On Giving Up

Writers have a social media community. We’re all friends with other writers, and we all encourage each other with daily mantras like “The world needs your novel,” and “You have a unique voice,” and “Harry Potter was rejected 37 times.”

I’ve been writing for eight years or so, and the last year I’ve also had a jazz group for girls. I’ve been posting about the lack of women in jazz, and while some people seem as concerned about the situation as I am, my class has not grown, and I’ve had few volunteers to help me teach. I have only sold a handful of novels despite regular social media posts (and social ones, too, not just sales pitches) and today my proposal for a grant for the jazz class was rejected.

It turns out the world does not need my novels. People keep saying “Write because you love it!” and the truth is that I don’t love it anymore. I’m tired of writing to myself. I don’t care what anyone says, we don’t write for ourselves. We write because we want to touch others or to be known as a great writer, or at least to make a damned dollar. I have spent thousands and thousands of hours writing and reading about writing, and for what?

I’m done. I’m done writing, and I’m done sharing people’s books who do not share mine, and I’m done thinking “This contest win will convince people to buy a book!” And while I’m keeping my jazz class until it dwindles to nothing, I’m not writing any more grants or passing out any more flyers. I’m not asking for any more volunteers, and I’m not making any more videos about how I hate the blues scale. The world does not need my novel, or it would shell out 99 cents. Apparently my contribution to this world is not the next great novel, and that’s okay.

And apparently the world does not need my jazz instruction either.

I’m done.

For now.

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12 thoughts on “On Giving Up

  1. I hate that you’re writing this, and I totally understand why you’re writing this. I’m dealing with my own frustration as well, and think about quitting almost every single day. This week I’m offering one of my best books for free, and it’s like pulling teeth to get people to download it. I’m tired of having to work so damn hard to do something I love and something I believe the world needs when the world doesn’t even see me. That’s the biggest issue, I don’t know how to get the attention I need so I don’t have to work so damn hard for attention. There’s an answer, I just don’t know what it is.

    I want to tell you not to give up, but I know how bleak this feels. At best, I hope you are just taking a break until you’re able to fight the good fight again. I think you have it in you. Unfortunately, it requires a ton of energy.

    Love you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I thought I had it in me too, which is why I stuck with it through the pitfalls of finishing a final draft even though it’s in my nature to give up. The books are still on Amazon, and I figure they have as much chance of selling with my doing nothing as they did while I was talking them up! I want to find what I was meant to do, and I gave this a shot. Love you, too. P.S. People, buy Crissi Langwell’s books!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, I gotta tell you, I do write for myself. I write what I want to read, because I can’t find what I want to read anywhere else. And I have a day job, so I don’t care if anyone else reads what I write. That said, It IS important to me that my wife loves what I write, and my sister. And my poetry group. I tried a blog
        , but too much work and I didn’t care enough.
        Personally I think this world is sadly lacking feminists that believe in God. I am glad to remain friends on facebook, and I am sorry to see your blog go.

        Like

      • Thank you for saying that. I may still throw a feminist post up here. Mainly marketing and novels I’m done with. I thought I could get by with less marketing than the experts said I’d need, and I was wrong. I don’t want to do more. I do have 2 novels that just need a final edit, covers, and formatting, and I will put the first of those on CreateSpace soon. I can’t find the novels I want to read, either, but I wasn’t capable of writing them in the end, either!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You have a powerful voice as a writer. You are funny. You are real. You are one of a kind and lovable, too. You’re also smart, so I trust you to make the right decisions about how you choose to express your creativity and whether or not you care to share your sparkle with the wide world. I like the way you ended your post with “For now.” Who knows what tomorrow will bring? The creative force is strong in you and will not be snuffed out. As for me, I guess I keep going for the love of the creative process and for the occasional email from a person who has read one of my books and been so moved that he or she has let me know in eolquent, heartfelt language that brings tears to my eyes. It is unlikely I will unlock the keys to financial success and wide acclaim with my publishing, but I am being true to myself, doing work I’m proud of, and so I carry on.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: The temptation to give up – Crissi Langwell

  4. We really must talk about this at our next Thursday session, Marie.
    I am thinking social media is not all that great as so many claim–for instance. I didn’t see Crissi Langwell’s offer of a free book download this week.
    However, I have to admit to avoiding a lot of social media lately. Sometimes it seems a big distraction from what really matters. In my case right now it is concentrating on family that has my attention. I know I should be writing out those feelings but find I can’t at this time. It is just enough to experience the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah that is so frustrating how FB doesn’t just show you everything. Lots of times I see time sensitive stuff too late. However, my problems right now are lack of sales and lack of interest in my class. As for sales, I’m just not interested in selling the books in person. When The Trade (in its final revision) is up on CreateSpace I will try to get it into Copperfield’s. My previous books couldn’t be because there’s no writing on the spine. I won’t make THAT mistake again! Minimum of 131 pages, people!

      Like

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