It’s been one year since I quit writing.
When I posted about this, it was heart-breaking.
I regretted sharing my decision.
Then I realized how much I needed to post it. To feel it. To publicly admit it.
Here’s the thing. The biggie. I’ve “quit” writing before but I’ve never really quit.
I’ve had a meltdown over a story or a freak-out about my computer crashing (save your work!) or stopped writing out of frustration because I’d been interrupted for the fifteenth time. I’ve had writer’s block, run short on time, gotten sick, had self-doubt… You name it.
I’ve thrown my hands up and shouted, “I quit!”
Those are probably relatable to most writers. There is always something trying to block your way, drain your energy, waste your time, or stifle your creativity.
But when I wrote that post, I well and truly quit.
When I published that post, something inside me shifted.
This wasn’t a writer’s temper tantrum. This was me letting go of my dream. I waited two whole agonizing months to return.
Though, in the grand scheme of things, this wasn’t a long time, it felt like forever.
I thought about losing the creative outlet I’d been using since I was nine years old. I thought about flash and writing prompts and how much I’d miss those. But, honestly, what I thought about most was the fact that the characters in my novels would never finish telling me their stories. I thought about the fact that I would never write another word about these people.
I cried. Again.
Truth is, I was in a bad spot and thought quitting writing would take some pressure off. I thought it would give me more time and energy to deal with the crap. What I found was, by taking writing away, I was less able to deal with things.
You know what? I am overwhelmed. I do have a lot going on. There are shitty things happening.
There were a year ago and there still are today.
I did need a break, but not from writing.
I thought my life demanded I let go of my dream. I thought I had to kill a piece of myself, to make room for a new piece—one that could deal with all of the drama, chaos, and responsibilities. But it broke my spirit when I quit.
Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved putting pencil to paper and creating stories. I’ve always known writing is part of me. It’s not that I discovered this last year, it’s that I got a reality slap. A reminder that I need writing. Not just that I love it—I need it.
I had to feel this, really feel this loss, to fully appreciate how much I needed it.
I am a writer. It’s what I do. It’s who I am.
The fact that I quit writing played a big part in the publishing of Hinting at Shadows. One year ago I stopped writing and, almost exactly one year later, I am a newly published author. Of a book that I love. One that I’m proud of. One that shows we never know what the future holds. One that proves we cannot bury our dreams.
Have you ever given up, quit, or let go of something you loved? Did this hurt or help you? Or both? Did you ever return to what you left?