Do you get notices of bargain books from BookBub? A couple of days ago, I saw a book titled
You Don’t Lose ‘Til You Quit Trying by Sammy Lee Davis with Caroline Lambert. It’s about the wartime experiences of a Vietnam Vet and Medal of Honor Recipient. That title caught my attention.
How many times have you wanted to quit writing (or any other major undertaking)? Doubts and insecurities abound with us writers. There’s even an online group called Insecure Writers Support Group where once a month we blog about what’s making us insecure and/or advice on how to overcome difficulties.
Yesterday, I pulled together my 1099s, royalties for 2017. I knew it hadn’t been a good year. I didn’t realize how bad. I used to get my 2017 total in one month! I didn’t even get a 1099 from one venue because I hadn’t earned $10. That got me questioning why I do it. Why am I hitting my head against that brick wall called earning income through writing?
Oh sure, I write because I enjoy writing. Usually. With the exception of the first two weeks of January, when I was going gangbusters, I’ve slogged along on my WIP. Some days, I haven’t written anything. Instead, I’ve binged-watched Netflix. Or taken naps when I should be writing. Denial isn’t just a river in Egypt. It’s my way of dealing with what’s probably winter depression. When the sun doesn’t shine for days on end; when it snows for ten days straight; when it’s too cold to go outside and when I do every joint hurts. Yeah, that can make anyone depressed.
Part of my problem with my WIP is in mid-January I changed horses. Oops, that should have read changed stories. I started the new year writing the fourth in my Alex O’Hara series. I knew exactly how it should begin. I knew the ending and most of the middle. Easy to write. When I was done writing one day, I thought about another project, one that was 80% finished. I reasoned that I should finish it first, so I would get something out sooner. I’m sure you all know that revising an older manuscript is harder than writing fresh. If not, I can vouch for it. Not only does the manuscript need updating (technology, especially), I’ve learned a lot in the intervening twelve years. Sentence structure, repetitive words and phrases, unnecessary backstory. Reading and fixing all that means a low daily word count, which I find also depressing. (Maybe I should count pages completed instead.)
Why not go back to the Alex O’Hara story, you may ask. I’m committed to this new/old romantic suspense. It’s a good story. It’s funny in places, seriously tense in others. A good romance develops. Besides, I’m sharing tidbits every weekend on Weekend Writing Warriors. On Mondays, I’m sharing character sketches. Dropping that story now isn’t a good idea.
Neither is quitting altogether, even though that’s going through my mind. Practical Hubs asks if it’s worth the time and energy to earn so little. He has a point. If I do quit, will that make me a loser, like in the Vet’s story title?
Can Spring come soon enough?
Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction, and romance into writing romantic fiction. She blogs here on the 16th and 30th of each month. Except this month. See you in March.