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
- 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.