Tag Archives: writing helps

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.

Writing Wins and Woes: Dog Days of Summer

I have to admit I get a little disenchanted with my writing this time of year. I’m not sure why. It’s summer. I want to be out and about doing fun things, not cooped up in the house writing. Not to mention that it’s hot, and it tends to drain my energy. Yes, I have air conditioning in the house, but after a long day’s work, I just don’t feel much like writing.

There’s a lot of reasons why summer just doesn’t seem to fill me with motivation. So I decided to list some motivational tools to help others who are going through the same thing.

  1. Start a brand new project. Sometimes the old projects get boring, so a new endeavor can spur you on to write.
  2. Use the five minute plan. I’ve talked about this before. Decide to write for five minutes. If you are still motivated, write for five more minutes.
  3. Journal. Here’s another thought I’ve harped on before. If you don’t have a story you feel like writing or adding to, just write your thoughts down. It may motivate you to write other things, and it’s good practice.
  4. Reward yourself. Decide on a special treat after you’ve finished writing. Then give yourself some pats on the back. Rewards work with kids and adults.
  5. Go somewhere specifically to write. Sometimes a change of scenery can start the creative juices flowing.
  6. Free yourself from distractions. Don’t answer your cell. Don’t open the door. Don’t check facebook. Shut the door and write. Don’t even throw the ball to the dog. (I have that problem when I’m sitting down to write.)
  7.  Write a whole story in one sitting. Challenge yourself. I know this sounds hard but you really get a sense of achievement when you finish something. Try not to stop until the story is done. Work on fine tuning later.
  8. Add a chapter. Add just one chapter to the novel you are currently working on. It’s forward progress and it feels good.
  9. Write something completely different than you usually write. Again, it’s fresh and fun and you might be surprised that you actually like writing in a new kind of way.
  10.  Practice whenever you can. Read a news story. Write about it. Watch something on tv. Write about it. Read a book. Write about it. These projects are actual things. They are called book and movie reviews and editorials. They are fun and helpful to developing your writing skills. Even try writing a review on a product you bought on Amazon or a recipe you liked.             There you go. Take one or all or make up your own. Just write.019

Writing Wins and Woes: Winter’s Angry Roar

winter 2015 March 029

I sometimes wonder what winter thinks it’s doing when it rears its ugly head in March. Just when I was thinking daffodils and hyacinths, it dumps a foot of snow on us. We’ve had more cold and snow than our share these last months. I haven’t even seen one crocus this year. The weatherman said it was winter’s last gasp but after a foot of snow, I recognize it for what it is; an angry roar.

What does this have to do with writing? Well, my writer’s soul has been wintering lately. I’ve felt myself huddled up, secreted away and forsaken. Despite my writing goals, and I have been writing, I’m not feeling it with my writing. I’m lacking a lot of motivation, and I’m really struggling. Although I’ve had a publication in my ever faithful Guardian Angel Kids. See it here: http://www.guardian-angel-kids.com/03-015-3Dflip/index.html
I’ve also had two rejections; one from Daily Science Fiction and one from Cricket, which makes me feel, need I say it, mediocre.

This is something every writer agonizes with; to keep going despite insurmountable odds. So, here’s my quick tips to keep writing despite disappointments and distractions:

1. Write for a theme. Sometimes I can’t for the life of me come up with one lousy idea on my own until a magazine says write on this theme. Then, I say Ahhh, I think I’ve got it.

2. Use writing prompts. Writings prompts get the juices flowing.

3. Read all/most of what you’ve written last. If I’m working on a novel, sometimes reading a good portion of it makes me think what to write next.

4. Work on something new. Let’s face it. We’re all out with the old, in with the new. Sometimes the old is boring, so writing something new motivates us. After you’ve been away from the old for awhile it may become new again.

5. Meditate. When I meditate I often come up with writing ideas or the next part of my manuscript.

6. Write those random thoughts down. Whatever they are, you are at least writing.

So beat winter’s angry roar with a roar of your own.