She asks in the article,
What if you haven’t achieved as much as you’d hoped, or worse, you’re just beginning and are feeling overwhelmed and suicidal?
While I rarely, if ever, feel anything remotely close to suicidal, I have caught myself feeling a bit overwhelmed as of late. I know I’ve put all of this on myself. I knew going in that running Theme of Absence would take a lot of time. Same thing with starting Write Good Books and then committing to a Mon-Friday. I’m also starting a new project that has me both excited as hell and nervous as shit, and yes, that will take away even more of my writing time.
Then there are two rejected short stories of mine that need to be resubmitted elsewhere and that second novel just isn’t going to write itself, no matter how many opportunities I give it.
And let’s not even talk about all the social media stuff.
Anyhow, I came home from the day job last night feeling terrible. Not emotionally terrible, but just physically like I was dying. You know how it is when you just get a little bug… sinus infection, upset stomach, aches and pains in every joint, maybe a slight fever…probably just a little dehydrated and fatigued from the weekend, I suppose.
But I sucked it up and went to the library with the family. I actually felt a little better after we got out of the house. There was kids’ magician putting on a pretty good performance, and I watched a little bit of it with my
little guy big boy. He doesn’t let me call him my little guy anymore. (Nor does he let me scratch his head like he’s a little puppy. Sigh. They grow up too fast.)
After we got home, read the Halloween books we picked out (I have no idea where my four-year-old developed such a love for Halloween) and then put the kids to bed.
And then I just said screw it, ate a giant bowl of ice cream, and went to bed as well. For the first time in maybe years, I managed to get seven solid hours of sleep.
I woke up feeling pretty good, but I’m still almost a hundred percent sure I’ll have to deal with this sinus thing eventually. I did, however, feel a tiny bit of guilt for not finishing the post I had started earlier in the day.
Anyhow, my point, if I have one, is that it’s both easy, and okay, to feel overwhelmed at times when you’re trying to make turn your hobby into something more than that.
I’m exhausted all the time. But in a very weird and real way, I’m okay with that. Every successful artist, from Stephen King to Howard Tayler will tell you about what life was like when they were at this stage. You don’t watch TV. You don’t get as much sleep as you should. You don’t exercise as much as you should and you certainly don’t spend as much time with your family as you should. But if you don’t put in the hours, you’ll never get there.
Remember that guy that gave up? Neither does anybody else.
I’m not sure who to credit for that quote, so if you know, please leave a comment, but it is one of my favorite quotes, not just about writing, but about life in general.
There really is only one thing separating successful writers from the rest. The successful ones never stopped.
So to answer the question asked earlier in this post, What if You Want to Quit Writing?, my answer is this:
I don’t know. I’ve never wanted to quit and I don’t think that day will ever come.
Thanks for reading and for you other struggling new authors out there feeling the same way, hang in there. We’re all in this together.