When You Want to Quit Writing

by Katie Axelson | 124 comments

I don’t want to be a writer anymore.

Why should I bleed on paper just for some editor’s red pen to bleed all over it? My ideas aren’t that good and no one ever reads my work. No publisher’s ever going to like it. Besides, it’s giving me tendinitis.

No, I’m done with writing. I’m going to find a career with a steady income and consistent job description.

Peace out, pen, we’re getting divorced.

Quit Writing

photo credit: Magnus. via photopin cc

Do you ever have days where you feel like that? Days where you’re willing to sacrifice your dream to do something more feasible?

I do.

But as I nurse my physical wounds with ice and emotional ones with a brandy old fashion, I take a step back and re-evaluate.

Why do you write?

If you’re writing to become famous, maybe the pen and paper isn’t your optimal medium.

But if you’re writing because you can’t not write, then keep going.

How to persevere

1. Anticipate rejection, failure, and low self-esteem.

It happens. It’s part of the journey to writerhood. One thing that helps me is a cute coffee cup full of colored index cards with words of encouragement from people who mean a lot to me. I know someone else who wrote nasty words on the wall with rejection letters.

2. Stop comparing yourself to other writers.

Unless that comparison gives you the courage to keep writing, don’t do it. You are not that writer. You never will be. Be you. That’s what you’re best at.

3. Keep writing.

Don’t let your fear debilitate you. Writing is hard but not writing is harder. Your story needs to be told. So tell it.

Why do you write?

PRACTICE

For fifteen minutes, free write about why you write. Share in the comments and find common ground with other practitioners.

Katie Axelson is a writer, editor, and blogger who's seeking to live a story worth telling. You can find her blogging, tweeting, and facebook-ing.

124 Comments

  1. Steve Stretton

    Why do I write? I don’t have a clear answer to that. It’s partly to get out the stories in my head. It’s partly to fill in the time (I think). It may be to communicate those stories with others, but I find that the hardest part. I want to be read but I fear the rejection that comes with putting them out there. I also write because I simply want to write. I’m not a fast writer, I’m a two finger typist. I tried a typing course once and got so frustrated with it that I gave up. Now I peck away at my own pace. I don’t have to meet someone else’s deadlines (done that, enough!). So I write to please myself, but I really want to be published, to affirm my effort. So why do I really write? I have so many reasons I can’t pick one. So that’s why I write.

    Reply
    • Chase G

      I feel you Steve. I feel we write because we HAVE to… 🙂

    • Giulia Esposito

      I think anyone who does anything creatively will probably say the same thing, that they (we) do it because they have to. Oh, and props to you for the two finger typing!! I think there are online lessons you can do that are less frustrating than in class if you ever want to try again.

    • Katie Axelson

      Those are all great reasons. I’m also glad you’re ok with typing with two fingers. I have a friend who types like that and avoids typing all together because he’s “bad at it.”

  2. Chase G

    I’ve actually come to the conclusion that I write because I have this urge to name things. So much of my life I have found that emotions hit me sideways, and I often fall victim to their effects in my life. this was so much so that I often found myself yelling at my parents for no legitimate reason. (Thank God for their humility and understanding of teenage angst that never seems to leave.)

    There is power in naming things that plague us. We all have found ways to deal with “anger”, “sadness”, “glee”, and “embarrassment”. However, if you are like me, in the moment, I don’t actually see what it is I am feeling. Typically, they become meshed in with feelings inadequacy and hopelessness. Writing, however, has been a means of naming things to bring them to light.

    For only in the light can we truly grow into the people we were meant to be.

    Reply
    • Kim

      Wow, I love this Chase. It actually puts words around one of the reasons I write, too…”named” it for me. Thank you!

    • Chase G

      Thank you Kim. Let us be namers, instead of writers!

    • Giulia Esposito

      I have the opposite problem. I’m so attuned to other’s emotions that naming my own has become easier so when I’m in the middle of it, my minds races off all sorts of thoughts and feelings. Luckily my sense of humor allows me to laugh at the ironies I see all around me. Writing helps calm that for me.

    • Katie Axelson

      Naming and writing are excellent ways to deal with emotions.

    • John Fisher

      Yes, the naming things — totally identify.

  3. Patrick Marchand

    I write because I feel I need too (Without saying that its getting more fun each time I write). It’s a perfect way to get some of my ideas out of my head and finally getting a bit of sleep before I go completely mental. (I mean, I already use writing as a socially acceptable way of talking to myself, so I cant be too far) I also do it out of respect for all the writers and storytellers of yore for, if they gave me enlightenment and pleasure, it was only so I could, in turn, impart those same gifts to others after me.

    Reply
    • Katie Axelson

      Keep writing, Patrick

    • Patrick Marchand

      Of course!

  4. Kim

    I write because it keeps me sane. It helps me figure out how I feel and what I think. It forces me to be in the moment, with this word, this comma, this paragraph, almost like meditation. It has an almost magical way of helping me move from “here” to “there”. And now writing in a blog helps me connect with other people, a bonus I never expected but that is a total gift. Great question 🙂

    Reply
    • Maryse

      I agree, Kim, writing is like a meditation for me too. It helps me clear my head and connect with my heart and soul.

    • Steve Stretton

      You’re right, it forces us to focus on the details as well as the content. It can be very meditative and yet deliberate at the same time.

    • Giulia Esposito

      It is like meditation in a sense. This practice actually helped me calm down and take my mind off of some bad news I just received.

    • Molly Phipps

      I agree with everyone on this. It is like meditation. A way to calm down and step back and look at things without worrying. Writing helps me that way too.

  5. Sarah Russell

    Brandy old fashioned?? Are you in Wisconsin with me? 🙂

    To be honest, I write because people pay me to do so. I do derive a certain amount of satisfaction from pairing words together and expressing ideas in fun and unique ways, but at the end of the day, I have to write because it’s my job. In some ways, I think this protects me – I can’t be too critical of my work when the words have to get published. But yes, there are definitely days when I want to pack everything in and take up a secretarial job that offers the mind-numbing comfort of day-long filing projects!

    Reply
    • Giulia Esposito

      You’d be bored silly–don’t do it!

    • Sarah Russell

      Yeah, been there, done that. But there are still some days where boredom sounds more appealing than fighting with words!

    • Giulia Esposito

      I totally get it. I love my job too, but weeks like this, I wonder if it’s worth my sanity.

    • Katie Axelson

      You bet! I’m not in WI anymore but that’s where I grew up (and learned to drink). What I’d give for a good old fashion right about now…

    • Sarah Russell

      Haha – dead giveaway 🙂 I’m a WI transplant for the past five years and have never seen so much enthusiasm for brandy in my life!

    • Katie Axelson

      What’s even funnier is to leave and ask for a brandy-based drink elsewhere. Bartender: I think we have some brandy way in the back. Let me scrape the dust off enough to read the bottle.

  6. Maryse

    I’ve divorced myself from writing many times. Even after setting up my blog and getting a good following. Writing drained me, made me anxious. Today I’m gently finding my way back and I’m looking deeply at the reasons why I always end up coming back to writing. Because I need to be creative and I paint better with words than with colors. Because it makes me feel connected and whole and clear. I wish it made me feel calm and centered but I’m not there yet. And the part I enjoy the most is sharing. To know that, thanks to the Internet, a few people out there are going to read me. That’s a treat.

    Reply
    • Giulia Esposito

      I also divorced myself from writing a few times. It always came down to time. Or lack of will power. After writing a paper on Shakespeare, I had no energy left to sit and do creative writing. But I always found myself returning to it. My longest spell away from writing left me so unhappy that I felt like I was being sucked into a black hole of madness. So glad I’ve returned to it.

    • june perkins

      Black holes and writing, argh, I remember those times. When I need a break from writing I take photos 🙂 I find it refreshes me for writing again.

    • Katie Axelson

      I know a lot of people who find writing stressful. I’m not one of those but I do understand. 😉

    • Susan Lee Anderson

      I have fits and starts too, Maryse. I like your word painting imagery.

    • June Perkins

      I could relate to this. Writing is a way of connecting, understanding and painting 😉 – all the best for your journey.

  7. Giulia Esposito

    I write because I have to. If I don’t, I’m off kilter. My world shifts and tilts; my
    soul is unhappy. And the unhappiness festers like an infected wound, stinging
    and gnawing at me. And then I’m more unhappy. More off balance. Less and less
    like me. I write because the words make it easier to breathe. Writing soothes
    the anxiety. I write because the cadence of the words, of stories allows me to
    think clearly. Lets me move past the churn of emotion that happens if I am not
    writing. But I don’t write as therapy. It’s deeper than a comforting hobby. I
    write because I can express all of myself with far more clarity than I could
    ever show the world otherwise. I write to connect, to share, to feel. I write
    because forces inside of me compel me to put words to paper, to paint people
    and places with words. To tell a story. If I did not write, I would not be me.

    Reply
    • eva rose

      That is beautiful. “words make it easier to breathe”, my sentiments exactly! There is a gnawing unrest when I cannot write. Thanks for sharing this.

    • Giulia Esposito

      No problem! Glad you liked 😉

    • Katie Axelson

      Writing is my coping mechanism too, Giulia.

    • Giulia Esposito

      I guess I could think of it like that. Create a story from all the emotion and unexpected paths life leads you down and survive.

    • June Perkins

      I enjoyed this Giulia. I like especially that you say it is deeper than a ‘comforting hobby.’

  8. bheadred

    I write because I can’t stop writing. Sure I had a regular
    job and wanted to be happy about it, even though I was a secretary and felt
    like a monkey could do my job after a while although the person they hired to
    replace me may be proving me wrong.. I write because when I was a kid, maybe
    eight, sitting at a table on the patio at my house, scribbling away on a piece
    of paper, my grandma watched me and said, maybe you’re going to be a
    writer. Stupid reason, could have had another
    relative tell me maybe I’d be a stripper lol.
    I write because I am discouraged by what’s going on in the media today,
    and in society, so little truth, so much bs, people don’t want real anymore
    because it’s too real but the funny thing is if we ignore the real for too
    long, it’ll come back to bite us in the end and we will be surprised and
    clueless but not unwarned. I write
    because I get all these ideas in my head, and sometimes a story starts with
    just a little thing, the way someone looks at another person, or when a light
    changes, or a thought that someone has.. it’s weird the things that hatch out
    of thoughts, those little nothings, any of which can be unimportant details in
    our day but then something sparks a thought and you run with it. Sometimes in the end you end up taking out
    that little part because it doesn’t fit, and then it becomes as unimportant as
    it was before. I write because I want to
    help people see things they wouldn’t ordinarily see. I really want to write like anne rivers Siddons
    who is a master at imagery and I have been working on that but it’s ended up
    being some imagery here, some there, not constant like she seems to do. But I keep
    working at it because I have gotten better than I was, and if I’m expanding my
    brain, it’s all good, that will make me happy.
    I write because I’d love to work for myself even though myself
    procrastinates and whines sometimes. I write because right now, it’s what takes
    the anxiety away from not having a job and being at home all day, something
    that I haven’t done since I was a teenager (so about 25 years). I write because
    it’s important to me and I can’t seem to stop.

    Reply
    • Katie Axelson

      “I write because I want to help people see things they wouldn’t ordinarily see”–love it!

    • John Fisher

      I too get frustrated at “so little truth, so much bs, people don’t want real anymore because it’s too real”, until I remember that I’m like that too — ‘please don’t disturb my little illusions’ kind of thing. Sharing through writing can be the way out of an unexpressed, and therefore unchallenged, way of perceiving things that may not be accurate or rational — even as the challenging makes us uncomfortable.

    • Susan Lee Anderson

      I have role models too. I think you will get there. Why not? We only get better with practice. I like imagery too. I think of Ann Voscamp with her One Thousand Gifts title and her blog, and I wonder, “How does she do it?” I don’t know, but I am not her. I am me. I see different stories too. I like this: the way someone looks at another person, or when a light
      changes, or a thought that someone has.. it’s weird the things that hatch out
      of thoughts, those little nothings, any of which can be unimportant details in
      our day but then something sparks a thought and you run with it. Sometimes in the end you end up taking out
      that little part because it doesn’t fit, and then it becomes as unimportant as
      it was before. I write because I want to
      help people see things they wouldn’t ordinarily see.

  9. eva rose

    I write to capture a thought or a moment before it slips away. If I can only find the words, the moment will never die. Words appear on paper which cannot be expressed another way. An unseen hand guides mine across the keyboard as I reach for an understanding ear. A connection makes writing complete. It must be shared.

    Reply
    • Molly Phipps

      “To capture a thought or moment before it slips away”–so true! Like a photographer snapping a picture, writers create a mental picture that can bring back a moment or image before it’s gone forever. It’s so important.

    • eva rose

      Thanks everyone! I do feel connected!

    • Giulia Esposito

      An unseen hand….Beautifully put!

    • Katie Axelson

      Yes! So often memories come to mind and I think, “I need to write this down before I forget again”–I often don’t but writing’s a great way to capture those moments before they escape.

    • John Fisher

      “A connection makes writing complete. It must be shared.” It sounds like that’s what we’re all motivated by. Thanks for the reminder.

    • Susan Lee Anderson

      If it is only shared with one person who needs to hear your message, you have accomplished much.

  10. Molly Phipps

    ” Unless that comparison gives you the courage to keep writing, don’t do it. You are not that writer. You never will be. Be you. That’s what you’re best at.”

    Thanks Katie, I so needed to hear that. As writers, we just have to be ourselves. Comparing ourselves to others usually is not helpful or encouraging lol.

    I write because I can’t not write. Obviously. I write because I see pictures or people in life, because I come across an idea, and it seems completely impossible to not have that recorded, to not let it slip away into invisibility, away from memory. I write so as not to forget. I write to record things. I write because things are beautiful and someone should take note!

    I also write when I feel bad, angry, bitter. It helps get those emotions out on the page, rather than taking them out on a person. I write when I’m happy, because sometimes I need to be able to look back to that, if I’m going through something rough. I write to escape reality, sometimes, to enter into a fictional world that I can make whatever I want it to be.

    I write because without words, without my imaginary world, or my real written-down memories, I would miss so much. The world wouldn’t be the same if I didn’t. I couldn’t live in that world. That’s why I write.

    Thanks again for a thought-provoking post. 🙂

    Reply
    • Giulia Esposito

      My journal must hate me lately, I can’t seem to record anything good. I only write in there now when I’m angry.

    • John Fisher

      I certainly identify here. To the point that I get tired of being angry. But I think (hope!) it’s a stage in life that won’t last forever.

    • Katie Axelson

      Those are all great reasons to write, Molly. I love it. Keep doing writing.

    • John Fisher

      These are the good reasons to continue writing. Thanks for your practice for reminding me!

    • Susan Lee Anderson

      Molly, I agree. Writing emcompasses all these dimensions.

  11. Sherrey Meyer

    Katie, you must have been in my head this morning and maybe late yesterday. Everything seemed so overwhelming — just life itself, the household chores, the writing, my ability to get it all done — and I was ready to throw the writing to the curb and give it up. Thanks for being here this morning with the solid reminders. I know all those things but in the midst of frustration and schedules, it’s easy to forget.

    Reply
    • Katie Axelson

      It is so, so easy to forget. Don’t give up, Sherrey!

  12. John Fisher

    I’ve imposed a stipulation on my writing today — today I want to write totally without anger. Yep. A nix on the anger. Alrighty then. I write to understand. Don’t seem to come by much understanding when I’m going through my days. It takes reflection; processing. I write for better understanding of myself; I write to tell a story that I had thought — not so sure today — that I have a story that needs to be told. I write in hopes of reconciliation with others, from so many of whom I often feel so alienated. The Fish out of water. But others feel alienated too, this much I’ve learned. I write to continue the human dialogue. Or is that just something I read somewhere. Not much is clear to me right now. I feel like that guy in today’s picture with his head down on his lap-top. I write to escape the sense of obscurity of my existence and the banality of so much of what passes for takin’ care of business. Which doesn’t obviate the necessity. I write to reach out, as precious and hackneyed and ingenuous, even disingenuous, as I am guilty of making it sometimes. I am anything but clear about it today. But I am at least performing the motions and actually thinking in the process of it, even right now. I continue to write because I have at least a level of faith that today is not the day that will define me or my life.

    Reply
    • Susan Lee Anderson

      I like the exploration you delve into with vocabulary and description.

    • John Fisher

      Thank you, I really appreciate that!

  13. Joelle

    I suppose writing, for me at least, is a great way to impose some control on the world. Things can be going on in my life or the world that I don’t have any say in, but if I write, I have all the say.

    It’s also a good way to live dreams that probably won’t happen, like sailing around the world or exploring space (though the first isn’t totally out of the realm of possibility). It comforts me to know even if I can’t actually do it, I can always write about it.

    Reply
    • Katie Axelson

      I too like that comfort that even if it can’t happen, I can still dream and write about it.

    • Susan Lee Anderson

      I like your thoughts. Writing is similar to reading in that you can experience situations that otherwise you might miss. It is ambitious and that is what writing is.

    • june perkins

      I agree, I wrote a piece one for my Dad and pretended I was a fictional author, who could rewrite things to give him a happier life. 😉

  14. Laura Robb

    I first started to write regularly in recent years as a way to “survive” the hard seasons. Then I realized I have to write and share my story. I want to encourage people on a similar path in life. The hardest part is the beginning, but I’m learning to keep taking small steps forward. That’s the best way to fight fear and not give up.

    Reply
    • Laura Robb

      Thank you, Susan. I’m determined to proceed on this writing journey!

    • Katie Axelson

      I said this to someone else but writing is a great coping mechanism.

    • Laura Robb

      Yes, it is. And I always learn something in the process.

  15. Yvette Carol

    The only thing missing in that photo is the drool! Had to say it!!
    I loved the first point; to expect failure. That is so true. I think some newbies expect to be the next Stephanie Meyer and then get sadly disappointed by the reality

    Reply
    • Susan Lee Anderson

      It’s like I tell my teenagers, “Once you realize that life isn’t all fun, it’s not that bad.” Rejection makes us appreciate acceptance.

    • Katie Axelson

      Haha Sorry. I’ll ask for a reshoot next time. 😉

  16. June Perkins

    The Anais Nin meme I have put up twice on my facebook
    wall, reads, ‘the role of the writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we
    cannot say,’ Is that an arrogant thing for her to assume?

    Are writer’s conjurers, tricksters, or are they
    illuminators, diviners – those who find the water so everyone can drink, the
    water being words, and metaphors, deep within the creative ground.

    When I go divining – I am looking for something many
    people would like to express, enjoy reading and would find hard to put into
    words. It’s not as easy as it sounds,
    and sometimes your subject finds you.

    The one time I have found a subject like this, it was
    how does a cyclone aftermath make you feel? I knew it was going to be difficult
    to capture – but somehow through stories, reflection, poetry, photographs I was
    going to do my best to speak of the inner and outer journey that happens. Not everyone has been through a cyclone
    recovery process, and not everyone would want to write about it.

    I found myself turning to the idea of practical
    angels, and the villainy of looters, and the rollercoaster. I kept divining for more words, more
    metaphors, and found inspiration in stories from others. Stories of butterflies painted on flyaway
    rooves, or a farmer sitting on his tractor in the shed, ready to go open the
    windows and protect his dogs – sometimes I was taking what others were saying
    and presenting it for the reader/viewer to divine.

    Is this what Anais means, I am not sure, but perhaps
    the role of the writer is to say what we need to hear to help us heal, but
    which is too painful to say as well.

    Reply
    • Susan Lee Anderson

      Enjoyed the heck out of your perspective. I agree, we don’t write just for ourselves, We write for universality. We write to serve others. In return, we receive.

    • june Perkins

      Thanks Susan, I think we receive lots back from our readers as well, and it’s like putting our soul and hearts on the line in whatever genre we write, but particularly in memoir.

    • Susan Lee Anderson

      Thanks June. I love the back and forth in this community.

    • Katie Axelson

      That is a good quote. Sure, maybe a little arrogant but true as well.

    • June Perkins

      Yes, sometimes artists need arrogance for what they do, or they might just be quiet.

    • PJ Reece

      I don’t see anything arrogant in Anais’ quote. It’s no different than saying, “We don’t write to explain, we write to find out.” Maybe Anais was encouraging herself to write something original, as opposed to derivative, which defines most of the arts most of the time. She wants to write what “cannot” be said. But when she’s done with it, it will have been said, and she moves on to more challenges, while the less talented follow in her wake, copying, pretending, posing, being derivative. So I would say hers is an important quote.

  17. Susan Lee Anderson

    There are many reasons. Like a baby, I started out in the infant stage of thinking, “Hey, I have six kids, one with special needs. I am a late to the table Catholic. I work in the Christian retail business. I attend tradeshows as a vendor of Christian games where new book titles abound. I perused the aisles and thought, “I should write a book.” WOW. (Walk On Water.) Looking back at that, I realize how daunting I didn’t know the endeavor would be! I’ve heard it said before, it’s like someone who takes an Anatomy class and decides, “Hey, I’ll take six months off and brush up on my brain surgeon skills.”

    So I wrote, and cried. It became more about self-therapy than writing a book. I think that was really the point. I’ve never been big on seeing a counselor, so this was my way of really digging deep, really getting to the bottom of my issues. I was astounded how insight revealed itself through the extension of my heart, elbow, hand, and then pen to paper.

    But my goal wasn’t navel gazing, so I persevered in improving the craft. I took classes. I read articles. I love Natalie Goldberg, Stephen King, Annie Dillard, and Anne Lamott.

    Now I am writing short stories and working on a spiritual memoir.

    I’ve submitted and been rejected. But I’m a big girl.
    I borrow this quote that helps me keep perspective: “You can be the ripest, juciest peach in the world, but there is still going to be someone who hates peaches.”
    Brilliant!!!
    So with that in mind, I may write a bestseller, I may not. Either way, not everyone will be enamoured with my writing. That is ok. I am thrilled sometimes with the epiphanies I receive from God and then are chanelled through me. I have to be happy with that. I agree, it is more miserable to not write.
    As The Cars sing, “Let the stories be told. Let them say what they want.”

    Reply
    • John Fisher

      That’s good, Susan! It sounds like you may find a lot of images to fill the creative well (per Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way) in your work at the trade shows. With you on Stephen King and the Cars! “Let them leave you up in the air. . . “!

    • Susan Lee Anderson

      “Let them brush your rock and roll hair. Let the good times roll…” Thanks John.

    • Katie Axelson

      I love the peaches quote

    • Katie Axelson

      I’m glad you didn’t quit

  18. Kimberly Trotter

    This is a great post! That first post factor makes sense. I’ll go between high moments of self-esteem and low moments, but I know that when I’m low then I’ll find a way to get better again. Either read a book that I really love, that always inspires me, or read about the ways some of my author’s finally got published.

    Reply
  19. BC

    This week was particularly difficult for me. I am an amateur writer with hopes of one day becoming published. I’ve penned dozens of short stories no one has ever read and recently grew enough balls to submit several to competitions, the most recent being Lascaux Flash. Guess what- not even a “finalist” placement. Gotta get up, wipe off the disappointment, and keep on keeping on, I suppose. I discovered very late in life a desire for writing, and a severe addiction to reading, which very often doubles as my excuse for not writing. I work very actively with my hands, back, feet, etc. in my primary occupation, but realize that a day will come when my body will no longer be able to do such work. My hope is that, by starting out small and working my way, over the years to published status I might be able to actually earn at least a miniscule reward for my efforts. In this way I will be able to supplement what retirement may or may not be there for me. Regardless of how this pans out, however, I will continue to write for the pure enjoyment of it.

    Reply
    • Katie Axelson

      Don’t ever forget that last line is what makes it all worth while

  20. Larnette Snow

    Enjoyed the post and am going to share with writing group.

    Reply
  21. George McNeese

    I struggled with this question throughout my adult life. I admit, though, I originally wanted to write because when I was in school, it was one of the easier courses to take. As I’ve grown, I’ve come to understand and appreciate the written word, and a thirst for what others have to share in their stories. So, my reasoning has evolved. I write because I love to write, It is a means to express emotions I might not be able to express vocally. I also like to read what others have written, to empathize, if not understand, what they want to say.
    I remember many years ago writing letters and short stories in elementary and junior high. I especially remember writing stories in eighth grade about the adventures of “Detective Falcon,” who was a cross between “Darkwing Duck” and “Inspector Gadget.” They have tools for just about any situation. He also had a transforming dog like Rush from the Mega Man series. But, I remember being so proud of myself after everyone applauded me. I didn’t write much in high school; I had a Theatre/English teacher, Mrs. Houser, who fueled my passion, especially after watching “Dead Poets’ Society.”
    Going into college, I wanted to pursue an Education degree so I could elementary school. But, after taking a class in Creative Writing, and having a poem and short story published in their magazine, I tweaked it a little. But then, I decided to pursue a B. A. in Creative Writing full time. I did not realize being in the Creative Writing program meant reading a lot; it makes sense now after readiing Stephen King’s “On Writing.” I learned a lot about styles throughout different periods and genres. I gained an overall fascination for the written word.
    I have to say my passion for writing, and reading, waned throughout my adult life, but the foundation is still there. Now, I gained my passion back thanks to discovering sites like “The Write Practice” and social media like Facebook and Twitter. I’m taking my practices more seriously and being more consistent. And thanks to the practices, I have new ideas for short stories, possibly a novel. I have to tell myself “I Am a Writer,” no matter what family or friends say to the contrary. Some support my endeavours, and that’s what I need. Ultimately, I need to believe in myself and, as Disney himself said, “Keep moving forward.”

    Reply
    • Katie Axelson

      I’m so glad The Write Practice can be part of your writing journey, George

  22. Louise Broadbent

    If you want to quit, you should. Just know you are likely to start writing again.

    Reply
    • Katie Axelson

      Truth. And I often do quit… then write about quitting…

  23. Karoline Kingley

    I write because I believe I have something valuable to say, and I want to contribute to the realm of literature that sometimes seems to be fast declining in this day and age. I hope to preserve good books that are meant not only to entertain, but to touch, and teach lasting lessons.

    Reply
  24. Wayne Sanderson

    I write because I want to know and read about certain things, and I can’t find anyone who writes on my topic. I went from asking questions, to researching the subject of my curiosity and accumulating documents and photographs, and arrived at the point at which the stories were there and I found myself in the position where I was the appointed storyteller, and if I did not tell them, they might never be told.

    As I like to tell people, sometimes you find yourself in the mood for pie when there is none, and you have to bake it yourself.

    Reply
    • Susan Lee Anderson

      I like the last sentence. It says it all.

    • Katie Axelson

      “If I did not tell them, they might never be told” is reason enough for me.

  25. Maria Barci

    I write because I have something to say…

    Reply
  26. Daphnee Kwong Waye

    Writing is like a basic need for me. Since I was very small, I would survive by creating art, and I remember I was so excited when I had at last learnt to write full paragraphs at school. I never stopped writing since, at least tried to. I never gave up, although at times I felt I was distancing myself from writing due to all the new distractions. But then I always come back to it.
    I always get back to writing. Writing is part of me. Writing is my #1 passion. 🙂

    http://evilnymphstuff.wordpress.com

    Reply
  27. Carli Castle

    I write because it would be easier to stop breathing.

    Reply
  28. S. Dosa

    I found your page while surfing the web. Thank you so much for this article. I was just about to commit writer’s suicide. You saved me my writer’s life.

    Reply
  29. Leia

    when I write I feel so free, so inspired and so emotional about everything. I feel words in my bloodstream. I love to compose my texts and imagine stories, those are my worlds, little one’s, but still, there can happen anything I want. I write to feel the things I can’t really feel in my real life. rofl me.

    Reply
    • Katie Hamer

      Well put, Leia! I know exactly what you mean. I loved the bit about feeling “the words in my bloodstream”. Such a powerful image. I think it’s a primeval instinct to want to create and share stories. I do hope you share some of your stories with us here! 🙂

  30. Vicky

    I write because if i don’t, the gremlins in my brain won’t let me sleep. I had fantastic stories to tell. I had worlds to explore. I thought if I had this much fun creating these worlds, why not get paid for it? THAT DIDN’T WORK I couldn’t make a living off my craft AT ALL. I don’t know what I did wrong, but whatever it was, I just had to realize I suck at it. Freelancing was a boring gig. Transcription annoyed me. I can’t be a super famous author. I can’t get on the New York Times. This writing gig doesn’t work for me. All those accolades in writing class was a bunch of lies. So i quit. No one wanted to buy what i was selling. No one cared what I wrote. No one was going to get enlightened. So i’m going to let all the stories die within me and work at a crappy job I hate so i can live in a crappy apartment and eat crappy food and pay the bills and die.

    Reply
    • Joe Bunting

      Those darn gremlins… 🙂

      Thanks for the comment, Vicky!

    • Freda Warrington

      Vicky? It’s incredibly difficult for ANYONE to get published, let alone make a living. That doesn’t mean you suck at it. If you feel you have fantastic stories to tell, it’s probably because you do. Please don’t give up. Maybe you’re feeling like this because your expectations were dashed and you’re simply depressed. I am a published writer (by some miracle!) and I found this page because I’m struggling with some writing issues and insecurities – it doesn’t necessarily get any easier even if you find a publisher. I know the feeling that no one notices or cares or wants to buy what you’ve written, even when it’s published! Many writers feel these doubts, published or not. It’s like being stabbed in the heart, but you have to keep going. You may not make a living at writing, but you can still find outlets for your creativity – self-publishing is easy these days, and even if you find only a small audience, it’s worthwhile. PLEASE don’t let your stories die! You have to write to please yourself – we all have to write for ourselves, because we can’t second guess what other people want to read. But if you genuinely decide that writing isn’t for you – you need to find a way to make peace with the decision, find something else to focus on. Don’t give up out of bitterness. Don’t give up, full stop! xxx

    • Jethro Cornsville Jr.

      Why are there all these stipulations on how Vicky can give can give up on writing? She can spend all her energy & youth on something that is going to pay off financially and artistically, and writing ain’t it. There are so many other art forms that pay than writing & will still satisfy her craving for story-telling. If she’s smart, she’ll move away from writing while she’s still young enough to do something else.

    • Jethro Cornsville Jr.

      Vicky, here’s the thing. You don’t need to “write” to tell stories, you can take pictures and tell a story that way, for example. A picture is worth a thousand words. Plus, like everything else, taking photos pays more than writing. You can shoot a low budget film and tell your story. You don’t have to sit and “write” in order to tell a story. That’s silly.

  31. Someone

    My problem is that I can’t seem to finish what I start. I write some, share it, look back at what I’ve written and notice how shoddy it looks. Nobody has to say anything, because I immediately find something wrong with it. Then I become discouraged. Which, in turn, causes me to be self-conscious about every word, every phrase, and every sentence I form as I continue writing. Then I get discouraged because I cannot make any progress, and stop altogether. I hate it.

    Reply
  32. Hisenburgh

    At times I become jealous of God. He can create life with simply a thought, author the wind, snow, rain, earthquakes and natural disasters with just an idea. I envy that power although when I write I feel that the tables have shifted in my favor. I to become a God even if just for a moment, I can create life, the heavens are under my control and I do with them as I please.
    My pen gives me infinite possibilities.

    Reply
  33. Chet

    I think if someone wants to quite writing, they should quit. End of story. I notice whenever someone that writes says they don’t want to do it anymore, an army of aspiring writers comes on & tells them NOT to quit. Why do a lot of “alleged” writers feel the need to talk someone into writing when they clearly said they don’t want to & aren’t interested anymore?

    Reply
  34. Simpson Bartlett

    I used to be in the writing community and I don’t like it. Let me explain one reason why. There is a dark vein of “depression” that runs throughout the writing community & it’s just plain tiring and boring to deal with. People sit down & write about their marital problems, their home & financial problems, they write about the problems with their kids & they write about their struggles with depression. They write all this down & want other writers to look at this & give “feedback” on these writings. Then they expect these readers to gush over the writings & tell them how everything is going to be okay & that the writing is wonderful. They get upset if you dare say otherwise. This is perpetuated throughout the community. These people who are depressed need to get themselves a psychiatrist, and get some help. Writing is not helping them. And other writers are NOT psychiatrists, and shouldn’t be “expected to be”. I don’t know of another so-called “professional”community that wallows in depression like this. I block writers that come with that baggage. They’re just going in circles.

    Reply
  35. Rose

    You know the feeling when u see a movie that really makes you stop for a moment and reaches you deeply. I feel the urge to write and inspire people like that.

    I want to use words that are filled with emotions. Words that swap the dust on the hidden insights and hit the readers for a moment. That is why I love writing. I want to inspire people with words. Other than that, I love writing because it is a mirror of my emotions. it helps me figure who I am, understand my self which I thought it is mission possible .

    Reply
  36. Oliva

    I write because I love it. I found this website, however,
    because I was trying to figure out how to stop
    writing. It’s not as easy as just throwing down the metaphorical pen. I was
    about a year into my PhD when my boss decided that I had too many ‘extra-curricular’
    activities and that I should cut down on a few of them. I decided he was probably
    right, and so I tried to stop writing fiction because that was what filled most
    of my time. I went cold turkey, thinking: it’s only stories, what harm could it
    do? For the first few weeks it was oddly satisfying, I had all this spare time;
    oodles and oodles of it. I could revise Chemistry and work late and still have
    time to read.

    Writing factual pieces satisfies the physical craving but
    not the deeper, more indefinable craving. I sometimes feel so full of emotion
    that the only way to get it out is to write it away. Writing is not something
    that I ever considered as a career path. I chose science over English way back,
    but writing just won’t leave me. I write because if I don’t my head fills up
    and I can’t think properly anymore. I start thinking about different realities
    on my way to work and walk in front of cars. That’s when I have to give in and
    just write whatever it was I was thinking about and hope that afterwards I can
    go a little while longer.

    Writing isn’t a choice, I love it, and I need it, but it’s
    stopping me from focussing on the things I should be focussing on. Like an
    actual career! Once I am settled into a job I will start writing again, and it
    will be years before I get through the backlog of stories that I’ve half
    scribbled down in all my note books. I just wish I could start now. I miss it
    so much and feel guilty every time that I do write something. These last few
    days I’ve been writing notes on some of my characters and that seeps into day
    time and I realise I’ve been thinking about stories when I should have been
    writing something really important about some graph. I just can’t stop!

    Reply
  37. Melanie Surani

    I’m struggling with this so much today… why write if I’m being ignored by readers (beta readers included)? I have no idea what I would do with my life if I stopped writing, though.

    Reply
  38. Elmer Medina

    I’ve felt this way many times. I just received a couple of rejection letters this week.

    Reply
  39. Joseph

    I write because i want to, it helps to pass the time i suppose. But yeah, iv felt like stopping often, giving it up as not to feel the sting of rejection. As time goes on if the rejections continue i might very well stop. Even if one likes what their doing, the idea that no one else seems to think fondly of the work, that no one likes what you have to say within a story can make the endevour painful

    Reply

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