Keep on: The Art of Not Quitting #atozchallenge, #quotes

Shadow by MMAARRSS

As we’ve discussed throughout this A to Z series, writing is hard work. You can’t complete a story of any great length in one burst of creativity…and this can lead to discouragement and disillusionment, as the luster of our imaginative worlds wears off. (At least for us; we’ve been there so much, written so much, and rewritten so much that it starts to lose its glamor.)

And this is when the “keeping on” has to kick in. We have to find ways to stay committed, to keep putting in our time and efforts even when writing feels like an endless staircase, falling away at our feet. If we try to rush through it, we’ll fall to the bottom, with more bruises than victories. But if we don’t keep descending, we’ll never reach the bottom. The basement (or dungeon) of our heart awaits–the deepest, most meaningful part of who we are, hidden from view. The only thing standing between us is words. (Frequently, a lot of words.)

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.” Samuel Beckett

Some people find help in writing groups, in having others to whom they are accountable. Others set daily or weekly goals or participate in NaNoWriMo. And some just take it one word at a time, writing when they can and taking time off when nothing seems to be coming together.

So how do you stay motivated? What works for you? As we near the halfway mark in this A to Z challenge, what helps you keep writing?

“It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.” Confucius

Copyright 2016 Andrea Lundgren

Photo by MMAARRSS, Creative Commons

12 thoughts on “Keep on: The Art of Not Quitting #atozchallenge, #quotes

  1. I love quotes. They keep me keeping on when I’m feeling low. My favorite one:

    “Easy reading is damned hard writing.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne

    I remind myself when the writing gets hard that it’s even more painful NOT to write.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Allison D. Reid and commented:
    Such a timely post as I (and other fellow writers) are pushing ourselves through Camp NaNoWriMo this month. It has been both fun, and frustrating at times. But never giving up–pushing ourselves to ever higher standards, is what makes our imaginative scribblings worth reading, and worth writing.


      1. Some of those subtle changes you suggested are snowballing. Chapter 4 is taking on a whole new tone and depth, with increased tension, which it needed. I should have the revised version soon.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Get there before you…as in, write your book before you do? Interesting. I never feel like anyone else is going to write what I’ve written, or ever will write. But perhaps that’s just idealistic thinking. 🙂


  3. Having a good writing soundtrack always helps me. I couldn’t have finished some books without my wonderful sountracks, and even credited them on the dedications pages.


  4. I tend to focus on habits and routines. A certain amount of time is earmarked for writing each day, and it’s my responsibility to fulfill it.
    In the beginning Writers Groups helped quite a bit. We’d meet once a month and just write for an hour. After a while I started doing the same thing on my own. Over the years I’ve pushed that “quota”, trying to see how far I can go in a week.
    Sometimes I’ll make little deals with myself, “If I write for an hour then I can play that video game”.
    I think to some extent there’s a point where I ask myself “Do you want to be a writer? Do you want to write? Because if you do, then this is what it takes. If not, decide it’s a hobby.”


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