There are 5 stages to admitting to yourself that you cannot quit writing:
- Frequent urges to quit. You are experiencing yet another urge to quit writing. These urges are becoming more frequent and loved ones are sick of hearing you scream ‘I QUIT!’ from the writing corner. Things have not been going well with your writing for some time. You first shouted ‘I QUIT! a couple of weeks ago after a tearful creative breakdown over a plot hole. However you went back to writing and reluctantly climbed back into the plot hole of doom. Ever since then your writing has sounded naff, your ideas have dried up, you still haven’t climbed out of that plot hole and the words ‘I QUIT!’ have been kept on the tip of your tongue.
- Showdown. This is where you hit the ‘explode’ button. You have had enough of writing and its time to quit it for good. There are so many new and fun hobbies on the horizon for you. You chuck your pencil down, close your laptop, shake your head and say ‘enough is enough – I quit!’. Cue the tears, emotion, depression, low mood, heartfelt emails to writing friends and period of prolonged suffering for your loved ones.
- Freedom. You jacked it in sometime ago (can be hours, days, weeks, months or years) and you have been busy celebrating your new found freedom in life. This non-writing life is great! Yay! No guilt, no hassle of actually writing something, no feedback, no rejections, no social media pangs, no magical feeling and no more silly book ideas. Rejoice!
- Awareness. Whilst in freedom mode you become aware of that little voice inside you. The voice which says ‘I am still here’ and ‘let me know when your creative tantrum has passed and we can get back to writing!’ You sigh loudly and ignore it.
- Acceptance. The voice inside you got louder and the urge to write built up inside you like an erupting volcano. One day you found yourself actually wanting to be stuck in a plot hole. It was quite a moment for you. So you are now writing again. Your loved ones have been thanking their lucky stars ever since you announced your return to writing. It feels good to be back! You have even decorated your plot hole so it looks all nice whilst you spend hours trying to think of a way out of it. Sigh! This is when you accept that you can never give writing up. You are a writer and no matter what life throws at you writing will always be a part of you.
Enjoy those unsuccessful quitting attempts writers.
As my good friend and writer blogger said to me the other day:
True writers can’t turn off that light switch
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