Stepping into the forest of my mind

Stepping into the forest of my mind
Just as every journey begins with a first step, every story begins with the first word.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Insecure Writers want to know: Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?

            Did I ever say “I quit” being a writer? All the time!
http://victoriamarielees.blogspot.com


My logic always is:

There’s no one out there waiting to read the next Victoria Marie Lees story—or blog post for that matter.

No editor or publisher asking for another YA adventure story or camping anecdote or wondering where my memoir about attending college as a mother of five is.

I’m wasting my family’s hard-earned money taking courses and seminars and attending conferences.

I’d have so much more time with my family and friends, neighbors and co-workers, even for myself, if I wasn’t always writing.

My personal stress level would greatly diminish, and I could become that somewhat calm person I was before I started concentrating almost every waking minute on creating something saleable, or building my writer’s platform.

            But then my mind starts arguing with itself. Telling stories and family anecdotes live in my heart. They breathe in my soul. Will I always be able to sell what I create to the traditional market? Nope! Is that a reason not to try?

            To some, maybe. To me, I needed to search deep within myself to find the answer.

            Because I can’t hike the entire Appalachian Trail or Continental Divide Trail at one time, should I not try to hike portions of the trail when I can?
            Because we don’t have a lot of money, should we not create special moments with our children or tell them that they can’t go to college, can’t better themselves through education?
            Because we don’t have a fancy motor home—much to the children’s dismay—should we not take a vacation and camp with the children in a well-used, crank-up trailer or tent away from media distractions, spending precious time creating lifelong memories?  
                      
These questions come up whenever I try to convince myself that I'm better off not writing. Not trying. Writers need to believe in themselves, a difficult task for sure.

Life forever moves forward. Changing us in small ways and big every day. I can’t go back to when I wasn’t concentrating most of my time on creating stories. Story telling is a part of who I am. Hard work is a part of who I am. For profit or only peace of mind, I will always be a writer. My poor family will just have to deal with my moods and time constraints—and so will I.

I can’t wait to learn how many of you deal with this. Thanks so much for stopping by Adventures in Writing and offering a comment. Please follow my blog if you haven’t already. It’s greatly appreciated.  


This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s SupportGroup.  We post on the first Wednesday of every month.  To join us, or learn more about the group, click HERE.  

24 comments:

  1. Those memories will be far more precious. Even if you never make a ton from your writing, it's not the things and stuff that will make a memory better. It's you.
    I'll admit, I can really identify with your last logical answer...

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    1. Thank you so much for this, Alex. I truly needed confirmation that I'm making the right decisions. Life is meant for memories. We need to make them precious if we can.

      Thanks for all you do to assist your fellow writer. It's always a pleasure seeing you here at Adventures in Writing. All best to you, sir.

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  2. Many times we do wonder if what we're doing is worth it, and it takes some time to realize it is. It's our dream, after all. We have to use what we have or do what we can manage to have fun, build memories, and achieve our dreams. :)

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  3. Thank you for your kind words too, Chrys. Life is full of memories. I hope all yours are treasured.

    Thanks so much for visiting Adventures in Writing. Please stop by again.

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  4. This is such a good post. So real and honest. I haven't quit. I've tried, many times. Like you, I wondered what else I could be doing with my life: crafting, starting a business, relaxing. But even when I took a break last summer, I ended up with two story ideas while "quitting". I knew then that writing is in my blood and will never leave me alone. And I'm OK with that. Life is important, though, and so are the memories. I'm taking another break this summer to recharge and see where one particular story is taking me. I need to just be: with myself, my family and friends, and this story, not the million others clamoring for my attention.

    Keep writing!
    Jen
    PS: New follower here :D

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  5. Hello and welcome to Adventures in Writing, Jen! Thanks so much for your kind words. They mean the world to me.

    Your suggestion of taking the summer off sounds like such a good idea, giving the mind a much needed rest. Writing is truly in my blood as well.

    All the best to you! Please stop by Adventures in Writing again.

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  6. Yeah, I may feel like quitting but never do. Great post.
    Interacting with other writers helps me. I am part of this group, Holly Lisle course forms, K M Weiland's Wordplayers, Ninja Writers and a couple other through courses. Most of mine are active so it can really help life my spirits and inspire.

    Hang in there. You have some great memories.
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit vvvv

    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Juneta. They are greatly appreciated. Interacting with other writers is key to keeping us sane for sure. Your encouragement is truly appreciated.

      Thanks again for your comment here at Adventures in Writing. All the best to you!

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  7. Martha Graham said, "... because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable it is nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. ... Keep the channel open. ..."

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    1. Jennifer, sharing your expertise and inspiration with me is a treasure I can never thank you enough for. Thank you for introducing me to Martha Graham's genius. Her words will resonate within my mind and keep me open to my own "unique" expression, my own writing. I shouldn't worry about what others' think, just express my feelings and hope they resonate with others.

      Always a pleasure seeing you here at Adventures in Writing. All the best to you, my dear.

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  8. Hi Victoria - excellent heart-rending post ... you will succeed and you can start this off now - remember those memories as they occur - they don't need to be well written, just jotted down - may be a jot notebook ... then they'll be recorded, or via an email to self using the voice recorder on the phone ... just copy them off into a file ... or some other format that makes sense to you - doesn't take much time ... but you'll have them there for reference. Stories will come out of them later on - ease off the conferences, etc ...do the odd one perhaps ... but your writing will get the light of day - you'll be more relaxed, you'll be building your building blocks of stories ... and you'll have that extra time for the family ... hope this makes sense?! Cheers Hilary

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    1. Hilary, you are so wonderful to me. I do keep journals of our camping adventures and try to get the children to jot down their feelings and memories of our journeys. However, anecdotes are not fully-developed stories. They are merely seeds for the imagination, fledgling ideas to contemplate.

      Thanks so much for your encouraging words, Hilary. It's always a pleasure seeing you here at Adventure in Writing.

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  9. Writing is a very solitary activity, but those who do it are the ones who probably would be solitary, anyway. I know I am. If someone is more inclined to get out into the world and live in it, then they better accept writing full-time is going to require they give it up, for the most part. It's just how the lifestyle needs to be and our families/friends have to put up with it.

    I contemplate quitting for different reasons, but still do because it's so hard to get good at it. I think we just have to recognize that it's what we want to do with our lives and just keep going. If nothing else will make you happy, then it's the right path.

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    1. Hello and welcome to Adventures in Writing, Cathy. Thanks so much for following my blog.

      It's true writing makes me happy, but it is difficult with all the foot traffic in my home to find that solitary moment to be able to think straight and create a well-plotted story.

      Thanks for your note. All the best to you, Cathy! Please stop by Adventures in Writing again.

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  10. I love your thoughts on just because we can't do the whole thing (hike the entire trail, etc) doesn't mean we can't do part of it. It doesn't have to be all or nothing. We don't have to be mega-bestsellers to be writers. :)

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  11. Hello and welcome to Adventures in Writing, Madeline. Thanks so much for your encouraging words. They mean the world to me.

    This is so true, Madeline. Not every writer can be a bestseller. But that doesn't mean we can't try. All the best to you! Please stop by Adventures in Writing again.

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  12. It's only quitting if you never pick it back up again. Good luck on piecing that "trail" together bit by bit. ;)

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    1. Hello and welcome to Adventures in Writing! I think you are right. It is only quitting if you never do it again. Thanks so much for your encouraging words. Please stop by Adventures in Writing again. All the best to you!

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  13. I sometimes think we are cursed as writers because there is no changing what's deep within us. Then I remember that in fact we are blessed to be able to express ourselves and share our stories in a creative way that makes others respond. You said, "Writers need to believe in themselves." So, so true.

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  14. Thank you, Lynda, for these inspiring words. If writers think of their choices in this way, we are guaranteed to believe in ourselves. Always a pleasure seeing you here at Adventures in Writing. All the best to you, my dear.

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  15. The most beautiful thing I get from your post is that you know what you want and you make the right decisions to find a balance and to do what you are meant to do - create or reproduce stories. Everything is a balance and our priorities change, but when you know in your heart what you want to do and you manage to follow through with that, I'd say that is the way to happiness!

    I enjoy writing as well, but the desire is not as deeply ingrained as it is with you and when life gets in the way or other passions take over, I have to be OK with it and not feel guilty. I'll write when my schedule and lifestyle allows, but I will never totally quit either. :-)

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  16. Liesbet, thank you for helping me see what I couldn't see before. Balance is truly key to keeping yourself sane and finding happiness in life. And yes, daily priorities can change in anyone's life. We need to move in the wind of life or break because of it. So glad to hear that you will never quit either. More power to us.

    Thanks so much for your kind words and for visiting Adventures in Writing. Please stop by again.

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  17. Oh, Victoria, I hear ya--this gig is SO tough sometimes, especially when you feel no one but you cares about your stories. But stick with it, and there will be signs--little at first, then bigger--that you were meant to be a writer and that you have readers.

    It's worth the excruciating wait.

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  18. All writers have doubts, but to let those doubts take over and keep you from writing would be like cutting out part of your soul. Writers have to write. It's part of their being. Never give it up. Let it ebb and flow around all the wonderful memories you're making, as much a part of your life as they are. Your life will be so much the richer for it.

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