A while back I was listening to the Elise Gets Crafty podcast and she was talking about quitting and the negative stigma “quitting” comes with*. One thing she said that really made me think was:
‘Quitting is not the enemy. Quitting is an important part of growth. When you quit something it doesn’t mean you have nothing. When you quit, it means you’re closer to finding out what you really have.’
I quit a writing project back in 2012. This thing was my baby. It had been my English project my senior year in high school—that, of course, after I graduated, the computer ate and I had nothing to show for except some scribbles on a piece of paper and a (what I thought) brilliant idea for a story.
I finally decided to commit to it and hammer the whole thing out during NaNoWriMo. By this time (11 years after I graduated) I wasn’t really sure I wanted to finish the project, but it was the first real idea I ever had. I felt like I needed to finish this project so I could move on to different projects I really wanted to do.
I made it to about 26,000 words, and I was sick. I was so tired of the characters, the plot, the story—everything. After chatting with a writer friend about the second project I wanted to work on (a certain YA fiction book), she told me to just go for it. Just start.
After 26k words, I quit “Jack and Jill” and by January I had jumped all in with “The Black Knight” (working titles—gotta love them). Quitting that first book, an adult romance, made me realize where my true writing passion was—YA Fiction. At first I was a little baffled (and scared) that I was quitting after all those words written, but now? I’m so relieved. There has never been once that I looked back and regretted quitting.
So. This is it. If you’ve been working on something just to get through. Waiting to finish so you can be done, but lacking all the passion. I say stop. Give yourself permission to not finish.
Maybe your next project will be “it” for you! Even if it’s not just know that (as Elsie says) “quitting is an important part of growth.”
I’m rooting for you. You can do it!
*if you wanted to listen to Elise’s podcast on quitting, you can listen here.