Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Q is for Quotes and Quitting

Q was the hardest letter of the A-Z Challenge for me, at least so far. I couldn't think of anything I wanted to post about, but the two Q words that seemed to come to mind most often when I was trying to think of something to post were Quotes and Quitting.

I'm not thinking of quitting or giving up on my writing goals, but I can't deny that the whole thing has felt quite overwhelming at times over the past few months, when I have rejection letters in my inbox, and words like platforms and queries and slush piles swimming around in my head. The whole writing universe starts to feel like it's too foreign, too competitive, and simply too much, and I've wondered more than once if I am just being silly thinking that I can ever do this as more than a hobby.

The truth is I've had a bad habit in the past of jumping head first into something and then giving up or quitting without seeing it through. I'm determined not to do that now, so in that spirit I decided to share some more quotes that I have found motivating when feeling discouraged or overwhelmed. If you've ever felt like giving up or quitting, I hope you will find them motivating as well.

Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better. ~ Samuel Beckett

Many of life's failures are people who didn't realize how close they were to success when they gave up. ~ Thomas Edison

Nothing will work unless you do. ~ Maya Angelou

It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed. ~ Theodore Roosevelt

I don't believe you have to be better than everybody else. I believe you have to be better than you ever thought you could be. ~ Ken Venturi

Fall seven times, stand up eight. ~ Japanese proverb

This one isn't really about failing or giving up, but I liked it so much I decided to include it.  

If you ask me what I came into this life to do, I will tell you: I came to live out loud. ~ Emile Zola


  1. Excellent qoutes, some I have never heard others I have,

    Thanks for the visit and comment.

  2. You're certainly not alone in feeling overwhelmed by it all. Especially so with the industry in flux. Which way is up?

    I know someone who recently quit writing and it disturbs me greatly. Don't quit. :)

  3. A great collection of encouraging quotes! Thanks for sharing! Julie

  4. I love the Emile Zola quote! Tell you what. I won't give up if you don't give up! There is so much room for doubt. We're not working a job where we get pats on the back or raises. Our work is solitary, and it's just so easy to pysch ourselves out. Usually, I come out of one of my downswings with more hope than I went into it with.

  5. Wonderful post love the quotes. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Hi Julie, I relate very much to this post about jumping headlong into something then wanting to quit. It's hard to know when I've just hit resistance or I really need to let go. When I went back to college at 52 years old, I wanted to quit every day. But I'm so glad I didn't. I felt "unfinished" until I got my Bachelor's degree. Hang in there.

  7. I love the Zola quote. I've had similar feelings about the writing thing, but blogging really helps with that. It's not a novel, but a blog is writing, and there are people reading my words, and that's inspiring to me. People are reading you here, and that's a pretty big deal in my book.

  8. I loved the Samuel Beckett quote. It's one of those "hang above the desk so you keep writing" quotes.

  9. I think you can quit a lot of good things but not writing. Every great author seems to have gone through the rejection letter bit and some have moved on to self-publishing and then got a publisher thereafter. I guess I'm trying to say someone at some point is bound to give that green light but if you quit you'll never know who that would be and this legacy will disappear with you and you'll never make it to my bookshelf. A great shame. So chin up, this is a good course.

  10. oh b.t.w thanks for the visit and here i follow.

  11. I am pleased to see that you haven't quit! It's very easy to begin a blog, daily diary or whatever you want to call it, but it's another thing to persevere with it, to get people to read it, and of course to write something that others want to read. We all struggle with that from time to time. I think the best thing is to just write because you enjoy it, and other than writing for challenges like this one, just write when you feel like it.

  12. I absolutely love that Japanese quote. I'll have to remember it. Keep writing, whatever you do. Jim Butcher once said the only difference between an aspiring writer and a published author is that the published author stuck it out that much longer.

  13. yay for not quitting - I always look forward to your comments on my blog and I'm glad you will keep writing. You just need to get up one more time than you fall down. toddlers do it - so can we.

  14. Wow, I love that last quote. Fantastic!

  15. Sometimes I wonder if I should give up, but I don't. There's something inside me that won't even allow me to give up. So, I keep going. Thanks for the quotes!

  16. @Yvonne, I'm glad you liked the quotes. I always like coming upon quotes I've never heard before.

    @M Pax, oh, that's a shame you know someone who quit writing. I hope he or she will return to it. I'm glad I'm not alone in finding the industry overwhelming, at times it feels like learning a whole new language. Which in some ways I guess it is!

    @Julie, I'm glad you liked them! :)

    @Shannon, okay, you've got a deal, I won't quit if you don't. Great idea! :)

    @Jennifer, thanks!

    @Karen, that's really inspiring that you went back to school at 52, wow. Good for you for finishing, that's a fantastic accomplishment. Congrats!

    @Tim, that's a great point about blogging, thanks. I love the Zola quote as well, I just discovered it and loved it at once.

    @Kendal, I agree. Soon enough I'm going to have these things hanging all over my house. :D

    @Wendy, you make great points, thanks so much. And you're welcome for the comment, thanks for coming by here!

    @Poddys, thank you. When I started this blog I didn't know if I'd keep doing it for a week, so getting to four months feels great. Now I love it and wouldn't want to quit doing it anyway.

    @Paul Anthony, that's a great quote by Butcher, I will have to remember that. I love the Japanese proverb as well!

    @Jan, it's always fun to leave comments on your blog as your posts are great to read. I'm definitely like a toddler now, great way to look at it.

    @Talli, glad you like it!

    @Rae, you're welcome, I'm glad you like them! I'm glad you're not giving up, and it's great to be able to encourage each other.

  17. "Fall seven times, stand up eight." That one's my favorite. Doesn't matter how many times we stumble, so long as we keep getting up and moving forward!


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