That’s It, I’m Out

This post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group blog hop. The first Wednesday of every month is Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. The awesome co-hosts for the June 7 posting of the IWSG will be JH Moncrieff, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Jen Chandler, Megan Morgan, and Heather Gardner!

I’m co-hosting the IWSG today, whoo! I really love this group and I love participating in the blog hop every month, and occasionally co-hosting (this is my third time). I credit the IWSG with making me a better blogger. To think there was a time I hated the idea of blogging and barely posted once a month! Now my blog is actually my most active and widely-read social media connection.

And that fits in with my answer to today’s question, in a way:

June 7 Question: Did you ever say “I quit?” If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?

Hahahaha wow. That’s a big YES.

I think part of being a writer–at least, a writer who sticks with it–is experiencing that melodramatic moment where you throw in the towel and fling yourself upon the ground in a fit of despair and defeat. You scream to the skies “I’LL NEVER WRITE AGAIN!” but you know, somewhere deep in your heart, it’s a big fat lie. Because though you hate writing right now, really, really hate it like a cat hates getting a bath, secretly you still love it and you always will.

My “I quit” moment is still part of my writing oeuvre, and I keep it that way so I can occasionally laugh at myself. In 2003, I declared to all and sundry on my LiveJournal that I was done with writing, or at least, the pursuit of professional writing. I hadn’t gotten published in any significant way in all the years I’d been pounding the keyboard (just something in a zine once, which I never even saw), agents and publishers were turning their noses up at me left and right, and I just felt horribly defeated. Here are some hubris-laced excerpts from that tragic post (I will leave all typos and errors of grammar and structure as is, for underlined effect):

…About a month ago, I made a decision. I didn’t write about it in here, because I’ve been saying very little about my life lately in this journal. (If I don’t talk about it I don’t think about it, right?) Anyway, the decision was that I was no longer going to pursue a professional writing career. At first it was that I was not going to write at all anymore, but I’ve written fan fiction since then–albeit, I haven’t finished anything–so I assume I’m still writing. I’m just giving up the dream, idea, hope, whatever it is, of making writing my career…

(Good Lordy.)

…I did write a book, and I’ve had it through several agents and publishers now, trying to find someone who would give it a chance. It’s been turned back every time, and the past two times, I got a very specific answer as to why. I was told it was disjointed, contrived, dull, banal, and the characters were too one-dimensional.

And you know what? They’re right…

(They were totally right, by the way.)

…I’ve been writing for almost 13 years, I’m almost 30, and I have nothing substantial to show for it yet. Because I have this fear I’m going to die not having done anything that people would remember me for. Because I bragged to the people in high school that I would be a famous writer someday, and they honestly believed it. Because I promised someone wonderful and supportive and who was a pivotal figure in me finding the courage to be a writer to begin with that I would some day dedicate my first book to him. I’ve not made good on any of those promises yet, and I’m terrified that I never will…

(My first book was in fact dedicated to him. And oh, to be 30 again.)

…This is the reason I decided to stop pursing a professional writing career–at least, for now. It’s hurting me too much, it’s ceasing to be a dream and becoming a nightmare. And that in itself is painful too. I always had this ‘direction’ in life, and now I feel like I’ve been abandoned in the middle of the woods and I don’t know which path to take…

Goodness, it’s clear why I’m a writer, because I do have a flair for the dramatic!

I can’t remember (my God, that was 14 years ago!) exactly when or why I started writing and attempting to get published again, but I can tell you with almost certainty it was because I love to write and I couldn’t give it, or any of its trappings, up entirely. And now here I am, with multiple books published, going along strong. The reason I still have this entry bookmarked is because I eventually intend to print it out and hang it up next to my first book cover.

You may give up, but you’ll be back. Mark my words.


Make sure to stop by the IWSG site today and check out the open submission call for the IWSG Guide to Writing for Profit!

108 thoughts on “That’s It, I’m Out

  1. Oh my your journey sounds tough but am glad you preservered. Writing is all about putting your thoughts coherently On To Paper n the more you Write, the better you get.
    I am loving your IWSG posts and will earmark it to join in next month for sure. Cheers

    Like

    1. Wonderful! It’s a great group to be part of and I’m sure you’ll love it. Welcome!

      Like

  2. Great post, Megan. I’m so glad you shared it. I think it’s something all writers have gone through at least once, maybe more.

    I’m happy you found your way back.

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  3. Sometimes I think if you don’t have the guts to quit – and begin again- you’re not really thinking about writing in the right manner. It takes work, dedication, and frustration to pull out that awesome story.

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  4. I can’t imagine every quitting, but since I haven’t finished my first book yet, maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about. Thanks for co-hosting this month’s IWSG post.

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    1. Oh, don’t worry. You’ll get frustrated enough one of these days. It happens to us all. 😉 Thank you!

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  5. Rejections can be mighty discouraging. Nothing like a dramatic “I quit!” to reinvigorate things. It’s good that you just play-acted the role of quitter.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Yes, nothing like a rejection to get you stomping your feet and getting the blood flowing–and hopefully sparking the creativity!

      Like

  6. Whew! For a minute there I thought you’d peeked in my journal. Terrific post!

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    1. Hahahaha, sound familiar? 😉

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  7. I think we’re quietly dramatic as writers, which is okay. We’re so quiet much of the time. Thanks for co-hosting.

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    1. Definitely! I’m much ‘louder’ in my writing!

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  8. Loni Townsend June 8, 2017 — 1:34 PM

    Hehe, if you’re going to go out, you might as well be dramatic about it!

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    1. Absolutely. 😉 At least it was memorable!

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  9. We all have our moments of doubt and insecurity–that’s what this group is all about. And yes we say we quit, or indicate by our non-action that we quit, but either keep going or get back to it. Maybe we just need a break. Good luck. Thanks for co-hosting this month.

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    1. Yes, I love the support I get from this group! Thank you!

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  10. Wow, look at you, Megan!!! You have come such a long way. You sure have found the focus and dedication now, after “quitting” way back when. You are cranking the books out – what a confirmation of being a writer “forever” indeed! Thanks for co-hosting!

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    1. Thankfully, yes! Thank you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh my gosh, that sounds like me! lol I was graduating that year and hadn’t even started the book I’ve now been chiseling (I started working on it in 2004), but at 30, I’m almost sure I had that same existential writing crisis! Man!

    Thanks for sharing this, and for co-hosting!

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    1. Hahaha it seems to be universal amongst writers that we end up feeling this way eventually. Thank you!

      Like

  12. Hi Megan, great post. I can feel your pain of rejection and admire how you worked through it. Thank you for co-hosting IWSG. It created a nice opportunity to meet you.

    Like

  13. Reblogged this on Don Massenzio's Blog and commented:
    Check out this post from the Insecure Writer’s Support Group from Megan Morgan’s blog.

    Like

  14. Angela Wooldridge June 8, 2017 — 6:40 AM

    Great post (ouch though, re that feedback!) Great to see how things have moved on though.
    And yes, being with the IWSG has made me a far better and more confident blogger too.

    Like

    1. It’s a great group, isn’t it? Thank you!

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  15. Great post, Megan! Yeah, like 70 published books later and still chasing that “famous” carrot. We write because we can’t NOT write (and we like to whine about it, too. Yes, all drama, all the time!) but what else could we possibly do with all those stories bubbling up inside except share them? Thanks for co-hosting!!

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    1. It’s a never ending race, isn’t it? And goodness, Nancy Gideon is visiting my blog, I feel like I ought to tidy up a bit around here! Thank you for stopping by!

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  16. Thanks for co-hosting this month and sharing this story. Rejection is hard to handle, but writing is something a true writer never really gives up. Even if we’re not trying to publish, we are still writing in some way. I think it’s cool that you keep this as a reminder. Look how far you’ve come.

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    1. Indeed! Rejection is just part of the writing life, unfortunately.

      Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. It’s great to meet you, Megan!
    This was a fun introduction to your work and your blog. Great post. Don’t we all say, “I’m out” at some point?
    I also loved your previous post, Making it As A Writer. So interesting and insightful. Thank you for co-hosting!
    Best,
    Adrienne

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    1. Wonderful! I’m so glad you enjoyed the posts. Welcome to my blog! 🙂 Thank you!

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  18. You were the drama queen. LOL. My answer was the same as yours. I think all writers say ‘quit’ at some point. But we don’t mean it.

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    1. Was? I still am, trust me! 😉

      Thank you!

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  19. “You may give up, but you’ll be back.” <—I love this because it's so true. No matter how many times I throw in the towel, I come back to the table.

    Thanks for co-hosting this month!

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    1. Same here. I could never REALLY leave.

      Thank you!

      Like

  20. Repeated rejection can make us feel like failures – but you only fail if you give up! Writing is my addiction, and I stopped seeking a “cure” long ago! lol Thanks for co-hosting this month!

    Like

    1. Same here. I figure this is what I’m meant to do, so I might as well suck it up!

      Thank you!

      Like

  21. “Flare for the dramatic” is right. I love your posts: both this one and the excerpt from the old one. I had a good laugh and I recognized myself.

    Like

    1. Awww, thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

      Like

  22. mlouisebarbourfundyblue June 7, 2017 — 5:46 PM

    I sometimes wonder why anyone sane would want to write, Megan! But we’re driven, published or not. We can’t let it go permanently. Goody Lordy, I enjoyed reading the passages you shared! I can so relate on many levels. It’s encouraging to see that your persistence over time has paid off. True writers will always be back! Thanks for co-hostint the IWSG today.

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    1. I know, writing is madness, isn’t it?! And yet here we are, we keep writing and writing and writing…

      Thank you!

      Like

  23. Yikes! I’m glad you persevered and got back to your writing. Rejection is rough, and that rejection you posted is especially rough.

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    1. I learned a lot from it though, or at least, I hope! Thank you!

      Like

  24. Ah, I love that story. Here’s to writing.
    Juneta @ Writer’s Gambit

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  25. I love this! So true, so eloquent, indeed, so dramatic! I’ve been right there with you, “abandoned in the woods” so often, even I don’t take it seriously anymore. I’ve finally decided that I’m a writer and that’s it so suck it up already.Thanks for the laugh! And for co-hosting.

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    1. LOL it’s bad when we can’t even take ourselves seriously! But seriously…writing is hard, sometimes you have to have a tantrum.

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  26. You’re right – saying ‘I quit’ is a big fat lie. Because we can’t. Great post! I enjoyed seeing your thoughts from years ago and then seeing how you persevered, still wrote, and now are singing a different tune.

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    1. Always a lie, no matter how much we SUPER DUPER MEAN IT at the time. 😉

      Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  27. That’s amazing. I haven’t looked at my handwritten teenage journal in years. I don’t think I want to! We’re just very dramatic as writers, maybe in ways that quieter than actors or performers, but still. Very dramatic. Love the LiveJournal excerpts! And thank you for co-hosting this month!

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    1. I have a bunch of handwritten journals in my closet from when I was in my twenties (ages ago!). I don’t quite have the courage to go through them.

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  28. You know any answer that starts with, “Hahahaha YES” is going to be a good one! Lol. I know the feeling. Lucky for me there are groups like IWSG that drag that feeling out into the light so we can all see how tiny it looks in daylight together 🙂 Thanks for co-hosting this most excellent question for June!

    Like

    1. Ha! That was exactly my reaction when I read the question, so I HAD to include it.

      Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  29. I am grinning at your rant because I think I said the same thing. To myself. A while back. And then I said “Who am I kidding?”

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    1. We’re kidding no one apparently, not even ourselves. 😉

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  30. Victoria Marie Lees June 7, 2017 — 1:33 PM

    This is my first time here. I’ve followed your blog and am connecting with you online.

    I’m in your corner. Please know that. I feel this way most days. And yes, I’m just as dramatic. You can do this. Never forget that!

    Thanks for co-hosting the June question.

    Like

    1. Thank you so much! 🙂 I’m glad to have you here, hope you enjoy my ramblings!

      Like

  31. The only thing I’d like to quit is worrying about earning money from my writing 🙂 Great post Megan. Thank you for sharing such an inspiring post.

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    1. Gosh, I feel you there! Someday I’ll be able to buy that mansion…only hundreds of thousands of dollars to go! 😉

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  32. I love your answer. It’s painful to be a writer, even an author. But that’s life. Life is painful and heavenly. Happy IWSG. Thanks for co-hosting, Megan.

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    1. Lots of pain and lots of reward! Thank you!

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  33. Ah, Megan, Megan, Megan. Writing is in you. You can’t quit. I love your drama and passion. What a great post to keep and remember that 30 year old person. Thanks for being an admin today.

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    1. Awww, thank you! 🙂 And no, I don’t think I could ever give it up for good, not really.

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  34. Stephanie Scott June 7, 2017 — 12:46 PM

    While the dramatics will probably never go away, I think it’s helped that publishing itself has changed. There are more avenues than ever for people to get their books out there, more resources, more success stories. Not that it isn’t incredibly hard, but at the same time, we have more control than we realize. Congrats on not giving up 🙂

    Here’s my IWSG post for June: How to Survive the ‘Little Quits.’

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    1. That’s a very good point! Publishing has changed a lot, and there’s a lot more opportunities. Take heart, young writers!

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  35. Wonderful post. It’s great you kept that entry and could look back at it. It was hard then but you stuck with it and now have a lot to show for not quitting.

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    1. Yes! I wish I could go back in time and tell old me to just hold on, it will work out!

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  36. I think writers who don’t confess to at least one wobble just aren’t being honest. Every endeavor of significance includes doubt. Why not writing?

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    1. Very good point! Writing is so hard, too, you’re bound to stumble now and then!

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  37. And that is the truth….”mark my words, you will be back.” I love it. I never liked blogging either and still dread it, but the IWSG group makes it worth it 🙂

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    1. We always come back, don’t we? LOVE the IWSG!

      Liked by 1 person

  38. Neat to have a record of all those declared ‘I quits’. Shows how far you’ve come. Funny how things can feel so crystal clear when we rant. I do the same.

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    1. I know, right? You think you REALLY, REALLY mean it at the time, you’re QUITTING for good! And then a few weeks down the line…not so much!

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  39. Neat to have a record of all those declared ‘I quits’. Shows how far you’ve come. Funny how things can feel so crystal clear when we rant. I do the same.

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  40. That’s hilarious (and inspiring). Hope I can look back at this writing lull I’m in from a more successful summit some day!

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    1. Don’t worry, just keep climbing! You’ll make it!

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  41. It’s fun to look back at our past rantings and see how far we’ve come! Good job, jumping back on the horse and following your true passion.
    Mary at Play off the Page

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    1. I think I keep them around to remind myself–it’s very motivating!

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  42. Quitting is always at the back of my mind, but then I ask myself, “What insane, time-consuming, frustrating, insecurity-producing activity could I replace it with? Golf? I don’t think so. Thanks for being an Admin today. This was a great post to read.

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    1. Hahahaha! That’s a good way to think of it. What else could I possibly have in my life that would drive me as mad as writing?! 😉 Thank you!

      Like

  43. I’ve thought of throwing in the towel many times, but never declared it because I got too stubborn and said “No way am I quitting. Imma make this work.”

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    1. That’s a great attitude to have!

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  44. Thanks for co-hosting today! Writing must be one of the most frustrating professions a person would willingly want to pursue. Why must we torture ourselves….oh right we’re masochists- I mean we love it.

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    1. Haaa…yes, we love it. And we’re a bit insane too, I think!

      Liked by 1 person

  45. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve co-hosted IWSG. It’s such a fun experience, and I love getting to be a small part of this wonderful group! 🙂

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    1. Yes! I’m sure I’ll do it again in the future too!

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  46. Fantastic showing the ups and downs of being a writer. Frustration gets the best of me at times, but I can never stay away from writing. Thanks for co-hosting today!

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    1. Frustrating is definitely what it is. Thank you! 🙂

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  47. Funny how we swing back and forth. There’s too much to love when it comes to writing. I’m never gone for long. hehehe

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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    1. Same here. I hate it one minute, but I know, deep in my heart that I still love it and will be back to it the next.

      Liked by 1 person

  48. it’s wild to look back at something like that. There was too much passion in your words – you were destined to come back to writing.
    Thanks for co-hosting today!

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    1. Awww, thank you. ‘Passion’ is a good way to put it, instead of saying ‘melodramatic.’ 😉

      Like

  49. I enjoyed those “hubris-laced excerpts”… and you’re still pounding away at the keyboard which means you’re here to stay as a writer! 🙂
    Thank you for co-hosting this month!

    Like

    1. Sigh, I guess I’ll stick with it, then. 😉 Thank you!

      Like

  50. It’s funny ’cause it’s true. =) We can say we quit, but the real proof is what happens over time, eh?

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    1. Absolutely. I don’t think I could ever REALLY quit writing unless I lost my fingers or something…and then I’d just learn to use voice to text software. 😀

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  51. I love reading the excerpts from your post way back when and your comments on it now as you reflect back on thing. Glad you went back to it – you’re definitely meant to be a writer.

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  52. “I think part of being a writer–at least, a writer who sticks with it–is experiencing that melodramatic moment where you throw in the towel and fling yourself upon the ground in a fit of despair and defeat.” Love that!

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  53. I think all of us think about throwing in the towel once in a while. it’s normal, especially when we keep getting rejections.
    Thank you so much for co-hosting this month.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Patricia
    Everything Must Change

    Like

    1. Definitely. It’s a hard job and we don’t get paid much for it–if anything!

      Thank you!

      Like

  54. AND, thank you for co-hosting this month!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  55. Good post. I think of quitting at least once a month…

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    1. I know that feeling! Thank you!

      Like

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