Giving Up – Really Now?

by limebirdamber

Hello dear Limebird followers and commenters! My name is Amber and I am the newest Limebird. So, here we go!

“Argh!”

You screamed that at your computer, didn’t you? I know you did it at least once while writing your draft, and then, you stopped working on it.

Did the keys bust on you? Did you break your finger? At least say your pencil lead broke! None of that happened? Then what excuse do you have to stop writing?

That may sound preachy, but trust me it’s nothing I haven’t yelled at myself.

I know a key to finishing a novel, article, screenplay or whatever your project is. The step is so simple that people think it isn’t really true; it really won’t work; it’s too silly. You cannot stop. Even if you feel like it’s not worth it. Or the words stopped spewing forth onto your medium. Maybe your inspiration died. Then, the most often used excuse; life simply became too hectic for us to write.

“But!” you cry, “Why work on this piece when no one else on Earth will ever see it anyway?”

You stop thinking that way right now. Don’t make me get the rolled-up newspaper and whack your nose. Not hard enough to break it, of course. Just to get you back in line, that’s all.

The most important thing, the only way you’ll finish, is to keep working even when it’s hard. The time may not be there; well, you work it in! You tell life to hush and you force those fingers into action! The idea for your manuscript seems far away from you and out of reach. It’s still there. I know, because I’m in the boat with you, trying to bail out the water before we sink.

If you need a day off, take it. The next day though, you need to pick that pen up again and write something; even if you can only write a sentence.

If you stop writing, you may never go back and that would be a waste. Never stop.

Making excuses is easy – the follow through is a challenge.

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35 Comments to “Giving Up – Really Now?”

  1. Yay Amber is a bird 🙂 *cheeeep cheeeeep cheeeeep* (that’s a bird chirping…. ) Congrats! And good advice! I need to listen to that advice myself, it’s what usually keeps me from picking back up the things I start, and never finish.

  2. Welcome to the team Amber! Can’t believe it took you so long to ask, you’re a fab writer! 🙂

    This is great advice for writers. I’m sure we’ve all had that moment where we’ve gone ‘NO I CAN’T DO IT’. I found this a lot during nanowrimo! This is something that we all need to work on I think.

    • Thank you, Beth! I think everyone forgets they can do it, sometimes. I know I do!

      NaNo can be hard. I found myself forgetting that a lot during it. The thing isn’t falling down, it’s getting up.

  3. Thanks for the blog follow. I’m sailing in the Bahamas and this is the first time I’ve been able to check out your blog. Very cool. It’s hard to find an internet connection while sailing. This morning I have one and am trying to catch up on a few things as quickly as I can before it’s gone. I look forward to reading your blog and will follow when I’m back on land.

  4. Great post Amber, and you are so very right. Years ago (10?) I was just writing a little essay thing, about when I visited my Grandmother the summer I was 13. I was just doing it so that I could remember, and so that I could show it to my daughter one day. It would all be gone and I wanted her to know what it had been like. I never intended for it to leave my computer, and so there was no rush. I would put it down and a year later see the file and look at it again… Mmm oh yea, that thing.

    About two years ago one thing led to another (That’s a story all of itself) and all of a sudden I had that piece out and was sending it to an editor of a magazine. He accepted it on the spot and because of that article asked me to join the magazine as a contributing author.

    So yea, finish the work! Who will ever see it? Well you might be VERY surprised one day!

    • Wow Neeks, really thinking ahead!

      I’m really happy you decided to send it off. 🙂 Amazing things happen when you put nervousness to the side and just go for it!

  5. Welcome to the nest, LimebirdOttabelle!

    I love this post, and the reason I love it so much is your voice. You have such a natural, simple, easygoing style. And when I was reading your advice, I felt like I was listening to a friend urging me along my journey.

    You are so right. When it’s the hardest, that’s when you need to persevere, stay engaged with your work. One sentence is all you need to show your work who’s boss.

    Inspiring words, Ottie! 🙂

    • oops, I meant Limebirdamber. It’s mayhem when we have alter-egos (at least for me). Sometimes I’ll wake up and not know who I’m going to be for the day! 🙂 Sorry about the mistake…

      • I think I accidentally hit comment too soon… Let me try again.

        I don’t mind being called either, I am both after all!

        I attempted to sound like a friend more than someone yelling at you just to be argumentative.

        That one sentence could be the one that turns everything around for you and the work!

  6. BTW, time will tell if that editor’s decision was a wise one…but my point is that I agree with you – finish that piece and get it ready. Life throws us unexpected opportunities!

  7. I learned this lesson the hard way and am glad to see someone else reinforcing this truth-of-the-matter!

  8. Congrats on birdifying! Nice post, and I totally agree. Don’t stop, don’t let yourself criticize the project, just go, and keep going. Wait for all that until it’s done, because until then, you don’t know what it will grow up to be. Everything is mutable until the end, and even after, things can change. Excellent first post!

  9. Great debut post, LimebirdAmber! And it really hits home for me. I’ve been slacking on my novel writing recently, feeling like I’m just “too busy” right now. But that’s no excuse. I can make the time, and I will. (After I catch up on reading new posts and comments on mine…. ARGH!)

    • I know what you mean about posts! I have over 100 emails from WordPress! Thank you so much Jm! I believe you can get it all done!

  10. Hey Amber, welcome to the team, so happy to have you join us and congratulations on an excellent debut.

    Oh yes, I’ve definitely been through the, “What’s the point, nobody’s going to read it anyway,” feeling. I used to just move from one first draft to the next book (I’ve written quite a few ‘books’), impatient to send it off to agents and quickly dismissing it after a couple of rejections. But I’ve been spending a lot of time redrafting the current one and working out ways to engage myself in the story when it doesn’t seem to be working. Perhaps it’s just another one for the heap, perhaps not, but I’m giving it my best shot. The clock is ticking until I return to work after my maternity leave – days off are not an option right now!

  11. Limebird Amber – that has such a nice ring to it. Congratulations! Thanks for the good ‘kick-ass’ post…a brilliant reminder to JUST DO IT!

  12. Great post, Amber 🙂 When you started out, my head read your sentence, “I am Amber… and I’m an alcoholic”. !! It just went through my head!

    Very encouraging – great stuff 🙂

  13. Great first post, we all need to hear that from time to time.

    Sometimes, when the inspiration leaves me, I just try to write something – anything – even if it has no relation to anything that I’m currently working on. Sometimes I just write randomly – free writing – and see where it goes from there.

    • Thanks Dennis! That is something I was going to talk about in another post! It does help. The purpose to this one was not giving up on the current story!

      Those random bits can come together for something amazing.

  14. Amber my first book may not see the light of day. I’ve revised it so many times. Bu I don’t think about that as I work on it. I finished it and I revised it. But finishing that book taught me so much about writing the next one. I’m so glad I powered through because my current manuscript is the best thing I’ve ever written. And it wouldn’t exist if I gave into self doubt on the first one.

    • I’m glad you didn’t give in to self-doubt. I think you should get the first one ready, too. 🙂 I don’t see why you shouldn’t at least.

      Go you for finishing. 🙂

  15. As I learned to say 31 years ago, “Yes Dear!”

  16. LOL What Dennis said! Excellent post and one I needed to hear. I’ve been stuck on my novel for a while, with little time to think about that as other projects with deadlines cropped up and what have you. Then when I do go back, another idea pops in my head and I start something new. I definitely need to get back to my original idea. Bless you for this, Amber and welcome!!

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