My wife and I were having a jovial conversation the other day about the usual stuff (i.e., how busy and exhausted we are) and I said that if I didn’t believe I would eventually make writing to the point where I can do it full time, that I would have quit a long time ago.
And that’s true in every sense. I really do believe that the sacrifices we’re both making will be worth it in the end. And if my heart wasn’t 100% in it, I would have given up by now.
The thing that is interesting–and in a lot of ways encouraging–about writing is that it’s a hobby that doesn’t have a time limit. You get as many chances as you want and failure is never the end result unless you decide it is. It’s like a lifelong role playing game where you continue to gain experience, improve with victory or loss, and get closer to winning with every word you write.
In other words, if you want to be successful at writing, you will. But…it isn’t easy and if you’re not prepared to be in it for the long-haul, then you shouldn’t be writing in the first place.
Nobody just writes a novel and becomes a best seller. Every professional writer you can name has spent years or even decades working to perfect their craft. They received hundreds of rejections before hitting the one acceptance that helped them break through.
Every great writer will probably find his or her way to the top, but there is enough room up there for a ton of us good writers to get there as well.
And that’s what keeps me writing.
So to answer the question I ask in the title of this post, When should you give up your dream and stop writing?
The answer is you should quit the second you no longer believe you’ll achieve whatever level of success you’re looking for.