The Moment I Quit Writing
This morning I sat in front of my computer in tears. My stomach in knots. And feeling utterly done.
Something had gone horribly wrong on the website – I’m not going to bore you with too many of the details, but we have a handful of pages that get the most traffic every day, one in particular I’d made some changes to it, expecting that it was going to bring in even more traffic… but it didn’t…. So I changed things back to how they were.
I checked the page views on it the next day and it had six views.
This morning I checked it – zero.
Absolutely no one viewed it.
This is my most popular post, it’s had heavy daily traffic for over a year and I broke it. I broke it while doing what I thought would make it better.
And this one little page, this tiny aspect of the entire website broke me. I sat staring at the screen in tears not knowing what to do next. Wondering what I was going to do with the rest of my life, because I just didn’t know how to fix it. And if I couldn’t fix it, I just didn’t want to write anymore.
It’s Not The First Time I’ve Quit
This is not even remotely the first time I’ve cried in my chair while working on this website. It’s also not the first time I’ve decided to quit altogether. Told myself I suck at this. I can’t do it. I can’t keep going.
When I first started I thought those moments meant I shouldn’t be writing. That I am actually terrible at it. That I’m not “meant to” be a writer.
But as I met other writers I found my experience isn’t uncommon. Many writers – even very successful ones – “quit” regularly. They get down. It get hard. Sometimes they hate it almost as much as they love it.
Follow Our Passion
We’re told to do things we love. To follow our bliss. “If you love what you do you’ll never work a day in your life.” And this seems to apply doubly for writing, or any form of the arts – right? It should just be one long joyful roller coaster.
It’s not. Well – it’s a roller coaster, but the kind where the floor drops out from under you and you’re flung dangling through the air until you want to vomit.
Oh, but it’s also the most amazing thing you’ve done in your life.
Doing what we love doesn’t always mean doing what feels good. It’s still a job. It’s still work. We still have to get up in the morning, down our coffee, and push on. Even when it’s not fun anymore. Even when we want to get off the ride.
I don’t mean keep doing something that you genuinely hate. Don’t stay in a shitty job if it’s actually just a shitty job. It’s okay to decide that it’s not for you and move on. But if there’s something that even though it ties your belly up in knots – and you STILL want to do – that’s something you should follow. Don’t hide from that kind of passionate.
Don’t die with your music inside you.
And it’s okay to quit. Quit every week. Quit a million times. As long as you keep picking yourself back up afterwards.
(OH and…. The page. The page with zero views… I made a small error that would have been much easier to work out if I’d calmed down. I fixed it. It’s all okay. So, also there’s some sense to trying not to get TOO worked up over things… whoops)