Day 34: When to Give Up

Before you read this, know that there might be typo’s and who knows what else.  I have an appointment in a very short time but I wanted to get this post up before late tonight.  So, forgive me for anything that you might find.

When do you finally decide that enough is enough and just give up?  Nothing’s going the way you want it to go and your attitude has gone from hopeful to hopeless.  Is that the time you throw in the towel?  Well, I guess it depends upon what the situation is that you feel has become hopeless but I’m talking specifically about your creative endeavors.  It’s hard to continue to feel optimistic and hopeful when you keep running into brick walls every time you turn around.  One of the things that I’ve discovered is that, at least in part, I am responsible for some of those walls.  I don’t have time to write and then sit down and binge watch a series on Netflix.  Or, I’ve run out of ideas…seriously, that’s not happening and I’d know that if I just put my brain to work rather than playing 20 rounds of Trivia Crack on my phone.  No one will want to read my book…that’s not true, people have told me that they really do want to read the whole book once it’s finished after hearing/reading a sample of it.  And so on and so forth.  If I gave up right now because of these excuses I’m telling myself, I wouldn’t be giving up on Rapture…I’d be giving up on myself and that is not acceptable.  So take a few minutes and just go over all of the excuses you’re putting out there for giving up.  How many of them are legitimate and how many are self-inflicted?  Are you just looking for reasons to give up?  Ask yourself why.  Are you not enthused by the subject matter of your project?  Maybe you just need a break from it.  Put it aside for a while and work on something else.  Have you done like I did and written yourself into a corner and you’re not sure how to get out of it?  Read it and try to find the point where it just seems to stop working and then try to fix it.  I know…easier said than done.  We never would have started writing our story/book/poetry if we hadn’t been passionate about it in the beginning.  If you think about it, it’s not all that different from falling in love.  In the beginning, everything is exciting and new.  Your heart skips a beat every time you see them or hear their voice.  You’re discovering new things every day about your partner and yourself.  Then, 5 years into the relationship, your love has grown and deepened but there don’t seem to be quite as many butterflies in your stomach when you’re together.  That doesn’t mean that your love for them has lessened, it’s just evolved   That could be what’s happened between you and your story.  You’re not feeling the butterflies and excitement when you open your laptop and begin to type.  As I said before, step away from your story and concentrate on something else for a while.  Maybe even reimagine your story…if it’s a love story, turn it into a horror story.  Or a murder mystery.  Turn your mousy librarian into a femme fatale.  Just play with it for a bit and see where it goes.  Maybe it’s become difficult because you’re in the guts of the story now and you’re juggling characters and scenes and subplots and story arcs.  Don’t give up…work through it.  One of Winston Churchill’s quotes has gotten me thru a lot of tough times.  He said that when you’re going through hell, keep going.  If you really have decided that your project is no longer doable for whatever reason, then quit.  Give up.  And you might find, after a short time, that you really don’t want to abandon it.  Just like you and partner need a little space sometimes, maybe that’s what you and your project need.  There’s something about giving up on something that can really stir up the desire to go back to it.  So, when do you just give up?  That is an individual decision.  Sometimes giving up is just a waste but other times it’s just what you need.  Just don’t do something rash like shredding your hard copy and wiping it from your computer so that you can rid yourself of it.  You’ll regret it.  I can almost guarantee that.                     


About Donna Heilman

I am a writer that lives in the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex with my husband, 2 dogs, and 10 cats. I am currently working on my novel, Rapture, as well as writing poetry and some short non-fiction. I am honestly writing this blog to feel more connected with other creative people.
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