Why Quitting Writing Is the Best Thing I’ve Ever Done (Revisited) #IWSG

Wow. This month’s question is a doozy. One I’ve dealt with. Quitting writing.

Check out this post: Why Quitting Writing Is the Best Thing I’ve Ever Done

I quit writing five years ago knowing this:

“I have nothing waiting for me to fill the emptiness where my dream used to be.”

It wasn’t a break, it was a promise. I was done.

Less than a year later, I realized I couldn’t keep that promise.

“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.”

This was a painful lesson and one I’m glad I went through.

Have you ever quit writing? Have you ever considered it? I’m pretty sure every writer, at some point, has thrown up his or her hands in frustration and yelled, “I quit!” Or something like that, anyway. But would you ever really quit?

IWSG Question of the Month

July Prompt – What would make you quit writing?

Insecure Writers Support Group Badge

IWSG (Insecure Writer’s Support Group)

This post is part of IWSG , a monthly blog hop/prompt started by Alex J Cavanaugh. 

58 thoughts on “Why Quitting Writing Is the Best Thing I’ve Ever Done (Revisited) #IWSG

  1. I’ve never considered quitting actually. But then, Derek and Cera still live in my head, paying story rent, so I guess there’s no reason to give it up yet!

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  2. Yes, I’ve quit writing. It was usually because the act of putting a whole story together was overwhelming. Sometimes it was because, even though I got a whole story together, I didn’t know what to do with it. Actually submitting something to be published seems to be almost ridiculous. What makes me think anyone would ever take me seriously?

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    • Writing can for sure be overwhelming. And submitting even more so. Or at least just as much, in a different way. I guess you’ve got to get to the point where you take yourself seriously then you won’t be wondering. (But many of us have imposter syndrome so…I guess we just keep going.) 🙂

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    • Thanks, Luccia. Well, for starters, I published my first book. So that was different. 😉 I guess the break kicked something loose. It was what I needed–a reality slap of sorts. As far as what I did… Well, not much. I dealt with some particularly shitty life stuff. Nothing creative. I wish I could say I learned to paint or play the guitar but, alas, no.

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  3. My concern is not so much me quitting creative writing, but creative writing quitting me. I add the qualifier as I work with an editorial outlet so I would still be involved with writing on a regular basis even if decided to give in to the nagging voice that has been blocking my efforts and trying to convince me to walk away for the past year. I remember when you quit though and was ever so glad it didn’t take. You give me hope.

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    • Yeesh. You remember when I quit? It was so public. That was part of what made it feel so real and…final. So, I guess, never say never or something like that. I’m glad it didn’t take, too. And, please, don’t quit. If you need to take a break, that’s cool, but we need your (creative) stories. 🙂

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  4. Sarah, we all talk that smack to ourselves every so often. It’s just frustration, with ourselves, our work, our lives, the whole freaking world. But sooner or later, we are just itching to have that pen in our hands again. I’ve been through this so often, it makes me laugh out loud now when I say or think “I’m never writing again!” 🤣

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    • Sure enough ourselves, work, life, the whole effing world… ALL OF THE THINGS. From now on, if I ever “quit”, I’ll be using air quotes. It’ll be more of a frustrated writer’s temper tantrum than an actual life choice. 😉 Cheers!

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  5. I was going to write that I started so late I’ve never wanted to stop and then I realised the reason I started so late… well, one of them … was because I was put off right way back at 14 or 15 by a thoughtless English teacher at school. So yes I did and it took 40 odd years to start again…

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  6. I can totally relate. Yes, we all have those moments, but when it’s in our blood, we never really stop writing. Just because we aren’t always working on a book doesn’t mean we aren’t writing. It’s who we are, and for many, cathartic. ❤

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  7. I’ve never quit, Sarah, though I can foresee slowing down to a “retirement” pace. I’ll admit to feeling sad when you struggled and had seemed to quit, but life doesn’t follow a linear journey and it’s not all downhill. Sometimes stepping back to get a little breathing room and a broader perspective is helpful. To take stock. Writing is hard and demanding on so many levels. It’s not for everyone and that’s perfectly okay. But I’m glad you’re back.

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    • I can’t imagine you ever not writing but I get the change of pace. (See what I did there? Fun.) So, so true. All of this. I had taken breaks before but this was a life-changing experience for me. I was so sure I was done. But, yeah, I suppose it wound up being a reality slap (or, in nicer terms, a new perspective). It was during a time of struggle but, honestly, there’s always going to be struggles in life so leaving something you love isn’t going to help the situation. Thank you, Diana. 🙂

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