Don’t. Freaking. Quit.

One of the blogs I read regularly is “Motherhood Is Not For Wimps.” It’s written by Liz, a mom with three little girls, ages almost 2 to 8 (I think–they all grow so fast). Although I’m further down the Motherhood Trail, a lot of what she blogs about gives me insight into other parts of my life. I often find myself wishing I’d known her 15 years ago, that we had been meeting for coffee or watching our kids on the playground. If nothing else, she’s freaking hilarious and has been known to make me laugh and cry in the same post.

Recently she blogged about how her oldest daughter, who has been dancing since she was 3, wants to quit ballet. It’s hard work, it takes too much time. Mary has had a week off, and she’s enjoyed it. A lot. She, of course, assumed that she’d say she wants to quit, and that would be that. Mary was surprised when Liz didn’t immediately agree.

Here’s what really spoke to me: “But do you know that loving it doesn’t mean loving it every day?  Sometimes we can barely stand to do the things we love.  But you have to work very hard to get good at something.  And hard work is not always fun.  But being good at something is very fun.  I think it would be a terrible mistake to quit unless you are sure you want to give up those years of hard work that have gotten you here.  You will never get to be very good at anything without hard work.”

Oof. It was like sitting in church and squirming through the sermon while the pastor is blissfully ignorant.

I have spent a lot of time whining over my latest story. The thought has even crossed my mind that, while I’ve self-pubbed three books, I only wrote one of them by myself. Self-doubt has been lurking around the edges. Liz’s response to Mary brought me back to reality. I love to write, but I don’t love it all the time. This is the part where the rubber meets the road, where I push through the hard part until I hit the next sweet spot, or where I give up and regret it. The way I see it, I have this dream for a reason. I’ve been working on it for a long time. Yes, it’s taken me the best part of four months to get what I have on my current story, but it took me over two years to finish “Rogue Pawn.” I’ve come a long way in the last year and invested a lot of money in learning what I have. It would be silly to give up now. After all, I will never get to be very good at anything without hard work.

Thanks, Liz.



5 comments on “Don’t. Freaking. Quit.

  1. Jean says:

    That was a powerful post.

  2. It’s true. It is not always fun. And there’s no way to know if it will be worth it, either–but that depends on how ‘worth’ is defined. For what dedication and hard work teach us, the exercise alone is worth it! Carry on, Girl. You can do it.

  3. maripat says:

    I have been on this crazy ride for years. Most of the people that I’ve critiqued for have sold short stories or novels or agents…And I have never, ever sold a piece of fiction. My ego took a beating about year ago. Real life has been rough lately. And you know, I keep coming back to writing. It is my comfort. I love to write stories. I love to take classes on writing and plotting, yes, even synopsis writing–the way some folks love to take art classes.

    And besides my crazy characer wouldn’t let me stop now. He tricked me into taking a plotting course. It’s pretty bad when imaginary people start running my life. Heh. Anyway, that was a wonderful post. Thank you for shring.

  4. Elizabeth says:

    Oh thank you for this! I hope when I am done with the major portion of child-rearing I, too, will have the courage to weigh in and go for it as you are. DON’T. FREAKING. QUIT!

  5. Mom says:

    Keep pluggin’ along – don’t give ear to the devil – he is the one who would be the winner – and we know he is the loser in the long run.

    Love, Mom

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