Not today, and probably not next week. But at some point, I will probably quit.
Maybe I’ll quit because I find a new and fulfilling career. Or perhaps I will decide to take up the violin, and dedicate my designated evening writing hours to entertaining the neighborhood cats with my own caterwauling. It’s possible I could quit because I have another kid, or heaven forbid, two, and completely run out of the little time I’ve managed squirrel away.
I’ll quit if I decide I simply don’t enjoy writing anymore. I don’t see this happening, but if it does, I’ll simply start on my next adventure. If the stars align just so, I might close up shop on my blog so that I can work on writing a book instead. Those cross country book tours probably take up a good bit of time, I assume. Not to mention the wining and dining with other famous authors and Nobel Laureates that would inevitably want to meet me. If that’s the case, then simply won’t have time to keep up with my blog.
I don’t yet know why I’m going to quit, but I know that at some point, I probably will. If I have it my way, it will be some time forty plus years from now when I lay my metaphorical pen down and decide it’s time to retire.
There are hundreds of good reasons to quit writing. But there is one reason that I won’t quit because of: I am not going to stop writing because I think I’m not good enough.
When I first started blogging, I made this promise to myself. I could quit for any reason I wanted – too busy, no longer enjoyable, etc., but I wasn’t going to allow myself to stop because I was afraid of being inadequate. And so far, truth be told, it’s the only reason that has ever tempted me.
Rejection is a facet of writing for publications that I have yet to fully embrace. Whenever I open an e-mail with a kindly worded “thanks, but no thanks,” or share an essay on Facebook that receives no reaction, it sends me back. Back to being in college, and constantly worrying that I wasn’t performing as well as my peers. Back to high school, when I wondered if I would ever be as well-liked as my much more popular friends. No matter how many essays are accepted, no matter how many compliments I receive, I still find myself wondering, “Am I any good? Am I just embarrassing myself out there? What right do I have to think I could become a writer?”
There are days when I know I am a strong writer, when I finish an essay and walk away from the computer smiling, knowing that I have just penned a winner. While the aforementioned rejection letters are ever present, the acceptance letters do come as well, bits of sun that attempt to outshine the shadow that the fear of failure casts. But as exciting as they are, I have to tell myself this – they don’t matter. I am not writing for acceptance. I am writing for me.
I’m not going to quit writing out of fear. I could be spilling nothing but drivel onto my pages and it would still be a good use of my time. The world certainly might not need to read my writings. It might not even want to read my writings. But I need to write.
At some point, I am going to quit writing. It’s inevitable. It won’t be today, and it probably won’t be tomorrow. But it won’t be because I think I’m not any good. No matter what rejection letters, internet trolls and the nagging voice inside of my head tell me, it’s just not worth it to quit. Not for that reason, anyway.