Stop Writing! You Have Failed.
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How often do you ask yourself if you should stop writing? Once a day? Every now and then?
And when you ask yourself that, what do you do? What is your measurement if you should still push on. Despite not knowing where it might lead you. If you’re ever going to make it. If anyone will even like what you wrote. If you will be able to make a living off of it.
All those sacrifices for writing you make every day. Will it ever pay off?
Well, here’s my two cents on it.
You need some measurement device for yourself. You can set yourself a time until when you’re going to try. If it doesn’t work out you stop.
That’s one way.
Or, you could go out, try to find an alternative that you like better than writing. If you find one you know that writing is at best your second choice. If you find nothing, then you can go back to writing.
And I bet there are a million other ways to find out.
One of the ways that I like comes from the great Terry Rossio, screenwriter of box office behemoths like Pirates of the Caribbean, Zorro, Shrek, and a bunch of others.
In his columns he advises to do write until at lest until:
- … You’ve given it a legitimate shot (whatever that may mean for you)
- … Until trying is no longer fun
That has become the yardstick for me.
Of course, what can happen is, that “giving it a legitimate shot” can change over time. Today it might be publishing your first book, then it might become getting an agent, then something else.
If you discover that writing is no longer fun, I think that is when you should at least consider stopping.
But be careful. It might be that you are in life conditions that don’t permit you to find back to the fun of writing but it has to do with other things, not with the writing itself.
Happened to me.
I left writing for a while to find out what would happen. Turned out I missed it. So I came back to it and I enjoy et even more than before. It was the other things around the writing that took the fun out of it.
Because when you’re not having fun it’s hard to tap into your inspiration.
How to learn to cut through the crap and make your inspiration shine again?
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