How Not To Quit Writing

By on January 10, 2020

Writing is tough, we all know that. If you have a clear idea for your story in your head, it doesn't necessarily mean that you can capture it the way you want to when you start writing. This can be frustrating. Progress can become slow, and you may begin to doubt your abilities as a writer.

You might even give up before you've finished.

Unfortunately, it's not that common for would-be writer's to quit because of self-doubt or simply because they feel they don't have the time to commit to writing a novel or just that they are scared of doing so, and what might happen afterward. 

However, the only writers that have ever experienced any success are the ones that didn't quit, and for most of them, they had to overcome many obstacles and struggle over several hurdles before they achieved their writing goals.

Research conducted by Angela Duckworth from the University of Pennsylvania suggests that grit is a critical factor in becoming successful. Grit is all about having resilience. It's about failing, picking yourself back up again, and trying over and over until you get to where you want to be.

At the start of the new year, we often feel full of resilience, and determination to reach our goals. However, as the weeks roll by, the more challenging our obstacles become, or other things get in the way, and the easier it can be for resilience to fade. 

In an interview, Duckworth describes grit as:

"having stamina…sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality: Grit is living life as a marathon, not a sprint."

For many of us, the reality is that if things become difficult or frustrating, or we don't get the results that we want the first time, we can all too quickly quit. For writers, the path to success is longer and harder than most. We don't just have to write; we have to send off proposals, we have to market, we have to cultivate a following, set up a website, start a blog. There are so many potential frustrations, so many enormous challenges, so many situations where we flail or feel incompetent or have to learn how to do something completely new from scratch - it's no wonder we feel like giving up.

However, by sticking to your goals, and keeping steely-eyed, determined and focused on what you want to achieve with your writing, you can have better self-control. Self-control is also key to a writer's success because it is necessary to delay gratification, control one's behavior, to manage impulses. Doing so keeps us focused, prevents distractions from overwhelming us, and helps us to pay attention and to continue to write more and more and over and over until we get it right. 

So in order not to quit writing, you must seek out what motivates you. You must be mindful and focused, composed and confident, able to focus on the process rather than the outcome, ready to remove the fear of failure and regulate your emotions, celebrate small wins and acknowledge your progress and be open to learning and improving and regarding mistakes and failures as opportunities to do so. 

So will you quit writing this year? Or will you stick with it and use grit, self-control, and passion to achieve your goals instead? 

bethany cadman
Bethany Cadman - bethanycadman.co.uk

About Bethany Cadman

Bethany Cadman is an author and freelance writer. Her highly anticipated debut novel 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers' is available on Amazon as both an eBook and a paperback. You can find it here - http://tinyurl.com/z47t8qf

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