Friday, May 17, 2019

Why Am I Still Doing This?

There comes a point in every writer's journey where they have to ask themselves the question 'Why am I still doing this?'

It may simply be a lull in their writing gumption.  If it's early enough in their career, it could be because they've been ground up and spit out by the query machine.  Later, it may be due to a lack of sales.  Or anywhere along the journey, it could be caused by life harshing all over the place. 

Usually, it's a fleeting feeling and soon passes.  They ask themselves the question and, whatever the answer, they get over it and move on.  Sometimes it takes months to get over.  Occasionally, the feeling sticks and the answer is that the writer stops writing altogether.

I've seen it happen.  I've seen perfectly good writers get chewed up so bad they quit and their awesome words never grace a page again.  =o(

Over the past 15 years, I've asked myself the question on numerous occasions.  (Okay, maybe I wasn't asking the question too much there during the writing of my first book, but definitely by fall of 2004 when the rejections started rolling in, I was asking myself the question on a regular basis.)   And while I'm still not quite sure of the answer of why I'm still doing this, I get over it and move on.  Time and time again.

Which leads me to ask the question 'Why am I still doing this?' where 'this' refers not to writing but to continuing to ask myself the damn question.  And brings up the big question in the back of my mind 'why haven't I quit yet?'

I mean, how long can one shoot oneself in the forehead with a BB gun?  I guess if you do it long enough, the pain stops registering.  Because after 15 years, I'm still writing.  And after 4 years and 13 books worth of self-publishing with nothing much to show for it, I haven't given up on it. 

I think the actual answer to all such questions is that I'm stubborn*. 

It would be so much easier to lay down my pen and say I've had enough.  And maybe that's what this drought has been all about.  Taking a break and trying to rejuvenate so I don't get to the point where I lay it all down for good and get a job selling feed to the local ranchers.

But if that's what this is, then I should probably, at some point in the near future, get off my dead ass and write.  And if not, then maybe I should have that conversation with myself and decide once and for all if this is going to continue. 

Or if I'm going to have to get used to saying 'You want whole corn or corn chops?'

*Which brings to mind a quite from the animated movie The Thief and the Cobbler** - "Never say die, but very frequently say 'ouch'."
** If you haven't seen this, it's a hoot.


  1. Stubborness. Without it, there'd be far fewer books in the world for us to read and enjoy. Every writer has been there, done that, and still occasionally wears the T-shirt. If they don't admit it, they're lying. Hang in there. We'll get there.

  2. Hang in there. Sometimes we just need a breather. From everything!

    Write for you, and worry about your readers when you're in the mood. :-)