Every month a question will be posed that may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Remember, the question is optional. You can write about anything that relates to your writing journey.
Let's give a warm welcome to our co-hosts, JH Moncrieff, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Jen Chandler, Megan Morgan, and Heather Gardner!
This month's question is: Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?
The only thing I've quit doing is journaling. I know, I know... as writers we're supposed to journal or keep a diary. I've journaled off and on throughout my life, but after a month or two I've always come back to the same set of questions.
Why bother to journal? To preserve some aspect of my most exciting life? Who's going to read this crap and why would I want anyone to read it? And why would I want to leave it behind for someone else to have to deal with when it will probably be burned or thrown away when I'm dead and gone anyway? What's the point when even I don't reread what I've written?
After years of struggling with these questions and doing the three morning pages suggested by Julia Cameron in her most excellent book, The Artist's Way, I finally gave it up for good. Don't get me wrong, I worked her whole book, faithfully doing those morning pages and it kick-started a long dry spell. But what did I end up with? Reams of hand written trash on college rule paper stuffed into an already over-stuffed four-drawer file cabinet. (I burned them all.)
Instead of journaling I much prefer spending my time on a new story. I like discovering the characters, world building, researching, taking notes, doing outlines, creating time-lines and then, the piece de resistance, writing the story. And that's what I keep, that's what fills my three ring binders and my file cabinet. I have stories, story ideas, snippets of stories, conversations, character descriptions, world descriptions/maps, lists of made up words/names, lists of titles, (etc. etc. etc.) that go all the way back to high school. And I do occasionally go through it because there are tons of possibilities for a NEW story -- my novel A Lizard's Tail came from these sources.
That's my journaling, that's my diary. Within the binders and drawers is the history of my writing journey. From horrible angst-filled teenage poetry to philosophical/spiritual observations, it's all there. And whoever has to deal with it when I dead and gone can do with it what they will.
So, the answer to the question is no, I've never said, "I quit."
What about you? Ever given up writing, quit and then found your way back?