Writing Wins and Woes: Why do writers quit?

I’ve been writing for a few years now to get published, and during this time I’ve seen quite a few writers quit along the way. It made me ponder the theme question, why did they quit writing? What is it about writing, though so beneficial to the soul, also is depressing and discouraging? I came up with a few answers.

  1. They never or rarely ever are able to be published. Why is this? Lots of reasons. They’re not good enough. They need to perfect their skills. They are writing to the wrong audience. They are writing to a wrong genre. They are applying too high in the field. What does this mean? They are trying to get into more prestigious magazines in the beginning that are more designed for known and experienced writers. They don’t edit enough. I could go on and on  but I won’t.
  2. They have low sales for their books. Why is this? Many reasons. Books don’t sell because they aren’t that good, they’ve had bad reviews, they’re not reaching out to enough people, people don’t know the author so they don’t buy the books, and some of the above reasons for number one as well.
  3. They get jobs. This has been a big detriment to me. When I first started writing, I didn’t work. I was a home maker. I had oodles of time to write. Then I had to face the music. I needed more money, and my kids grew up so I got a part time job and now I have two part time jobs, trying to shy away from full time work. Honestly I believe if I worked full time I’d probably rarely write. Working drains energy and it makes you want to play after you’re done, not work some more.
  4. Writing is a passing fad. Let’s face it. Writing is fun for a while, like painting. It can be a hobby and that’s nice, but once the thrill is gone, it’s easy to want to quit. One has to be dedicated to write seriously. It’s not that much fun really. It’s hard work.
  5. They have some early success and then failure. This is one I’ve dealt with personally. I did much better in the early days than I am doing now. Here I am a more experienced, more published writer, but I’m still in the novice position of writing. Why? Because I am staying with easier publishing places instead of moving on to higher ground. That’s because I lack confidence and skill to reach that goal. That’s a hurdle I have to jump yet.
  6. They are not making money. This could fall under the same category as not making sales, but the point is the same. Money makes the world go round. Money is a reward for a job well done. It’s more than paying the bills. It’s saying “I’m a good writer because I can make money at this.” Not many writers can say that, though.

I’m sure there are many more reasons for why writers quit but these are some I have found to be true. Let me know if you can think of some more. Maybe it would be more advantageous to write a blog on reasons to keep going as a writer. It takes dedication to be a writer. Don’t quit for any reason.

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Writing Wins and Woes: Yay! I wrote a story.

I’m giving myself props. We give props to kids all the time and I’m glad to see that now. I think it’s a little over done, because kids are getting participation awards now, not just awards for winning, but overall I think it doesn’t hurt to build up a child’s self esteem that will most certainly be ripped to shreds by the time they get in high school, if not before. I love to tell a child thank you for good behavior. I really think that encourages them to do more of the same. I often use this technique in my preschool class at church. When a child does what I ask him to do, I don’t just ignore, I praise. Kids eat up praise.

So, I’m praising myself today. It’s kind of funny, but I’m hoping it encourages me to do more good work. Because I’ve had a few months off of writing, and I really needed the pat on the back to get me motivated to write again. It’s so easy to get out of the habit of writing and say, “I just don’t have time anymore”, and after awhile you just don’t.

I wrote a story this week. Actually, I started the story last week, and my goal is to write a chapter or story a week every week of  this year, but that may have been a little ambitious, as it took me two weeks to write this story. I don’t know if it will be accepted or not. Most stories don’t and that is just a fact. But, at least I began the steps to writing again. I’m proud of myself. Here’s to future writing successes. Join me in some goals of your own and do your best to follow through, and then give yourself some applause. You deserve it!

Writing Wins and Woes: Tooting the Horn of a Little Known Writer

Once a month, I really would like to focus on a writer I really like. I am very eccentric in my writing tastes. Sometimes I like teen fantasy, children’s books; especially if they’re classics, classic literature, science fiction, anything literary, Christian fiction, etc. I really like a variety of books. A little gem that I discovered from frequenting book sales is a writer named Miss Read.

Miss Read is a pen name. Her real name is Dora Saint. I love Miss Read books. She writes about village schools in England from the long ago time. This is a time where all the kids schooled together in one room classrooms. At this time there were actually two classrooms, one for babies, they call them which would be the littlest ones, and the older group of ones able to read and write. But Miss Read is more than about the chronicles of school life. Her books focus on the peculiar personalities of village folk, from the parson to the gossipy neighbors.

My favorite character in the Miss Read books is Mrs. Pringle, who is the school custodian. Being a school custodian myself, I love when she complains about the children muddying up her freshly clean floors, or her daily aches and pains, brought about by her persistent efforts to spit shine everything she touches while she shares all the goings on of the village with Miss Read.

If you peruse the bibliography of Miss Read books, you’ll find that she has authored about 50 or more books in her lifetime. She lived to a ripe old age and wrote for most of those years. Her books are serialized, and if you’ve read one, you’ll want to read more. My besties are the Fairacre series, which center around a single lady school teacher named, of course, Miss Read. There is also the Thrush Green series, and some novels that were written by her also. I’ve really enjoyed everything she’s written.

These books are gems. But if you’re into the more action packed type books, don’t read these books. They are for people who like little folksy anecdotes, and a chuckle every now and then. They are perfect books for people who like to read right before they go to bed. This is my favorite time to read Miss Read.

 

 

Writing Wins and Woes: Revamping

As I so often do in my blog, I’ve looked over my progress and goals for the last year, and I’m renewing my efforts to write again. I have to admit I’ve floundered miserably the last few months in my writing. To be perfectly blunt, the only writing I’ve been doing since October has been my weekly blogs. You may have noticed that my blogs have gotten progressively more informational/personal. That’s because I had no progress to report because I wasn’t writing. Some of this is understandable. I had a rough year. Refer to my last blog. I had an injury. My mom got cancer. My boss died, increasing my work hours. But these are all excuses and I don’t want to blame everything on circumstances. You make time for what you want to do in life, and I chose to focus more on family, and I’m not sure that’s all bad.

So, how did I do last year?

  1. Three submissions a month. I didn’t achieve this goal. I had 20 submissions for the year, which is a little less than two submissions a month. Only two months did I actually make this goal; March, where I had three submissions and August, where I had four. From October-December there were 0 submissions. So, It’s probably amazing I made 20 submissions last year.
  2.  Finish my novel. No, I did not achieve this goal either. I didn’t finish my novel. I almost finished it but not quite.
  3. Read 20 books, two of them writing books. I did not read any writing books. However, I did read 22 books, so I did accomplish that goal, sort of.
  4. Re-evaluate publishing my book. Since I didn’t finish it, that was put on hold, too.
  5. Write 4-5 hours a week. This is a hard one. I can’t even begin to figure out how I would be able to be accountable to this goal because I didn’t keep track of my writing hours. This goal definitely needs to be changed so I can track my writing.

New Goals for 2017

  1. 25 submissions this year. I’m changing my monthly goals to yearly ones because this is easier to attempt and I can work at it when I feel the most inspired and when I have the most time to do it.
  2. Finish my novels. I have two and I want to finish both of them this year. I mean really finish at least the rough drafts of them.
  3. Read 40 books. I think I can do this goal because I now listen to audio books at work on my kindle. I have more time to read now.
  4. Write a story or a chapter every week. I’m not going to care if they’re good or not. I’m working on practice and I need the practice.
  5. Publish my children’s book, even if I have to do it myself. We’ll see about that one. I’ve been “hankering after” this goal for years.

Here are my goals and here I go. Wish me luck, everyone and God speed.