“Never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about.”Winston Churchill
It’s usually easier to quit a hobby, no matter how passionate you are about it, than a paying job. Quitting a job is connected to negative consequences, not the least of being a lost paycheck and method of paying the bills.
The downsides of quitting a hobby are slightly less tangible – for example, the removal of a source of great joy and excitement in your life. But the bills still get paid. That’s why, for some, the decision to quit an “optional” activity is all too easy, especially if the emotional investment is thin.
Writing a book takes time, thought, diligence, good writing habits, sometimes research, persistence, and a mess of other forms of effort. The challenges can easily outweigh the joys of the race and potential payoffs at the finish line (and beyond).
Quite frankly, when you’re fighting through your third brain cramp by the halfway point, you might find yourself wondering, “Why even bother?” Your “hobby” suddenly seems expendable.
I get it, which is why I want to give you the best possible defenses against quitting writing your book to draw from during those times. Use these questions to prevent quitting during those times when it seems like a perfectly reasonable and acceptable decision.
3 questions to ask yourself when you want to quit:
- How long have you wanted this?
- How will you feel if you let it go?
- Why did you start in the first place? (Is that reason still valid or do you need to find a new one?)
Let’s dig even deeper with some more anti-quitting strategies (I am REALLY invested in you not quitting!).
What will it really take for you to finish writing your book?
This is not to be confused with the anxiety-driven fears and negative self talk in your head about the seas that must be parted and water turned into wine, in order for you to write this book.
Write down all the actual obstacles and problems to be solved that are standing between you and your completed manuscript. Who can help you solve these problems?
How many of your worries are actually about writing your book?
Versus the worries you’re currently entertaining about things that happen further down the road, like publishing, launch, marketing, and sales. These things are all important, but if worrying about them (rather than strategizing about them) is getting in the way of your writing a great book, then your priorities are out of order.
To be clear, working on your book launch, publishing, content marketing, and sales strategies are smart decisions. But merely worrying about them without taking action, and allowing that worry to become book writing procrastination, is not good.
Here’s one more anti-quitting strategy: What can you do right now to reconnect with your book and your initial excitement to write it?
Is there ONE story, scene, or lesson that you envisioned when you first came up with your book idea? Don’t wait a second longer. No matter where you are in your book, stop what you’re doing and write that “passion piece” now. If you’ve already written it, go work on it some more now.
Find the emotional spark that set off your book project and stoke it!
Keep going! You might not believe it now, but you’ve got this.