A Quitter Never Wins And A Winner Never Quits

November 11, 2011 18 Comments TAGS: Career

By Guest Blogger Rima Jean 

I love to write. There, I said it. I friggin’ LOVE to write. It doesn’t matter much what I’m writing — a how-to article on banana clips, an academic piece on the Reformation, a high-adventure fantasy/sci-fi — chances are, I will enjoy writing it.

And this is a very, very good thing. Why? Because being a writer SUCKS.

When I say “suck,” I mean it in the most offensive, most disgusting, most appalling way. I mean “big hairy gorilla balls” suck. (I am currently hoping my father still hasn’t figured out how to navigate Google and has forgotten my website address). Ask any successful writer if they think their jobs suck, and chances are they’ll tell you that at some point, it really did. Writing for money chews you up and spits you out like nothing else. It batters your ego and makes you question your abilities. It makes you want to cry like a little girl who was just told she has a major uni-brow and needs to pluck that damn thing. (What? No one has ever said that to me, I swear. Okay, except maybe in the sixth grade).

“Coleridge was a drug addict. Poe was an alcoholic. Marlowe was stabbed by a man whom he was treacherously trying to stab. Pope took money to keep a woman’s name out of a satire; then wrote a piece so that she could still be recognized. Chatterton killed himself. Byron was accused of incest. Do you still want to be a writer—and if so, why?”
~Bennett Cerf, Co-founder of Random House

How does writing suck? Oh, let me count the ways…

1. Whether your writing is “good” is completely and utterly subjective. Sure, there’s really, really good writing, and then there’s really, really bad writing. But most writers are in between. Literary agents are the industry’s gatekeepers because they’ve seen so much crap they can recognize the good from the bad. But the truth is, they like what they like. It may be “good” writing, but they may not like it. Plain and simple. Likewise, it may be bad writing, but they think it will sell. Sure, you can improve your writing by studying the craft, going to conferences, taking workshops, whatever. All of that definitely benefits you as a writer, but… in the end, it’s about the people with the power deciding if what you’ve written will sell.

2. Non-writers think being a writer is easy. Anyone can write, for God’s sake. What’s so hard about it? Just today, the Starbucks dude told me he was writing a memoir as he passed me my extra-huge latte. Really? That’s nice. Good luck with that. Excuse me while I go suck down my caffeine and try not to smack you. 😉

3. Rejections abound. You need to be made of steel, people. Imagine if what people thought of your work was posted on Amazon and everywhere else on the interwebz for everyone to read. Imagine if stuff like, “Sue’s work really, really sucks” was up for everyone to see. Don’t tell me that wouldn’t piss you off. Rejection attacks you from every angle, whether you write for literary mags, for textbooks, for blogs, etc. Don’t take it personally, they tell you. But the fact of the matter is, you do. You can’t help it, because it’s like someone is looking at your face and telling you they don’t like your nose. Well, dude, what do you want me to do about it? It’s my nose.

I did not write this post with the intention of being “inspirational” or anything. Entertaining, maybe. Definitely not inspirational. This isn’t Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul material.

…Or maybe it is.

Because as discouraging as the above information is, writers are succeeding despite the odds every day. (Okay, maybe every two days). And the truth is, writing isn’t the only job that sucks – sucky jobs abound, and yet we do them because we refuse to quit, because as elusive as success is, it can be achieved. It will be achieved, goddammit! People are succeeding at their jobs all the time, not just because they refuse to give up, but because they believe in their abilities, they bounce back quickly, and they don’t let rejection stop them. Most importantly of all, they succeed because they love what they do.

Isn’t that the secret, after all? Do what you love, and no matter how much it sucks at times, success will find you if you keep at it? There’s a great saying… “A Quitter Never Wins And A Winner Never Quits” ~Napolean Hill.

As for me? I’ll keep on writing because I can’t imagine doing anything else. Yeah, it sucks at times, but I love to write. And if you love what you do, well, quitting, is just plain… stupid.

BIO:

Rima Jean is a freelance writer, designer, and novelist. Her first novel, The Noble Pirates, was published in August of 2011. She lives in Houston with her husband and two little girls, who provide her with endless material for her blog. You can visit her at http://www.rimajean.com.

 What do you think? Have you ever quit too soon? How do you know when to keep going, and when to throw in the towel? This can be a very ‘on the fence’ decision.

Today is Veteran’s Day and Remembrance Day. Please give thanks today to all the men and women who served. May God continue to bless them and their families. 

xoxEDxox

    18 Comments

    1. […] Partners « A Quitter Never Wins And A Winner Never Quits […]

    2. An amusing slant on writing and so true! I’ve been plugging along with my writing for 12 years. But, my husband keeps telling me I’ll eventually strike gold because I keep working at it and refuse to quit, which is the essence of your post. I think those of us who won’t quit, regardless of how painful it might be, were born to write and it’s a need or desire that gnaws at us and never goes away.

      Thanks for the post!

    3. Meredith says:

      This post is starting to snap me back into place. I don’t consider myself a ” writer” by any means but I do love to write! I have been losing myself at a decent job (but so not my dream
      Job) in the name of “paying the bills” and the graphic towards the end of this post is what really drove it home for me. Loving what you do is so important!!

      Thanks for sharing!

    4. Well, here I am at the ripe age of 66, just finishing my first year of writing my blog at http://www.biddybytes.com (I’m “Biddy” but hardly the ‘old” version), spilling myself into the universe and getting off the fence, as you so aptly put it. Now, before the internet and blogs, an erstwhile writer could say, “Well, I believe I’m a good writer, but my stuff just hasn’t landed on the right desk…at the right time..to the right person…” Now, no more excuses….Would-be writers can no longer escape with excuses..The internet will tell me if I’m good enough (and get audience that comes and stays) or not. But it’s hard…The veneer on an older woman is many more layers (most for self-protection). But this year I am reaching out to other women bloggers (something I haven’t really done til now.) Yes, many of us are on the fence, but I’ve been there for 65 years…waiting…waiting for the opportunity to speak out. I’m stepping out and doing it, even if it is one toe at a time………..

    5. You are so spot on with this post. Writing is great and writing sucks. Anyone who has ever published a book knows what a labour of love it is. The creativity of the first draft is the fun part; the editing and re-editing is the harsh part. Quitting definitely crosses one’s mind at times, so congrats and good luck with your novel.
      As for throwing in the towel, sometimes life does that for you. I had the best job in the world when living overseas: the Beijing Municipal Government sent me on assignment and paid me to write articles for their English-language magazine. Too cool! However, one divorce later and with a young family to support, back I went to the IT industry in order to pay the bills. Part of me feels like I sold out, but the rest of me knows that i really had no choice. Damn those bills!

      • Rima says:

        Paying the bills definitely interferes with doing what you love, no question. What matters is you make time to do what makes you happy, just a little bit. Hopefully you still make time to write once in a while, even if it never sees the light of day. Thanks for commenting!

    6. Wendy Irene says:

      This made me laugh and smile! Go Girl! I think you are an inspiration because you follow your passion and I truly enjoyed your writing. Have a wonderful weekend, ladies!

    7. Laura says:

      Encouraging and inspiring post.

    8. Anon says:

      it’s easy for you to keep going because you’re a good writer and it’s your passion. How do you know what to do if you haven’t found your passion? now that’s the million dollar question.

      • Rima says:

        Hey, Anon – It took me a loooooong time to figure out writing was my passion. I mean, I always enjoyed doing it, but I didn’t really pursue it until recently. As a matter of fact, it wasn’t until I set my mind to succeeding at it that I realized it was my “passion.” As for my being a good writer — plenty of folks would disagree. 🙂 What’s important is that *I* believe it. Does that make sense?

    9. Kelly G says:

      Fabulous post. I like your humor and wit too. Yes, perseverance is the root to all success. Keep on writing.

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