On Not Giving Up

One of my favorite industry blogs is from the Books & Such Literary Agency. I look forward to their posts every single day, and love all the wisdom and commiseration that comes from them. Today they posted this article, which discusses 9 reasons to give up on publishing. The very last reason was this:

You think anything else—anything—might make you as happy as writing does.

Let me share with you another list:

  • HR Director
  • Police Officer
  • FBI Agent
  • Boutique Owner
  • Lobbyist
  • English Professor

These are all careers I have seriously considered. Those are diverse positions listed, but all of them appeal to some of my core desires: to do right and good, to create and uphold beneficial rules, and to use my skills and ethics to help others. I’m the type of person that easily develops loyalty and only with great force manages to let go of it. If I clamped onto another career it would become my passion in life, and I would mold myself to fit around it.

The problem is I already have a passion in life. Sometimes I wonder where I would have ended up if my parents hadn’t read to me so much, or if I hadn’t discovered such wonderful books in my childhood that I felt driven to create work as amazing as they were. Sometimes I find myself reading about the hypocrisy of those in public servant positions and long to be the systemic change that brings about improvements.

Each time I feel my heart extend towards some ideal, only to withdraw once it realizes I’ve already found my calling. Rachelle Gardner put it perfectly: You should quit if you think anything, literally anything at all, would make you happier than being an author.

And the truth of the matter is that, for me, nothing else would. The pursuit of telling stories, and making a career out of it, is an inherent part of my life. I don’t even feel the overwhelming impatience of nothing happening yet anymore. Because there will never come a point where I’ll say, “That’s enough.”

That’s the final rejection. That’s the final chance. The final manuscript sweated and bled over.

I will never give up because there’s nothing to give up. Writing is part of who I am.

So to the fearful reader who thought me tweeting that link and highlighting #9 meant I was considering giving up–

Never. Never. Never.

<3, Savannah

2 thoughts on “On Not Giving Up

  1. Caitlin Vanasse says:

    I’m sorry I didn’t see this post sooner (something about the demise of google reader) but I have things to say here! When you posted that list of things what #9 reminded me of most was not actually writing but was about a decision I made at the beginning of this year and have slowly been accepting and sharing and I made it for essentially that reason: there are other things I can do that will make me equally happy I think.

    I think there is more than one career path in which the time and investment are so great for an uncertain or lower than expected payoff that the thing that makes it worth pursuing is a person’s personal satisfaction in that career. For me it was knowing I could be happy getting a job with the degree I am pursuing now rather than going back to school for another 4 or more years for more letters after my name.

    What do you think the jobs that are like this are? Are there alternative career paths to work in or with what appeals to you that you could pursue? (I think your answer to that was no and so you’ll continue working hard for publication but for me it was yes and I’ve modified my career goals.)

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