David Farland’s Daily Kick in the Pants—When do you give up?
A couple of weeks ago, a young writer posted a message on a writers' board asking, “How do you know that it is time to give up on your writing?” I didn’t answer then, leaving others to do so.
I suppose, though, that as a writer, you may never reach your goals. There are lots of goals that you might have:
1) To get published
2) To win awards
3) To become a bestseller
4) To write monumental works
5) To write the best novel/screenplay of all time
6) To become richer than J.K. Rowling
I can’t guarantee that anyone has it in them to reach any one of those goals. Yet I suspect that most people could accomplish the first three with hard work, determination, and a bit of luck.
So here’s a question: what do you want out of writing? Is it enough to write for the love of it, for your own personal edification, for the enjoyment of your posterity? Those are worthy goals, though many people don’t think of them often enough.
Most of the time, when we talk about giving up, it is because we feel depressed or overwhelmed. But we can get over it. Winston Churchill went through some hard times in his life. He fell a distance of thirty feet as a teen, ruptured a kidney, and spent days in a coma. He failed in business over and over again. He lost his position and became so depressed that he could not speak for days afterward.
And he led England through World War II, against incredible odds. One of his oft-quoted sayings is “Never, never, never give up.” He has a lesser-known quote that I like: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
One can think long and hard and not find any value in giving up. It’s certainly not for me.
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