At What Point do you Give up?

I think that life is a series of ‘journeys’ and ‘destinations’.

Some destinations you “have” to go to. Some you don’t.

Examples: 1. ‘Financial stability’. This is a destination that you “have” to go to. The ‘journey’ is not fun.
The ‘journey’ is ‘Working for a living’.

  1. ‘Physical health and fitness’. This is a destination that you “have” to go to. (Well, unless you want to die.) The ‘journey’ for this destination is ‘working out and eating healthy foods’. Not fun.

I quoted earlier that I used to play in a rock band.
3. ‘Rock Star’. This is a destination that you do NOT “have” to go to. But the ‘journey’ IS fun.

So there are three examples. The first two you “have” to go to, but they are not fun. So you make those ‘journeys’. The third example is one that you do NOT “have” to go to, but you make that journey anyway …because it is fun.

So now we come to ‘Writing’. (I am only speaking for myself personally, but I am at the same time perhaps trying to reach out to others here who might be struggling with the same thought processes.)
Destination: ‘Successful published Writer’. Journey: Spending most of my waking hours struggling with plot holes, ‘show don’t tell’, ‘active vs passive voice’, and a myriad of other things that pretty much take up all of my waking hours. …NOT fun.

So…therefore. Destination: Don’t “have” to go there. Journey: NOT fun. Two negatives.

That is why have pretty much given up on Writing for at least a while. It’s kind of a ‘double negative’.

(scratching chin)…But then again, (going back to seventh grade) …in mathematics…doesn’t two negatives equal a positive? …hmmmmmm.

I have written two fairly successful complete Indiana Jones ‘fan fiction’ novels. They both have more than two thousand readers here on Wattpad. People always told me “you should write your own stories with your own characters”. Well, I tried. I have written two complete novels with my own characters,…and they both suck. One of them is self published on Amazon…and (suppresses chuckle) I ‘literally’ can’t give it away. Seriously, even for ‘FREE’ nobody downloads this book.

Anyway, I digress…(besides being too verbose for a single post)

NOT fun, plus DON’T HAVE to go there = quit writing (at least for a while).

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A long time ago, I wanted to be a writer, and I made the mistaking of going to college instead. When I started making my attempts at publishing, I was already outside of “career writer” thinking mode. The pointlessness of my time in college had interfered with so many things that I wanted to pursue, that it would have been burdensome to bank all on writing.

Some people want the career aspect. Even when I thought it was a path for me, I only wanted to write to entertain. I’m working on many, many books and stories now, and with the ease of publishing using services like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords, I intend to keep going, even if a traditional publisher never calls me. Maybe I’ll be 78 years old without a publisher logo to show for it, but I’ll have fifty books out there that people can enjoy. If that is something that sounds nice, it’s one reason not to give up. However, there is nothing wrong with throwing in the towel if the goal is largely to make a career out of it. There are many worthy and fulfilling causes one can pursue. I used to think I would teach martial arts, too, but nobody can have five careers doing five different things they love. Well, maybe five…but not ten. Certainly not all at once.

Great post Heingardt. I love that you consider your time in college ‘pointless’. Today I have a roll of paper next to my toilet that I think is more valid than those with printed “college degrees” on them. Pointless indeed!. Yes! Great to find someone who thinks alike!

I don’t mean to offend any college grads out there, but honestly, today I think that a ‘college degree’ is indeed more worthless than that roll of paper I used this morning to…well…anyway.

I actually went to college. I found it interesting, but I think you can learn more from studying in your local library. I attended a prestigious East Coast University for two years…made the Dean’s list, and then failed out due to lack of interest. Joined a rock band…failed at that, and then …moved on to a couple of long careers (don’t want to bore you with the details).

Today I am what is called a ‘senior citizen’…or maybe a senile citizen (not sure).

I don’t know what has driven me to write. I think the prestige of being a published author more than anything. Certainly not for the money.

But as said previously, I have quit writing for now.

I have two very successful Indiana Jones novels here on Wattpad (shameless plug). Both over 3000 readers. But my other two novels…total less than 200 readers (ha-ha!..really suck.)

Bottom line. I should probably stick to writing Indiana Jones novels. I will probably never be successful with my own characters and plots. But I’m OK with that.

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Honestly you may just be getting unlucky with Wattpad’s demographics and systems. The majority of stories on here are written for and by teenagers, and it’s very difficult (though certainly not impossible) to have a story break out that doesn’t specifically appeal to one of the niches popular on here. I’ve seen some lovely well-written work like Soulburn by Larry Kollar or Dreams of Dying by Niseam be almost completely ignore, the latter even making $1000 a month on Patreon even while Wattpad gets basically no reads. Fan fiction will naturally get a base because it’s fan fiction, but it’s a tough site to get views on otherwise. There are many other story hosting sites but I think the rules prohibit “advocating” for using them so I won’t mention them.

Yeah I understand everything you’re saying.

Thanks for your post.

I quite early on understood that Watttpad is a site for very young people, and very young writers. Youth has so much energy. Sometimes the old have move aside for the young. After all…that’s nature isn’t it?

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You can’t pack it in, Ricky. Don’t let pubilshing define success - that’s a dream of mine and I can’t pretend we don’t have the same goals but let your drive continue, and let it be your love for writing that fuels that drive. Quitting now will only ensure that your chances of achieving your dream drop to zero. As long as you keep grinding, keep hustling, keep editing, keep trying - you’re still a real writer, and you’re still in the game.

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I just clicked the ‘like’ to your comment but I wish there was another thing to click to tell you - I’m not old enough to have grandkids but I’m closer to your age than not.

There’s room for you here, there’s room for your voice - don’t give up!

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Thank you very much Citizen Samurai! You made my night tonight!

I think that writing is in my future, but probably not too soon. I think I just need a break.

I no longer care about being published. At my age it is far more easier to let dreams go.

It seems like with every year I let another dream go…kind of like letting a helium balloon go up. You watch it disappear into the stratosphere, and then you forget abut it…it’s gone. And then you move on.

Maybe there’s a limited number of balloons you have; and then you’re done.

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Well, I’m not even close to being a teenager and my story “Last Kiss” has over 52k reads. And since it’s a short story (which aren’t popular on wattpad), that’s 52k readers since it doesn’t have chapters which each counts as a read.

So don’t give up. You don’t have to be a teenager to write a story that appeals to a teenager.

@RickyK45

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Sorry, I phrased poorly; most of the stories are written by teenagers on Wattpad, but actually I am fairly sure most that break out are NOT written by teenagers, they’re just targeted at them.