|N is for Never|
I once believed that I could do anything, go anywhere, be anybody. One day I found out that wasn't true. What I do know is winners sometimes have to lose before they win. Not sure what I mean? Let me see if I can explain it. Stay with me. To get to the other side of this it will require some trudging through the muck.
As children everything is possible. We soon realize that we have limitations. Some say those limitations are only in our minds, maybe. This was the reality: no matter how hard I tried I couldn't run fast enough to compete with the best runners. Miles and miles later it hit me that I really didn't enjoy running my guts out. The obsession with getting miles in, pleasing my coach and beating my competition had lost its pull. So I quit. Amazingly, after getting over the initial feeling of failure, I actually felt better, less anxious. I was free to turn my attention elsewhere. My writing.
Years later, after burning and ruining things I had to face the fact that cooking wasn't my forte. Heaven forbid a homemaker that had serious problems in the kitchen. For awhile, I thought something was wrong with me. Why was this so difficult for me? I must not be smart enough, trying hard enough and I definitely wasn't fullfilling my "role" as a woman. Then one day it hit me; I don't like to cook. I discovered pre-cooked foods and didn't fret if all we had for dinner was a sandwich. Once over the guilt and embarrassment I had courage to admit that I didn't like laundry, organizing shelves or cleaning. That was when I accepted that clean was good enough everything didn't have to be spotless. If my children had full tummies and had clean clothes on, it was enough. I felt relaxed with my children, less stressed out about not getting everything done perfectly. Reading and playing with my children became a joy instead of a bother. And I had time to write.
What does this have to do with writing? Stephen King wrote, "The biggest part of writing successfully is being talented, and in the context of marketing, the only bad writer is one who doesn’t get paid. If you’re not talented, you won’t succeed. And if you’re not succeeding, you should know when to quit." Harsh! My son once said he was "thinking" about being a writer but decided he doesn't really like to write. If there is no passion for what you do, you're probably doing the wrong thing.
So, to boil down to the essential message of this post. Never, never give up until you realize that it's time to try something else. Failure is when you keep doing something even when 1)You have no talent. 2)You do it for the wrong reasons. 3)Or you're so out of tune with who you are and reality-- to move on. I still don't know if I'm going to be a "successful" writer but I do know I live to write!
Have you ever had to quit something after you realized it wasn't the thing for you? How did you feel? Or do you think I'm full of @#$%?