Mile 29: Quit?

My last entry was about how many words you could/should you be writing — and I mentioned that there will be tough days, maybe many in a row, where you simply feel you’ve got nothing left to put down on paper, at least nothing that someone would want to read.

You wouldn’t be human if, at some point during those down times, you didn’t consider quitting. Figured it’s not for you, you gave it your best shot and have better things to do with your time than beat your head against a computer screen. If that happens to you once or twice, rest assured you’re not alone.

But if it’s happening all the time, it might be time to quit. Assuming it’s a hobby, since it’s your first book and you probably don’t yet have a publisher breathing down your neck asking daily when the next book will be done, just quit. There are plenty of other ways to have fun and spend your “free time.” Odds are, you’re under no obligation, contractually or morally, to finish what you’ve started, so cut yourself a break and go do something else.


Unless you miss it. If a few days after you’ve walked away you’re still feeling a sense of relief and enjoying whatever you’re doing instead of writing, then you probably made a good decision. Plus, nothing says you can’t come back to it in a week, a month or a year.

But, if you find you’re missing it, that you’re kicking story ideas, passages and neat little turns of phrase around in your head, maybe it’s time to go back. Maybe you owe it to yourself, to your book, to sit back down and see if you can’t type out a page, and if that works, maybe another. Be kind to yourself. Move at a pace that works for you, and be thankful the keyboard called you back.

And make a mental note of what you felt when you walked away, what it felt like when you thought you were done and what it felt like when you returned to the keyboard. And don’t be surprised if you go through the very same thing again. Writing can be fun and bring great joy, but it can also be work and cause great pain. It’s up to you whether the joy makes the pain worth it. I hope it is, because very few things feel as good as typing these two little words…

~ The End ~

I wish you good writing, and if you have a question or something you’d like to share, send me an email at [email protected].

Thank you, enjoy and keep writing!

One Comment on “Mile 29: Quit?

Maggie DeMay
December 19, 2018 at 8:36 am

This is probably totally off the subject of when to quit. It’s more along the lines of when to start, or to be specific, where to start.

Is there a list anywhere of magazines, blogs, e-zines, or websites that publish Western stories, and if so, where can you find it?



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