I have been a writer since before I could hold a pencil, but this year I quit. I stuffed all of my scribbled in notebooks and printed out drafts in a storage box and put them away. I unsubscribed to my online writing groups, bailed on my critique group and all but disappeared from the writing world. At one point I even toyed with getting rid of all the writing related books and magazines that I’ve accumulated over the years. Why would I need any of those things if I wasn’t going to write any more? I wouldn’t. In the end I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of the books. Even if I never looked through them again, they would always be there “just in case”.
So what caused this catastrophic decision? Failure. When I finally dedicated myself to make freelance writing my career it bombed. Part of my failing was in the lack of goals and planning. I began subbing every piece that I had sitting around that I hadn’t done anything with and soundly received rejection after rejection. Most of all there was silence. Rejections aren’t personal until you wrap up everything you are into writing. I was no longer objective, because if I wanted to support myself with writing alone I had to succeed. Each and every rejection and lack of response chipped away at my determination until there was nothing left. This was the point that I decided to give up.
It’s been months since I wrote anything, until now. I was doing some fall cleaning and came across that box filled with my writing. I dug through the box and read some of what I wrote and was surprised. My writing is actually good. Well some of it anyways. I dug out a half filled notebook and turned to an empty page. At the top I wrote “To Do” and began my list of projects to work on. Quitting for a writer is never an option. It is so ingrained in our being that nothing, not even failure, can kill the desire to write permanently. So today I am starting new. I am going to put together a plan and work toward my goal in steps instead of jumping in with both feet and drowning. And failure will never stop me again.