Wednesday, June 07, 2017

IWSG: Adapt, Don't Quit!

The June blog post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group is sponsored by JH Moncrieff, Madeline More-Summonte, Jen Chandler, Megan Morgan, and Heather Gardner. My regular reading are probably familiar with the ISWG, but if you'd like a reminder of how this writer's group supports other writers, you can learn more on their website or their Facebook group.

This month's question is a doozy: Did you ever say, "I quit"? If so, what made you come back to writing?

I wrote my very first novel (and believe me, it showed!) in my mid-twenties, then set it aside for a while. I didn't commit to writing until a few years later, when the Beatles inspired me to write what would become the Season Avatars series. At that time, self-publishing wasn't easy and was looked-down upon, so my 187,000 word book made the rounds at agencies and publishers. I got some interest, but never an acceptance. I wrote a second book in that series and started a third, but ultimately I moved on to other projects, such as Beatles fanfiction. Some stories, like Lyon's Legacy, Twinned Universes and "A Reptile at the Reunion," were eventually completed. Others remain unfinished. I wrote for friends' webzines and participated in National Novel Writing Month, but after shopping around a combined version of Lyon's Legacy and Twinned Universes and getting no interest, I stopped submitting stories to agents and publishers. Nothing I was working on seemed ready to me--or even able to break through to publishers.

Finally, Kindles and eBooks arrived. Self-publishing became easier. I did some research before jumping in, but I published Lyon's Legacy in 2011 and haven't looked back. It hasn't been a quick path to success, but it's gumption-building to take charge of my books instead of hoping to approach the right publisher at the right time. I think what's been key for me (besides being stubborn by nature) is being willing to move onto new projects and try different things. I've had to adjust my writing goals since I first started, but hopefully they're more realistic--and obtainable--now. Besides, writing has always been a vital way for me to find meaning and an escape from everyday life. If I gave up writing, I would lose a core part of myself.

What would you say to someone who wants to quit writing? Feel free to share in the comments.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

It's all about timing. Time wasn't right for you with publishers but time was right for you to do it yourself.

Maria Zannini said...

Sometimes when someone tells me they want to quit writing, it's a cry for help. They want someone to boost them up or tell them what to do.

My stock answer is, don't quit. Not yet. Chances are they're just burned out on the whole circus. I tell them to wait. Step back and recenter yourself.

Life is short, and we should do things that have meaning for us. But every once in a while we need a vacation. I've done my best work after a hiatus.

Sandra Almazan said...

That's why persistence is so important, Alex!

Maria, I agree sometimes you need a break to rebuild your gumption.

emaginette said...

Character building is a nice way to think of it.

Anna from elements of emaginette

Crystal Collier said...

Here's the thing, anyone who things about quitting will likely circle back to writing. It's just how it works. =)

Karen Lynn said...

The thing that would have really saved me a lot of time and energy is that you should write the next book before you start editing this book. It gets you another books worth of experience, rather than hitting it with the same hammer over and over.

Sandra Almazan said...

Crystal, I guess you can quit any time you like, but you can never leave. ;)

Karen, I agree that the more you write, the more you learn. Thanks for stopping by!

Diane Burton said...

2011 was a great year for both of us. That's when I self-published my 1st novel to which I'd gotten the rights back. What a journey it's been. Not easy, lots of learning, some disappointments, and many joys. Good luck to you!

Sandra Almazan said...

Thanks, Diane, and best of luck to you as well!

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