Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Quitting's Not for Everyone

Some days I just want to quit.  Quit blogging, quit writing, quit Tweeting (boy, do I want to quit Tweeting!)

Quit the A-Z challenge, even though I am soooo close to finishing.

Quit the human race and go live in a cave somewhere.

Provided said cave has a hot tub.  And Mai Tais.  And good-looking men named Handsome and Sexy to bring me the Mai Tais and massage the kinks out of my shoulders, and then...  See, even when I "quit," I begin writing fantasy!

Sometimes we do need to quit writing - or at least put it on the back burner for a while.  Maybe some things in our lives  - jobs, partners, children, parents - simply won't permit the time and dedication we want to invest in our writing.  Been there, done that myself.

Maybe we believe we've given it all we have to give, have given it our best shot, and there's simply no more there there.

Sometimes we believe that prematurely.

Brett Favre played for the Green Bay Packers for 16 seasons, from September 1992 to January 2008.
Photo by PSU Mark2006
via Wikimedia Commons

He officially retired from Green Bay and football in March 2008.

In July 2008, he decided he wasn't done after all.  He ended up playing for the New York Jets in fall 2008.
By Mass Communication Specialist
1st Class Jennifer A. Villalovos, USN.
via Wikimedia Commons

In February 2009, he announced his retirement from football (again.)

In August 2009, Favre signed with the Minnesota Vikings.  He played for them for 2009-2010, taking them to the play-offs in 2009 (In football years, he was a total geezer, mind you.  And, for those of you who don't know American football, the Vikings are the Packers' arch-rivals.  Unthinkable!)

By Keith Allison via Wikimedia Commons

In January 2011, Favre officially filed retirement papers.  This time, between concussions, multiple other injuries, age, and sexual harassment suits (oh Brett, why, why??  and in Crocs <shuddering>) his retirement is probably gonna stick.

My point is, even if we have to quit - for a while, even if we have to put our writing on a back burner for a time, we don't have to give up. It's okay to change our minds about quitting.

We may have to work harder, when picking up writing again after some time off, but that's to be expected.  We may have to learn new skills, and make new connections, because the world of writers and readers and publishing isn't the same game as it was XX many years ago.

Luckily, writers tend to get deeper and more interesting as we age.  It's not like we're subject to being tackled by six 300 lb linebackers on our way to the keyboard (though some have harder battles than others.)

Some of the most amazing writers in literature didn't get their official "start" until well into their forties.  Or later.

We don't have to give up on our dreams.  Maybe we'll fulfill them, maybe things will turn out differently than we fantasize, but we'll never regret pursuing them.  (Only not pursuing them.)

We don't have to be so hard on ourselves.  Because we may not have lived up to some shining goal: First book published by age 25; blogging every single day even if everyone in our family has the flu, and we've got it worst, if we haven't reached five bazillion Twitter followers by Halloween, doesn't mean we have to quit.

Or, if we have quit, it doesn't mean we can't put on a new uniform and try again.

Have you ever quit writing?  For how long, and what brought you back?
Please share any tips in the Comments.