I have never felt more like quitting than today!
The weight of that thought droops my shoulders, and brings me close to tears. I look at the blank screen on my computer and experience an overwhelming urge to delete every file, purge the hard drive of every piece of my writing, finished and unfinished, and declare my writing career done.
I don’t get paid enough for this! The more I think about that fact, the angrier I become. Is it worth it financially for me to continue?
My heart’s just not in it anymore! It isn’t. I haven’t enjoyed the process in months. It is tedium now, something I do out of obligation, a sense of duty. I struggle whenever I try to put my thoughts onto paper. I don’t feel any sense of accomplishment after I’ve rattled off a somewhat mediocre article, just a sense of relief that I have completed yet another writing deadline on time. I can now relax until another bout of nagging guilt forces me to tackle yet another last minute assignment.
I debate closing down every social media account I have. I want anonymity, obscurity, to vanish like a wisp and face the consequences of what I am convinced is welcome oblivion.
Will people even notice my absence? Do I honestly think that my presence online is that important to anyone else?
So, I ask myself, “Why am I doing this?”
I pause. The question begs an answer, but I have no ready answers.
Why am I doing this?
The question hangs in the air like a maleficent odour. It reeks in its putridity. I have to figure out an answer or I will eventually succumb to this impending stench of death. I am hearing in my head the gonging chimes marking the death knell of my writing.
Why am I doing this?
Is it for the money?
No. I almost laugh out loud. I suppose there are authors who are making good money with their writing. Not me.
But, it’s never been about the money for me… Has it?
No. There was a time I wrote for the sheer pleasure of it. I wrote because I loved to write. I was compelled to write. The art, the act of writing beckoned to me from deep within. When I was awake, I thought about writing, and when I drifted to sleep, I was still composing and editing the storylines in my head.
When did it become about the money?
I have to answer honestly with abject sadness, “When writing became more like a job, and less about the craft.“
So if I’m not writing for the money, is it for fame?
I will admit that I enjoy the compliments, the comments, the writing accolades, the awards I have received because of my writing. Prideful? Definitely. It does motivate me to keep writing to stroke my ego. However, I have also faced criticism.
I don’t like that.
I have faced critical evaluation of my writing, and even though it is hard to read and accept, I still continue to write despite it.
I’m not stroking my ego then.
It is persevering in the midst of struggle. It is wanting to overcome, to grow, to improve. I conclude that writing must be more than attaining money or garnering personal fame. The revelation of that causes me to perk up a bit, but again I face that nagging question:
So, why am I doing this?
Philippians 1: 4-6 immediately comes to mind. “In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
The Apostle Paul is praising the Philippians for their work in spreading the gospel, and that work, with God’s help, will not be completed until the second coming of Jesus. For me, it is a rallying cry to persevere, to continue in the work God has called me to until such time He tells me to stop.
I am once again reminded that it’s not about me, it’s all about Him.
My writing is His.
It is not up to me to quit when I am frustrated, discouraged, overwhelmed or just plain tired of it all. It is embracing my ongoing ministry, my partnership in the gospel, and I must continue it to completion. I ask forgiveness for my self-centeredness, and ask God to renew my passion for writing once again.
Thankfully, He always answers that prayer!
(Originally published on InScribe Writer’s Online)