5 Things that Encouraged Me When I Wanted to Quit by Karin Beery
Writing is easy. Writing well, however, is not. Writing for publication is even more difficult, especially if you’re an unpublished writer trying to break in to the traditional publishing world. As soon as you finish your manuscript, you learn something new and have to change things. Then publishing houses close, reducing the number of slots available to new writers. Then you get comments back from your critique group …
I’m now several years into my fiction-writing journey, and I’ve yet to publish a book. I’ve watched my friends sign book deals and win awards. I’ve helped others find their paths to publication. But I continue to write unpublished manuscripts. I’ve been tempted to quit many times (and have walked away from writing quite a few times), but I keep coming back because I know this is what I want to (and am supposed to) do. It definitely hasn’t been easy, but here are five things that have encouraged me when I wanted to quit:
- My personal support team. These are the people I know. My family and friends who will hug me, pray for me, and buy me chocolate malts when I don’t feel like I can continue. Find the people near you (physically) who can meet you for coffee and either nudge or push you along.
- My online support team. Membership in Christian writing and editing organizations is invaluable, not because you learn how to write and edit Christian material (FYI, you don’t – you learn how to write and edit, period), but because of the Godly support and encouragement they provide. More than once I’ve sent out a cry for help, and people who’ve never met me respond with prayers and virtual hugs to keep me going.
- Changing my point-of-view. Not in my books, but in my head. I can look at my writing career as a series of stumbling blocks and failures, or a series of challenges and learning opportunities. One will make me a bitter writer, the other will make me a better writer.
- Celebrating others. When I see others succeed, I don’t entertain jealousy or anger that it wasn’t me. It’s tempting to slip into self-pity when others succeed faster than you, but there’s nothing Biblical about that kind of response. Instead of focusing on what I don’t have, I choose to celebrate with others who are succeeding. Choosing to celebrate with others gets me excited for the day when I can celebrate my own success.
- Prayer. There’s nothing as encouraging as spending time talking to the One who loves me more than anyone else can. When I stop focusing on myself and start focusing on God, His love and truth and encouragement and wisdom fill my heart, spirit, and soul. When I’m in communion with God, the outcome doesn’t matter, and that’s reason enough to keep writing.
Owner of Write Now Editing and Copywriting Services, Karin Beery specializes in fiction and professional business copy. She is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the American Christian Writers Association. A Christian Proofreaders and Editors Network member, she is the Substantive Editing for Fiction instructor for the PEN Institute. Karin is represented by literary agent Steve Hutson at Word Wise Media. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, or at her website, www.karinbeery.com.