This week on the blog hop, we’re talking about a topic that affects almost every writer at some point – a time when we considered giving up writing.
I wrote The Detective’s Brother in 2011 and spent several years trying to get it published through every possible avenue, but even though I got a little bit of interest from agents I was ultimately rejected.
Every time I got a rejection letter I felt like I was personally being rejected. No matter how many times I reminded myself that every writer gets rejected and that JK Rowling was rejected by 12 publishers before she found one that would publish Harry Potter, I felt my resolve that I would ever publish slipping.
Then one day I just woke up and couldn’t write. Everyone has an off day so I just sat around watching movies and crocheting, deciding that I would try again the next day. But the same thing happened over and over until I couldn’t put more than a paragraph on the page without worrying about its quality.
Rather than trying to ignore my inner editor as they tell us during NaNoWriMo, I overanalyzed every word in an attempt to understand why no one wanted to take a chance on my writing. I got so caught up in trying to craft the perfect sentence that someone might love that I wasn’t enjoying writing, and eventually I just stopped.
After a few months of attempting to write this way, I gave up. I decided I was just going to stop writing because obviously it wasn’t good enough for anyone, so I put away my computer and sank into a deep depression. Every day that I wasn’t writing felt like an eternity but I couldn’t look at a blank screen any longer.
Then my husband suggested that I write something completely outlandish just for fun. When I was in college and high school, I used to write fan fiction (if you don’t know what that is, it’s when you write fiction using the characters and stories from something established like Harry Potter or Doctor Who). I decided I was going to write something like that again just for fun, and once again I found joy in writing.
I got used to writing every day again and before I knew it I was getting ideas again and writing outlines for stories of my own. I started rewriting Detective’s Brother and submitted it to small presses. You know the story from there!
Since then I have never had a day like the one where I decided to stop writing, and it’s been a relief. Now I can’t imagine making that decision again.