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Wednesday, July 7, 2021

What Would it Take? IWSG July 2021

It's IWSG Day. The goal of this blog hop is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds. IWSG is the brainchild of the amazing and generous  Alex Cavanaugh. To find links to other IWSG contributors, click here. Thank you to July co-hosts: Pat Garcia, Victoria Marie Lees, and Louise – Fundy Blue.

July’s optional question: What would make you quit writing?

Whoa. This question stopped me hard. As soon as I read it, I was deep into my brain answering—albeit flippantly. What would make me stop? The loss of my two hands? An unrelenting coma? My ultimate demise? But later that morning, as I drove to work, I pondered more seriously. Really. What would it take? I lost my father and within hours, sat down to write a eulogy because writing about him and choosing what to include soothed my aching heart. When my sister was terminally ill, I expressed my heartbreak in poems. I lost my job of 23-years and blogged my way out of the shock. When my husband passed away last spring, a day later I could do nothing BUT sit down and write about him. In truth, for a long while it was impossible to write anything that wasn’t about him, but eventually I could, and now that writing allows me to feel some semblance of normalcy. So, what would it take? I’m not sure I want to know, to tell you the truth.

Frustration, of course, comes along with “business” of writing. For me, most recently, that has involved researching agents who seem like a real fit for my novel and discovering they’re closed to queries. Then there are the rejections that appear in my inbox. It’s hard not to feel discouraged about those, or for example, when I became a finalist in the #revpit twitter contest this spring, but didn’t win. There was the contest I did win, which earned me an agent read on the first 50 pages and ultimately, feedback along the lines of: “Great writing and compelling characters but I’m severely limited in the adult projects I take on…”

There’s a one-step-forward-five-steps back, nausea producing, hopes-up-only-to-plummet-down cycle most writers experience, and I suppose, at some point we all ask ourselves if it’s worth it to stay on the ride. Darned if I know, but like Dorie the fish, I just keep swimming. The writing always brings joy, and as long as I keep trying, success beckons, even if it remains ever off in the distance.

What would make you stop writing?