During the course of my 31 Days of Authors journey, I asked some of the authors to answer a bonus question. I found the responses to be enlightening and inspiring. I even provided a bit of my own. The responses could be applied to any individual that is aspiring to begin a new journey in their career or personal life. Here are the responses that I received, along with the question that I asked:
What advice would you give an author questioning whether they should continue their writing journey?
My favorite quote is one from Audrey Hepburn: “Nothing’s impossible. The word itself says I’m Possible”
That pretty much sums it up. If you dream it, do it. Seek out the help of fellow authors and above all….never say never. I’m an optimist by heart, so I like to encourage people to chase those dreams.
Never let anyone tell you not to chase your dream. Learn as much as you can and put out the best book possible. There’s no magic trick to it. Just write, read, and keep on working.
I would say that everyone’s journey is different. I was writing stories for the joy of it before they sold. If I never sold another story I would still write because I create worlds I love to escape into. If you’re asking should you keep writing. . .then my answer is only if you feel driven to. If you’re asking if you should write as a career, I’d say—only if you can afford to.
I recently went through a stage where I was questioning whether I wanted to continue writing. Between soccer practice (two different teams), school (I’m a full time Psychology major), my domestic duties as a mother and wife, and my full time job, I didn’t have time. I had so much going on that I never stopped moving. This made me question my writing. At the time it was the expendable and non-reproductive aspect of my life. Sales were crap, I never had time to write, everything costs so much to produce the work. It was very overwhelming. I was ready to quit. And I know this is as cliché as it gets, but a few days after I decided I was done I had a dream. In my dream I was sitting next to Colleen Hoover and E.L. James. We were doing some sort of panel discussion and then I woke up. I decided if I was going to be one of the greats, I had to put out great work. Couldn’t do that while asleep, so I got up and got to it. Haven’t looked back. My advice is to pray on it and do what is best for you. You don’t have to publish to be a writer, and the biggest achievements started with nothing at all. Make your nothing into something that will impact the world.
Write. Just write. Even if you don’t like what you’re writing, continue. The story will evolve and you’ll make the not-so-good parts better when you edit. It will all come together in the end.
F*** everyone else, write how you want to. Just like you love the type of story that you are writing, somewhere out there is a reader who is gonna love to read it. Giving up is not an option if the only thing you eat, sleep, and dream about is writing. One day the hard work, crying, and moments of doubt will pay off.
~Khai L. Bayne
There is no right or wrong answer to whether or not you should continue your journey. Also, whatever choice you make can be changed. I would say to ask yourself why you started writing, and then ask why you would quit. The answers might give you insight to your true reasons. Sometimes we begin to question because our creative well has run dry from overuse. In those cases, a break to allow it to replenish is the answer. This journey isn’t an easy one, but it should bring a measure of joy. If it’s not, there’s probably a reason. The amazing Jennifer Ashley told me once that if you’re not enjoying it, you’re writing the wrong thing. She was 100% right. Writing should be challenging, but it shouldn’t be torture.
If you set your mind to it, then do it. As with any dream, it is going to take hard work, diligence, a thick skin, and perseverance to make it happen. No matter what, DON’T GIVE UP! Know your field, which means do as much research as you possibly can. I ask questions of other authors. We tend to be rather helpful, at least the majority of us are.