When is it time to give up?

by Flynn on April 26, 2011

Today I’m making a decision. Something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. Something that could make a big impact on my writing life.

I’m giving up. That’s right…I’m letting go. It’s way past time. I’ve read countless books on writing. I’ve read the blogs and spoken with other writers. And I’ve heard it all. “Don’t give in,” they say. “It’s resistance or procrastination. It’s that dark demon inside trying to make you fail.”

Let me back up and give you some background. At the beginning of 2010, I fast drafted more than half of my WIP “She’s Going Home.” I did well and surpassed my goal for the month in less than 2 weeks. I kept going and thought I had a decent first draft. Then I looked for critiques. I didn’t realize I wasn’t ready yet for it. Lesson 1 – Write first. Finish first. Then search out critiques. 

So here I am…writing along and I get the most awesome of mentors. A writer that writes like I want to write. She’s funny and smart and she gets my life. She has children and understands the challenges that come along, like moving and hospital visits (April 2010). A voluntary evacuation from our home had not been in my plans. My sons and I left our home of the past three years to visit family for six weeks. It sounded doable. My husband would stay behind in an unstable security situation, pack up our house, take care of our dog while I ENJOYED a break with family.

That’s when the hospital visits hit for my 3-year-old and my 90-year-old grandfather. There was also the challenge of being strong and keeping my patience with my little boys that couldn’t understand why we were leaving home without daddy. But I’ll tell you this. I kept writing.  My WIP was a source of pride. I wrote and then I rewrote and then I wrote some more.  I kept the story alive in my mind and in my fingertips.

But then I stopped.

I stopped because we were evacuated again from our new assignment. I stopped because my children needed me every second of every waking moment and when they were sleeping, I was too exhausted to think…never mind write. I stopped because I was pregnant and sick and then sick again. There would be time to write later, I told myself.

My baby girl was born almost six weeks ago. Each day, I’ve opened up my WIP and attempted to read and edit it. I’ve come to a few more conclusions. Lesson 2 – Life will get in the way. Yes, you can tell yourself to write everyday. You can set yourself up with time but you have to be forgiving of yourself too. Some obstacles will derail you.

So I’m shutting ‘er down. I haven’t decided if I’m going to start something new or return to a WIP that I had only just begun. Lesson 3- It’s a writer’s prerogative. Either way, I’m on the hunt for writing magic. Something to get me excited again. A story that will make my fingers fly over the keyboard and my mind locked down to distractions.

Ready, Set, WRITE!

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