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?
But with all of those so-close moments, an on-target one could be right there, waiting next, which means you can't give up.
I can so identify with you and the life setbacks. I have been there and each time it has been my writing that has helped me deal with each pain. Thank you for sharing and keep submitting. You never know when that door to traditional publishing will open and stay open. So, don't give up.
All the best and take care.
Pat G @ EverythingMustChange
Your writing sustains you...and that's a blessing. My writing has done the same for me. I and understand all those rejections, but as every other writer will tell you - keep on trying.
keep swimming, keep writing - I like that, and as long as it brings you something (well, it's maybe not money or fame) then why not? I'm not really "writing" i.e. books. But I blog, I write letters to my dad...it's writing and creating. Like throwing spaghetti on the wall - something will stick (and that can create new messes). Keep plugging, but sit back and enjoy summer too - grab that camera!
I'm glad your writing has sustained you through all your losses and hard times. For me, I lost some of the inspiration to write for a long time after my husband died. Now I enjoy the process of writing, though I'm not so sure about trying to get published anymore.
So close with that contest win! Fingers crossed for you that the next opportunity, whatever that might be, will be THE one.
But also, if the writing always brings you joy then you're already successful. :)
Hi Liza - I feel for you ... but you've written yourself back to some degree of normality - which I'm pleased to read. Keep writing ... I find my blog writing keeps me sane, and as I write some challenging things I learn as I post, keeping my brain active. Do what helps you ... and so good to see you here ... cheers Hilary
One thing about Dory IS her short attention span. Sometimes that can be a good thing as you can forget the 'bad' about something (like writing) and just get on with it. :)
It seems like writing has always been there to help you through the bad times.
I love this post. Writing gives us an avenue of expression when we have nothing else. It's crazy and frustrating but we must write.
I think your examples illustrate just how much writing can sustain us through everything life throws at us. It gives us space to breathe and process, which is invaluble.
Thank you for sharing how writing helped you in the hard stuff. Keep on swimming!
Liza, I'm so sorry there has been so much sadness and loss in your life, but you are truly my hero for soldiering on and finding solace in your writing. You are a very talented writer, poet and photographer and I have every confidence your time will come. Keep entering those contests, inspiring us to become better writers, and more importantly, better people.
I did the same thing when my dad died. It helped me to see the different parts of him. I can't imagine not writing. I have way too many unfinished projects and a million folders with ideas begging to be explored.
Writing can be such a roller coaster with all the ups and down. Even then, it's hard to stop. I always end up coming back to it. I also think it's great that the agent complimented your writing. To even get that far is awesome.
I have had Stephen King's book On Writing on my iPad since 2019 and haven't read it because I thought it was full of horror comparisons etc. After reading your article today, I will read it. It sounds down to earth.
Thanks and all the best.
Pat G @ EverythingMustChange
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