Wednesday, July 21, 2010

WIP Wednesday: Why I'm Quitting

A work of fiction. (sort of)*

I've learned a few things this summer, and now I'm going to share the reasons why I'm going to quit writing. Feel free to find the nearest link out of here.

1. Rejection will always be part of the game. But rejection sucks. Even those wonderful, "you were soooo close but..." rejections from well-paying/prestigious markets. I know those type of rejections are supposed to feel like "progress". Sorry, but failure doesn't seem like progress. Never has; never will.

2. Writing feels a little too much like work. Seriously. I try to be professional and all, but I bobbled a contract recently. Totally unprofessional. Of course, it's hard to motivate myself to act like a professional when I'm being paid a penny or less per word (on average) for hours of effort, sweat, and blood. That's the life of an unestablished writer. Hell, even when those "professional rate" sales happen, they must be averaged with all the lower pay rates.

3. Damn, there are a lot of folks doing this writing thing, and a Roman Legion (at least) of them are better than me. Truth.

4. I can make more money selling Legos on eBay. Sorry, also true. And selling Legos on eBay is kind of fun. (Of course, writing is more fulfilling on a "deeper" level, but in a pure cost/benefits analysis, selling Legos wins.)

5. My measure of "success" will never pay well. I don't really want to play the "success" game. I want to write. I want people to enjoy my writing. I want people to be more than entertained when they read a story I write. Entertainment sells. Introspective bullshit doesn't. I won't stop writing it, though.

*I'm not quitting. That's the only piece of the post that's fictional.


Cate Gardner said...

Sorry, but you don't get to quit. That is all.

Brendan P. Myers said...

Started and stopped a dozen responses, refreshed the screen to see Cate said all that needs saying.

Mary Rajotte said...

If you did quit, there would be a riot of epic proportions.

L.R. Bonehill said...

Repeat this after me: never, ever quit.

Alan W. Davidson said...

Glad to hear the quitting part was fictitious. I agree totally with all five points (except I've never made any money at writing). I would also change the "selling Legos" for some other collectable item that works for me.

Yep, it's a tough racket, all right!

Bobbie Metevier said...

As I was reading, I was trying to think of ways to talk you off that ledge, but . . .

It's not even April 1st!

Barry Napier said...

I saw a bluff from the start. Fac it, mister...we're all in this for the long haul!

Anthony Rapino said...

I sure am glad the quitting part was fictitious. But you have valid points. All those things weigh heavy on my head as well.

It's especially depressing to search for "pro rate" magazines on duotrope and find like a dozen or less magazines.

But I concur with everyone else. You're not allowed to quit.

Amanda C. Davis said...

Augh, you're not even kidding about #3. There are people with a twenty-year head start still submitting for the same slots I am. I can't compete.

Oh yeah, and keep your chin up, or something.

Milo James Fowler said...

You are correct about that Roman legion; I find myself up against them on a daily basis. I lost track of you after your story appeared in A Fly in Amber -- great stuff! Planning to check out the rest of your work ASAP.

Fox Lee said...

Don't forget sperm! You can make fifty bucks for a sperm donation ; )

Katey said...

My measure of "success" will never pay well

Entertainment sells. Introspective bullshit doesn't.

Haha, like I say, you could write that crap if you wanted. You're just too honest for that :D *high five*

Aaron Polson said...

Cate - Of course I can't.

Brendan - She has a way with words, doesn't she?

Mary - But I so love a riot. ;)

L.R. - I have a poster with that very phrase in my classroom. Guess it's good advice for all of us, yes?

Bobbie - No real ledges around here; only metaphoric ones.

Barry - And it is a long haul, ain't it?

Anthony - none of us are allowed, I'm afraid.

Amanda - Let's all keep the chins up, eh?

I hope you find something you like, Milo. Thanks for visiting!

Natalie - that much? Why did I waste time with plasma in college?

Katey - Too honest or too stubborn? (maybe one in the same?)

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

I read this and it makes me not even want to try to sell anything.

Tyhitia Green said...

Glad you're not quitting. I held my breath when I read that statement. We're all in this twisted dance together. ;-)

Andrea Allison said...

Please don't joke about quitting. My fallout shelter isn't prepared for World War III yet. :)

Jamie Eyberg said...

i could never see you quitting. It isn't in you. I do know what you mean. I can make more money selling bathouses to catalog's companies in a day than I can writing in a year (and I have).

Danielle Birch said...

I agree with Cate. You don't get to quit :)

Damien Walters said...

I agree with Cate and Danielle. Quitting is not allowed.

Anonymous said...

First off, you nearly gave me a heart attack. I was certain that you were possessed.

I realized this week that while writing is fun, the pressure isn't. It's crazy. I tossed off some of the "wonderful high tier" markets that I'd been shooting for (and missing) and just wrote something for fun. That was it. Fun. In fact, it was that goofy little serial blog that Simon and I started. It's simple, it's out of my genre, it's mindless, but EGADS, it's some of the most fun that I've had in a long time!

Rock on, Aaron. You couldn't quit if you tried. You have too much steel in you.


Aaron Polson said...

God, you nailed it Mercedes. The pressure is el sucko. The writing can be so much fun.

(Does steel rust?)

Anonymous said...

Yes. Yes, it does. But rub it off with tin foil or some wet steel wool and you're as good as new.

And so is your motivation. :)


Anonymous said...

Yes. Yes, it does. But rub it off with tin foil or some wet steel wool and you're as good as new.

And so is your motivation. :)


Tracy Lucas said...

Dude, you had me entirely pissed-off until that last line.

Thought I was going to have to Google-map your house and come slap you.

Glad it was all a lie. Hope my emotional upheaval amuses you, LOL. ;)