I have to admit, there have been times when I've been tempted to quit writing.
We all face enormous pressures—such as family members who don't like what we're doing, the stress of juggling multiple responsibilities while trying to write, the frustration at how slow our career is moving forward, and disappointment in expectations that haven't been realized.
The list could go on and on.
The fact is, the writing life is hard.
And the temptation to give up is often strong for many of us.
As we begin 2013, I'd like to start the year on a note of hope—13 reasons why we should keep writing, even on the days when we'd like to give up . . .
1. Write because it provides an outlet for the other stressors of life.
2. Write because we love creating and telling stories.
3. Write because there are more opportunities for publication and success than ever before. If one door closes, there are still many options available.
4. Write because we want to be good stewards of the gifts and abilities we've been given.
5. Write because we want to challenge ourselves to do something hard but rewarding.
6. Write because we want to bring joy, hope, and healing to others through our written words.
7. Write because we appreciate the beauty of words and crafting sentences.
8. Write because we need to pour out the passion that resides deep in our hearts.
9. Write because it challenges us to use our brains, to think, and be intelligent.
10. Write because it provides a place where we can attempt to make sense of a sometimes crazy and painful world.
11. Write because it is a means for communicating universal truths.
12. Write because we find great joy in the creative process itself.
13. Write because we have to, because without it we'd be empty.
Notice I didn't say write for fame and fortune or for getting an agent or book deal.
Yes, those kinds of things are nice. I'm the first to admit I get excited whenever I get a check in the mail.
But . . . ultimately our writing success isn't measured in popularity, money, agents, or book deals. And if we're writing to get any one of those things, we'll likely be disappointed in the long run. Because eventually money gets spent, popularity fades, agents change, and book deals come and go.
However, if we're writing for any of the above 13 reasons, then we have motivation to keep going when everything else looks bleak and when we're tempted to quit.
Next time you feel like giving up, get at the heart of why you're REALLY writing and give yourself hope to carry on.
Share with us! What keeps you writing when you're tempted to give up?