Wednesday, June 07, 2017

IWSG: Winners Never Quit

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means hundreds of us will be posting about our insecurities. If you haven't yet, join in. You'll be glad you did!



Each month we have a question. This month's question is:

Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?

When I was in my 20s, I got the bright idea to write a novel. Young and full of confidence, I started writing and when I finished, I put that sucker in the mail. No critique group, no writing workshops--I just sent it to a publishing house.



If you've been writing for a while, you know what that means. I learned my lessons the hard way. As I learned, the rejections poured in. I refused to give up until one day I did.



Or did I? During the time I wasn't trying to get published, I never stopped writing. I posted a blog on MySpace, which led to another blog and another. Before I knew it, I was getting thousands of views a day. My blog was up there in rankings with people you've actually heard of before.



During that time, I realized the value of doing what you love. And having people read your words. I came to terms with the fact that even if I never got a book published, I would be happy just to write and have people read my words.



When I did start writing novels again, I was better than ever. It took me only a couple of years to find an agent. I had years of workshops, blogging, novel writing, reading, and growing behind me. Did that make a difference? I'd say so.



Plenty of writers give up. Those who don't eventually succeed. I think the key is, whatever you do, don't ever stop writing. When it comes down to it, it's just you and your keyboard and the words on the page. Everything else is out of your control.


39 comments:

  1. Like the rest of us, you just needed a whole lot of practice first.

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    1. Yeah, we should think of it like college! I'm so glad self-publishing and small presses weren't around when I was starting out. I can't imagine if my horrible work was still out there for people to read. Yikes!!!

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  2. I adore this post, because we've all been there. Whether it's writing or something else, we may have wanted to throw in the towel. But you're so right, sticking with it,definitely will breed success...eventually. We just need the patience and persistence. Kudos to seeing your name up there in lights! We love ya! Hugs...

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    1. I don't think you ever feel like you've "made it." There's always going to be another mountain, as Miley Cyrus sang!

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  3. Great thoughts and perspective, thanks for sharing.

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    1. I have a feeling there's going to be a lot of inspiration out there today.

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  4. I love your post! It is so inspiring. Don't give up. It is a stony path but if you keep walking you will reach the green grass.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Patricia
    Everything Must Change

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  5. Wise advice, Stephanie. Thank you for sharing. So pleased your persistence paid off in the long run. I'm still at the five mile marker and I'm knackered :) But I will not quit! These running shoes cost me mega bucks :)

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  6. How inspirational, Stephanie. And you're so right about what we have control over and what we don't.

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    1. Yeah, in the end, no matter what happens, it's just us and the words we put on the page. That's all that's important.

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  7. Really loved your post and could totally relate. I love writing and am glad I found a way to do it everyday.

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  8. I think if we are all honest with ourselves, everyone of us has given up at some point. It makes us stronger when we come back, of course!

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  9. I nearly gave up on my memoir before I'd even started, having thought it was too similar to what had made me want to do it in the fist place. But as you may know, I didn't give it up.

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  10. Love this -

    "I realized the value of doing what you love. And having people read your words. I came to terms with the fact that even if I never got a book published, I would be happy just to write and have people read my words."

    For me, it's not so much about novels as it is about stories and the many, many forms they can take. :)

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  11. Yes, but what we all really want to know is, "Why CAN'T the president wear jeans???"

    I had that same experience after my first book. I didn't give up writing, but I gave up sending out the manuscript to agents and publishers because the postage cost too much.

    IWSG June

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  12. I like that first quote about being old and young. It's so true.

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    1. PS: Why am I not following you on Twitter already?????? (had someone ask about publishing because they have a kid's book idea so I mentioned you and then saw I wasn't following. o.o)

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  13. Thanks for this wonderful pep talk. It helped.

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  14. I'm so glad you didn't stop writing your wonderful, entertaining stories and so is the rest of the world. I love your post. It lets the rest of us know that "overnight successes" like yours take years of hard work and persistence.

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  15. This is an excellent post of the value of doing what you love and the power of perseverance! Thanks for sharing this, Stephanie.

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  16. Hi Stephanie - you share wonders with us ... and these back-thoughts always help ... we all have our ups and downs ... but with patience and perseverance the hardwork will pay off - as you've shown. Congratulations - cheers Hilary

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  17. It's true that if you persist you will eventually make it, and those who don't wouldn't be able handle the world of real-time reviewers.

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  18. Awesome Post!! Quitting is easy, but.... Perseverance is the key if you want to be an author. Love the quotes!!

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  19. it's good you did stick with what you love. Age also helps the equation. We learn more patience and realize it's often baby steps to keep moving forward. However, I say "I quit" easily when it comes to exercise stuff!

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  20. I've totally given up before, and I'll admit, I wonder pretty regularly whether or not it's worth it. But it's fun and even if I'm the only one who ever reads it, I enjoy it :) But, here's my question: why can't the president wear jeans??

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  21. Good advice. All I need is a pause button on the world, but since that's not going to happen, I'll have to decided writing is more important than all the other stuff I've let distract me.

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  22. Your title says it all. You are the poster girl for writer inspiration telling it how it really works. (Piper Morgan Writes a Book? Sorry, she's so cute and accomplished - I can totally see this). And your response to Alex is spot-on - way too many self-pubs that are not ready for print. It's like drinking wine before it's time.

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  23. I love what you said about the value of doing what you love and being happy just to write and have people write your words. So many people spend their life doing something they don't really enjoy. It's such a gift to actually wake up every morning knowing that we can do the thing we love the most. Thanks for sharing this!

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  24. It takes strong will to face rejection and keep going. What an inspiring post. I am impressed with all your blogging too :)

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  25. It takes strong will to face rejection and keep going. What an inspiring post. I am impressed with all your blogging too :)

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  26. I've never given up, but I think we all experience that "Why so I put myself through this?" moment (or moments) at some point.

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  27. Great post, Steph. I've thought about it many times--I think most of us have--but I could never quite let go:) And now I'm glad I didn't. And we're all glad you didn't!
    I've been writing forever and I'm still learning new things.

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  28. Great post Steph. And you are so right. This is like a marathon and you can't win if you quit in the middle of the race. Thank you for the words of encouragement.

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  29. It's good that you ended up going back to it. I only write in my blog. Sometimes I take long breaks, but I always come back to it!

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  30. I'm so glad you did not give up. Look at your lovely books. Shows you were meant to be a writer. Great and inspiring post.

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  31. Great post!!! Wise words for us all! Big Hugs!

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