To Quit or Not to Quit


Whether it’s writer’s block or boredom or fatigue, authors sometimes throw up their hands and want to quit writing. Does this make sense? Here are some thoughts.

First of all, this depends on whether you think you have something of value to share with your potential readers. Before you start writing, or if you’ve already started, pause. Jot down your ideas in an outline format or a preliminary detailed table of contents. Play with the organization and flow. Visualize the book as if it were done. Then start filling in the text.

This may not be easy for some people. It can be challenging to put your thoughts down on paper convincingly and elegantly. When you read some of your text, does it sound right in the eyes of your potential audience. Are the words to big? Too small? Does it sound like prose or a lecture? Is there too much description and not enough substance? Or vice versa?

To avoid giving up altogether, tap into some outside resources. Buy or go to the library and borrow some books on writing. Use the internet. If there’s a community college in your area, find out if they offer courses on writing. A great idea is to join a writing group. Many successful authors started this way.

And maybe think about the format of what you want to write. Is it a book? A paper? A pamphlet? An article? A blog (even with multiple parts)? By changing formats, some authors successfully get past the block.

It can be especially helpful to hire an editor, who can be both a writing coach and a critic. Extra eyes help find the trees in the forest, polish your text, and ensure that your ideas look great in print.

So, having said all that, the right decision just might be to pause in your writing for a while, or even quit. You may have bitten off more than you can chew. This may be the wrong time or space for you to be writing (e.g., having a young family, too many other activities). You may, in fact, be a better speaker than a writer. A lot of books are published every year, and not all of them by gifted authors.

Regardless of the reason, it may be appropriate to set your project aside and let it go dormant for a few days, even weeks, months or years. Many authors have set some work aside, only to pull it back up some time later, under a different set of circumstances, and finished it successfully.


No matter how strongly you feel you want or need to quit, STOP. Think about it. Is throwing your ideas away the most effective course of action? Would changing the format get you on the right track? Would taking a writing break work? But most importantly, if you conclude that you really do have something worth sharing, keep on writing. And don’t quit!

Copyright © 2016 by Affordable Editing Services

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