t share your work with anyone.
The purpose of writing isn’t to share your work with the world. That’s a major benefit, of course. But when it comes down to it, writers make words happen because there’s something inside them that hungers for the chance to tell stories. There are some things in life, for some people, only words can fix.
If you’re thinking about quitting, I’d like to ask you not to do it.
Not forever, anyway. There are some instances when you have to put your work to bed for awhile to focus on other things. I’d call that a hiatus, not quitting.
But — is quitting really worth it? Even if writing isn’t your job or your side hustle, does that mean you have to stop altogether?
Always look for a reason to write. Even when you know you won’t make a significant amount of money doing it. Even when you’re tired. Fed up. Uninterested. Convinced it’s the best option for you.
If you truly love writing — if it’s your passion; if it completes you, makes you feel alive in a way nothing else can — you’ll find a reason to keep going. Most of us do.
Write because you have stories to tell.
Write because you need an outlet to express your feelings.
Write for yourself.
Write for an imaginary audience. A family member. A mentor. A friend.
The reason why isn’t as important as making sure you do it. Because if you don’t, chances are you’re going to feel even worse about yourself than I’m guessing you already do. We’re tempted to quit the most intensely when it feels like things just aren’t going our way.
Don’t give in to the temptation. Find a place for writing in your life, and make it count.
Feel like quitting? Maybe these posts will help. What Happens When You Stop Writing? Do This the Next Time You Feel Like Leaving the Writing Life Behind 11 Common Reasons Writers Quit
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a 10-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.