When is enough…enough?

dreamstime_5555091Most of my writerly friends are in the same position I am…carefully learning the trade, improving their skills and working on some WiP, hoping it’s the one that will result in an agent – and ultimately a publishing deal.

A few of my friends are already there…published and working on their next project.

Today’s post has to do with the journey towards publishing…and the question every writer I’ve met has wrestled with at some point along the path:

At what point is enough, enough?  At what point should I just stop this pursuit and do something else?  And at what point do I admit defeat?

They are reasonable enough questions, I think.  And ones I’ve heard answered with things ranging from “I’m quitting after this next batch of queries”, to “I’ll give it XXXX (fill in the blank) years”, to “I can’t imagine ever quitting.”

For me, I tend to fall in each category…ranging from being certain I am done, to knowing I will always write (even if I never get published).

So, I ask you – my wonderful readers – “When is enough, enough?” When “should” a writer decide to stop and move on to some other dream?

6 thoughts on “When is enough…enough?

  1. Well, I certainly do the “I’m quitting after this batch of queries,” but I only mean quitting the actual querying🙂 I won’t ever give up writing and trying to get published. I enjoy it too much. Yes, the querying and rejections get really REALLY old after a while. But the rest of it….the writing a new story, editing it, seeing the comments from my critters, making it really shine, reading their work, helping polish their work – I just love all of that too much.

    I’ve taken breaks. In fact, halfway through my first novel, life threw a major wrench in my writing with the premature birth of my daughter. Then we moved a few times, and writing just wasn’t something I even thought about for about two years. And then…I started thinking about it again🙂 There is no escape….a very long, extended vacation maybe….but escape? Nope.😀

    So, while actual publication may not happen for a year, or 20 years, or ever….I just can’t imagine NOT sitting down to write, read, or edit something.

  2. We’re in it for the long haul. Even after over 100 rejections on our first MS we said we’d never give up. Of course, I’m sure there might come a point in time where it just isn’t going to happen, but hopefully we’ll just keep plugging along until it does.

  3. It’s so easy to get down when you read an agent’s post on Twitter stating that her email inbox has 1300 unread messages. 1-3-0-0 are you kidding me? How can you compete? Are they even reading your query? How do you stand out?

    I only threw my hat into the ring a year ago, deciding that I wasn’t going to talk myself out of it this time. Even though, I’ve had ups and downs, I’m still hopeful. And I really do think that the best part of this journey has been the wonderful people I’ve met and friends that I’ve made! For that alone, its worth it. Even if my current novel doesn’t secure representation, I’m in it too deep to quit now. I’ll just keep going and going and going!!!

  4. Sarah P

    Ugh! Most days I don’t ask myself that question. But the past week, I can think of nothing else. It used to be that when I read on an agent’s blog that “everything has to go just right” I wouldn’t quite understand. But now I’ve been burned on timing– my agent couldn’t sell my first novel because the world I was writing about (Wall Street) basically collapsed the minute he began submissions. The book no longer makes any sense– plot wise, or culturally.

    And my second novel is now agent-less. Could it be that by the time I find someone who wants to rep it, that its very timely themes will feel dated? Again?

    Why am I doing this? 😉

    S.

  5. I fall into all the categories too. I’m not sure how to answer though. I do think that if I don’t get something I’ve written published in the next say, 5 years, I would give up. I hate to say that, but I probably would. How many books can one write and get rejected on? I don’t know, I’m not there yet. But I’ve felt and listened to all those questions. Great post!

  6. Christine Fonseca

    I love all of these comments – both here and on facebook. This really is a tough one for some many of us. I hope NONE of you guys gives up…having read at least a little something from most of you, I am very clear how much talent all of you have…

    So for now, we all get to hold on and keep pushing forward!

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