When Your Writing Dream Dies Should You Stay the Course or Quit?

Fighting, glovesI’ve said it before, my writing journey hasn’t gone as I’ve planned. I know I’m not alone. I’m sure there’s some blessed soul out there where the universe works in her favor, but for the majority of us, I don’t think that’s the way life works.
For most of us, I think the course on the way to dream fulfillment needs to be constantly adjusted. It’s easy to stray and get distracted, but if you stay the course, we should reach our goals, right? That should be the way it works.
But what happens when dreams die? When a star athlete blows out a knee and can never play again. When a singer like Julie Andrews loses her singing voice. When a couple can’t have a baby or a marriage ends in divorce. When you’ve struggled for years, maybe decades learning the craft of writing, but you can’t seem to catch the eye of an agent or editor.
What happens when your dream dies and you want to quit? I think you have three choices.
Quit. For some this is a valid choice. The road is too painful and maybe the joy has dwindled and you have no more fight in you. If you find yourself able to quit, then you shouldn’t beat yourself up for it. Maybe it’s time, and if God gives you the grace to throw in the towel, maybe He’s giving you a new dream.
Stay the Course and Fight. Sometimes you’re not ready to quit and you still have more fight in you. Then quit whining, ball up your fists, and come out swinging. Who knows, one more round might be the break through you need. If not, keep fighting until you can’t any more. Then at least you’ll know you gave it your all.
Adjust Your Course. I think most of us fall into this category and need to be open to a change in direction no matter how big or small. Sometimes a tiny adjustment can make all the difference. As writers, we might need to study the craft more or join a critique group. Some of us may even need to take a good hard look at ourselves, our disciplines, and maybe motivation and quit making excuses as to why things aren’t happening. (Ouch! I FEEL the sting of that one.)
When our dreams die and we want to quit, we can, we have a choice. But we can also stay and fight, or adjust our course. No one can tell us what to do, though we all need friends to talk us down off the ledge. Bottom line, the choice is yours.
Where are you? Are you ready to quit, fight, or adjust your course?

Gina Conroy is founder of Writer…Interrupted and is still learning how to balance a career with raising a family. Represented by Chip MacGregor, she finds time to write fun, quirky mysteries in between carpooling and ballroom dancing . Her first mystery Cherry Blossom Capers, released from Barbour Publishing in January 2012, and Digging Up Death is available now.