A Quitter’s Conundrum

evictionSometimes you have to put a pin in it. Plan to come back to it later, lower the position of your “dream” from your theoretical tack board of priorities and get your real-life shit together.

Over the years, I’ve done it a lot: ‘Cause baby, the act of writing your first book ain’t gonna raise your kids, and it sure as HELL ain’t gonna pay your bills.

I’ve been writing my debut novel a FURREAKING long time. The idea for the story came just after my first son was born. And yeah, he’s ten. I won’t sit here and tell you it’s because Old Souls is going to be the next War and Peace. It’s not going to be the next Interview with the Vampire or American Gods. Sometimes when I read the manuscript, I wonder if my beloved book even deserves to be published at all.

So what’s taken so long?

In the last ten years I’ve worked hard to contribute financially to my growing family. My husband and I are now raising not just one, but THREE dastardly little hellions. My stepdaughters have grown into women.

Life happened.

The book waited.

And this summer, for the very first time, I thought about giving up completely.richard-simmons

I accepted another promotion at work. I turned my back on all things Old Souls, ignoring my social media accounts, Scribbles on Cocktail Napkins, and even my critique partners. I shut everything down . . . and worked at work. After all, it took years to write what I have. If I kept going the way I was, it might take years to edit. It begged the question: Was there any point in going on at all?

paulThe interesting thing is, without the dream of getting Old Souls published to keep me going I became surprisingly unhappy. Finding time to write has always been a struggle between a busy work and family life, but it turns out that not writing at all is . . . downright depressing.

I love to write. When I “grow up,” writing is what I want to do.

The moment I came to this realization, allowing myself to feel it in “the very cockles of my heart,” (as my ever so witty momma would say), I felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. It’s okay to have dreams. It’s okay to make sacrifices for your dreams. For the last ten years, I’ve put a pin in my writing to make room for real life. But one day, if I want writing to be my real life, I’m going to have to sacrifice some of what I have going on now.

So, I’ve taken a step back at work. It seems that whether of not I’ll ever make $$$ writing, it’s what I want to do, and funnily enough–stopping it altogether is what made me realize that. After all this time, I still love my book. I still love the premise. And I still want other people to love it too. So here I am, back on the blogging train. Back in the writing game. Back in the Imma going to get published one day rollercoaster ride.

So let’s DO this thing.



28 thoughts on “A Quitter’s Conundrum

  1. We’ve all been there. But the fact you keep coming back to writing says a lot. Writing is done for lots of reasons. I’m a Joseph Campbell fan – follow your bliss. If it feels right, then you’re meant to do it.

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  2. My story started on a Sunday … and its a part of me … even if on hold! 3 month house extension build part of the reason … just today got my desk back again and guess who I find at the top of my screen scroll … why my friend its you! Promotions are a big deal … I once turned one down and ended up working for some asshole … but you know me … he kind of moved on and I did things my way. Jenny its bloody marvelous to see you back on here again, I know you do the ‘screen thing’ with Alison and Dan … but I just haven’t had the time or to be completely honest, the inclination to get into that … words on page and screen my thing. Your book will come and I’ll be thrilled to read it … just like CJ’s this coming week! Mine, well still aiming for end this year … honest!. Anyway I’ll shut up now (yes I still go on a bit!) and wish you and yours well … and I’ll see you on a bookstore shelf I’m absolutely sure. Cheers Eric.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my goodness, it’s great to hear from you Eric! It’s been too long.

      Promotions are great. I am proud of what I’ve accomplished at my job, AND proud that I know myself well enough that I know I should be making strides to a different future.

      And wow, am I ever proud of CJ now. She’s KILLING it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You don’t know that it’s not the next war and peace.

    Remember, War and Peace wasn’t War and Peace until they finally published it.

    Some day, somewhere, somebody is going to think your book is the greatest book ever. Your book is going to be their. Do not deprive them of that, and do not deprive the world of your great story.

    I wait – patiently – for its birth, and I will celebrate you, celebrate with you and celebrate YOU, when it happens.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’ve missed your posts, though I do understand. I will be excited to see more from you again and to hear more about your novel! I have some serious issues with depression and anxiety that cripple me and my writing, but sometimes you just have push through and keep going when you realize writing is your life in some capacity. Wishing you well!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s all worth it. When real life and dreams merge, and it will happen. On the ride back from the train station (I had been locale scouting for my Cozy Mystery series town inspiration) my 9 year old nephew asked, “So are your books in the library and stores, or you just keep them to yourself?” And I could answer, well one you can get on Amazon right now; and by next year it and my new series will be available as a real book, e-book and in our library, and at the stores. He smiled, said “okay, that’s cool”, and settled in to sleep. I knew in that moment all the pauses, starts, complete stops, frustrations, dedication and hopeful celebrations were…Worth it. We are proud of you, excited for you and willing to be patient for greatness (and I believe your book will be:-) ). When you are ready and done, we will celebrating and congratulating. I’m glad you are back!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think of writing as a calling, a dream my soul aspires to. I got so busy with my kids working two jobs to afford college for them that it stayed on the back burner till they were grown. I loved the work I did but the desire remained and once it bloomed into a real book plot, I spent ten years on my first book (supposed first of three) the last three editing. But I’m glad you started younger and encourage you to keep at it! You will be a better person, mom, wife, if you live your dream! Jo

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Several years ago I worked with an author who wrote a fantasy trilogy to stave off postpartum depression but didn’t publish the books for more than twenty years! You have plenty of company, believe me; write for yourself, feed your soul, and the rest will follow when you’re ready.

    Liked by 1 person

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