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Writing: When To Give Up?

March 23, 2021

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Do writers ever give up on a story? Or is it in our blood to keep going? Should you keep flogging something that’s not working? Or should you just put it aside to rest?

There are so many conflicting viewpoints on this topic. And at what point do you just give up on writing altogether? I think if you’ve always been a writer, tucked silently away in your attic like Jo March from Little Women, then it’s impossible to give up writing altogether. But I definitely, more than once, have given up on a novel.

You hear from most authors that somewhere in their home or under their beds, they hold that FIRST manuscript. You know, the one that they completed, yet never published. They talk about it like it’s the best thing they could have done. THAT manuscript got them to the following manuscript that got them published. They spent years on that secret, stowed away story, and no one is allowed to read it. In fact, even the author doesn’t read it because it makes them cringe to think they wrote sentences like, “My heart pounded in my chest” and “my eyes were the colour of blue sapphires”. Wait… maybe that’s just me.

But I’m at that half-way point of giving up on a sequel that I’ve just kind of, guiltily fallen out of love with. For now. I just can’t quite get the urge to write anymore of it and I’m looking at it with evil eyes and shaking my head like a disappointed mother whose child isn’t achieving for them. Plus, I’ve had other ideas, ideas that are screaming and jumping up and down to be written. And so what do I do when this happens? Because it’s the first time it actually has… I speak to my agent and she gives me the go ahead to put the sequel aside for now, and to write want I want to write. YES!

And I can honestly say that in doing this, I have listened to my gut (and agent’s advice) and my addiction to writing has sprung back in me like a thirst I can never quench. I just want to keep writing, and writing, and writing, and thinking of it and writing. So this is great! This is how I felt with The Hidden. I just couldn’t type fast enough. So here’s my advice.

1)If it aint’ working then the reader is going to read how bored, annoyed you feel about your work. It will come out in sloppy writing, lack of emotion, depth of character and crappy conflicts.

2)Put it aside and write something completely different. Even for a while.

3)Change Perspectives. Think of adding in multiple viewpoints/characters.

4)Plan, plan, plan. Each scene if you have to, to instil that motivation back into your work.

BUT..

5)Only start it again once you’re ready to. Unless you have a deadline looming. But in that time, you may be smashing out the next awesome novel that’ll be better than the one you were working on!

6)Talk about it with writer friends and gather their advice, help and support. They’re the best with coming up with ideas to inspire you again!

7)Don’t ever give up on writing. Ever.

Anyway, that’s it for me. Can’t wait to get back to this story I’m working on!

Thanks for stopping by,

Holly

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