by Bryn Donovan
Last week, a woman in one of my many online writer groups asked us this. She’d written and self-published a historical novel that had gotten twenty or so good reviews, but a few months after its release, it wasn’t selling many copies. She was having trouble staying motivated to work on her next project, and she wondered if she should just quit.
Now, there are all kinds of good reasons to quit writing. If you expected to get a lot of money right away and that didn’t happen, and you didn’t really enjoy writing anyway, that’s a great reason to give it up. In this case, there was no shame in trying, and there’s no shame in quitting, either.
But speaking of shame…a couple of times, I’ve had long conversations with people who were wondering if they should quit, even though they loved writing.
That made no sense to me. Why quit something you love doing?
If they’d been trying to make a full-time living at it, and it wasn’t working out, it would’ve been reasonable to consider getting a job, of course. I’ve always worked full time, myself.
But they were talking about quitting altogether. And when I talked to them more, I eventually learned that they were embarrassed. Embarrassed that they hadn’t had more success.