Thursday, March 26, 2009

Quittin' Time?

If at first you don't succeed...
Winners never quit...
You can do anything if you put your mind to it.

All our lives, we're encouraged to pursue our dreams. To set ambitious goals and work toward them. We hear success stories of those who created thriving businesses, sold their novels, got the part that launched an acting career.

We don't hear much about those who failed...those who really tried, who worked diligently for years but just couldn't get where they wanted to go.

So how do you know if it's time to quit? Should you give up on a troubled relationship, the career change that hasn't paid off, the novel you can't seem to sell? When does an endeavor go beyond "persistence pays" to beating your head against the wall or even TSTL (too stupid to live--a critique given to a romance novel heroine who does something completely out of character or plain stupid)?

Maybe there's a better use of your time, money and energy.

I'm seriously considering abandoning my pursuit of publication. Though multi-published friends and industry professionals praise my writing--an editor recently said "incredibly talented"--faithful readers know I haven't sold after 15 years and 10 completed manuscripts. Yes, there are those who have taken even longer and written even more books before selling. But there are also many who sold their second or third manuscripts in a mere handful of years.

So do I write ms #11? Keep submitting the others, because all it takes is getting the right story in front of the right person at the right time? Or do I cut my losses and quit?

CNN: Ten reasons you should quit

Should you quit?

When the going gets tough...

7 comments:

Eileen said...

My vote is that you keep writing. However if it become a chore and unpleasant then hang up the pencil for awhile. Or at least the query process.

You're an amazing writer. We need you.

Michelle Monkou said...

Don't quit.

I hate this business because it's not a guaranteed program that if you go through 4 years, make grades of C and above that you'll graduate with landing a publishing contract.

Yet my words of comfort add little to what you may be feeling.

Simply--hang in there.

Ruth said...

Thanks for the kind words, Eileen and Michelle...

EilisFlynn said...

#11 might be the one, right?

Anonymous said...

What about self publishing? It might sound crazy and out there, but if you think your stuff is good, people whose opinion you trust believe it is worth publishing, then perhaps it is. Perhaps it is worth going through the extra effort...

Ruth said...

Thanks again to everyone for the thoughtful comments.

Sure, #11 could be the one... that's what I believed about all the others that did well in contests and received amazing feedback from industry professionals. But what if it's not? Right now I don't know if I'm willing to invest another 6 months to a year finding out.

I'll post soon about my current thoughts on self-publishing.

Anonymous said...

Don't give up your dream! If this is what you love to do , believe in yourself. don't limit your self to " I'll give it ten years". Writing, Acting, anything you love to do will have its ups and downs. If it becomes too much to keep up the effort, reinvent yourself while still keeping a hand in the business. Books on writing tips, Nailing that audition, or voice over gig. Keep the faith, especially when you know you have the talent and what it takes to make it in these very competitive endeavors.