My month as a “real” writer, and how it almost made me quit

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At the end of last year, I had a book to finish. I had been writing at it for two years by then, so I wanted to finish it, and knew I was close to. Just one more cleanup edit.

So I combined an amount of strange vacation rules at my day-job, to pool together a month of vacation. A month to exchange my day-job for a new job. Since, for all intents and purposes, I felt like a real writer. And I thought, no I knew, it would be magical.

Enthusiasm abound, I flung myself into my work. And lets just say it was an educating affair.

During that first week, I tried to write, like all the time. No semblance of rest taken, it was like hitting my head against a wall, repeatedly. YouTube gripped me every day, all I wanted to do was things beside writing, while before I had been so psyched to get going.

Why? I asked myself every day. And I kept showing up at that wall to beat my head against it. Because that’s what we’re told right? Just keep going. Never stop. It’ll work out, eventually.

But by the end of the second week I had edited twenty scenes. While my goal was 24 scenes a week, so my book would be completely edited by the end of my vacation period. This only added to my frustration until I reached the point we writers all have reached before.

I wanted to quit. Right then and there, just delete all my files and be done with it. Because it wasn’t working. I did as all the advice said, keep at it. Turn on the faucet, and it’ll start flowing. And still it wasn’t happening for me. Still, I was getting nowhere.

But then, I did something magical. The Monday of the third week, I gave up. I shoved every notion of writing out of the window, and that was that. I gamed, cooked food, washed the dishes.

Full force, no holds barred. I opened proWritingAid again, started the editing process once more.

And utterly killed it.

I edited eight scenes before going to my parents for Christmas. And by the end of the week, I was done with the entire book.

It made me think on the past. Moments where frustration piled high, most of it aimed at my day-job. When I felt like I wasn’t making any progress, or missed my deadlines, all because my day-job usurped all of my time. That my day-job told me, that I wasn’t a real writer. Just some motivated hobbyist.
But this month made me realise that’s not true.

The fact that we keep going at it in the morning before work, or the breaks in between, or in the evening, when others would watch television. We write. And that, is what makes us writers. Not the time we’re able to spend doing it.

What about you? Did you ever feel like you wanted to quit? If so, why? And how did you fix it?

Thanks for reading! And see you next time!

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Nick Franck

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By Nick Franck

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