You have your reasons for quitting writing; it is too hard, you’ve come to the conclusion your writing is unlikely to bring you fame and fortune, nobody wants to read your work or even your best tweed writer jacket no longer fits you. They all seem like great reasons to quit.
The only problem is that you are displaying some important signs and these signs indicate you’re not ready to quit. If only you knew you were wasting valuable time and energy telling everyone about your intention to leave the creative world.
Here are the signs you need to watch out for:
- You can’t stop writing. Whilst telling the world you have had enough of writing, you are busy hammering out the last few chapters of your draft novel. You’re not ready to quit.
- You can’t stop thinking about one of your old projects. Our old creative projects can make us cringe and give us a sick burp or two, but they can also act as a clever reminder of how much we love writing. If you can’t shake off those thoughts about that old piece of flash fiction you wrote, the one which to this day you still love – you’re not ready to quit writing!
- You can still distinguish between the voice of your writer ego and the voice of your writer soul. Your writer ego is the negative voice, setting unrealistic expectations, criticising every word that you write and making you feel terrible. Your writer soul is the quiet voice which reminds you that you write because you love storytelling, you write because it fills you with a special warmth and you write because it is hard-wired into your DNA. Your writing life will change once you start listening to your writer soul.
- You know you would miss the ‘good fight’. Writing is full of ups and downs. We have all experienced those dark days when it feels like the world doesn’t want to read our art and we consider going to quietly weep in a corner. There are days when a glowing comment from a reader can make us feel like we are on the top of the world. This is the good fight for a writer. If you think you would miss this – you’re not ready to quit. You just need to get your writer warrior spirit back and fight!
- Your emotional farewell to all the imaginary folk inside your head is…going on a bit. If after five days of a lengthy emotional farewell to all your characters, you are still saying ‘goodbye’ and hugging the life out of them (in your head) you are not ready to quit writing.
- You are struggling to think of something to fill the crater sized hole in your life that quitting will leave. Give it a couple of days and you will be rushing back into the arms of your writing.
- You still believe there is more hidden treasure deep inside of you. This comes from Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic. In her book Elizabeth Gilbert talks about how a creative life is about ‘bringing forth the hidden treasure buried deep inside of you.’ If you still believe that there are more hidden treasures inside of you – quitting writing is not the answer. You need to find them.
- You are still looking longingly at tweed writer jackets and tweed ‘onesies’. Listen to your writer fashion sense as it is trying to tell you something. You are still very much a writer. Tweed is the fabric of choice for writers.
If you are still displaying these signs, you’re not ready to quit writing.
Pick yourself up off the floor, dust yourself down and get back inside your writing arena!
Have a great day!