Wednesday, June 7, 2017

You Call It Quitting, I Call It Stopping (An IWSG Post)

Hello, all!

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's time for another installment of the Insecure Writer's Support Group.

Once again, I am assuming that all who visit this blog are already familiar with the IWSG and all that it does, but for anyone needing or wanting for information, including a complete list of participants, please click on the above link.

This month's amazing co-hosts are: JH Moncrieff, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Jen Chandler, Megan Morgan, and Heather Gardner.

This month's (optional) question asks, "Did you ever say 'I quit'? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?"


I quit a lot. Yearly. Monthly. Weekly. Daily. Even hourly, on occasion.



Because there are days when I can't remember how to construct a sentence. There are days when any sentence I do construct would make a Dick and Jane story look sophisticated. Yesterday, it took me eight hours to write a single paragraph that was only two lines long. There are days when I can't even manage that much. And there are a lot of days when I can't stop thinking that I simply cannot do this writing thing.

So I quit.



I plan to run away and join the circus (even though I have absolutely no skills that could be useful in a circus environment). I plan to be a tap dancer (even though I can't dance). I plan to go back to retail. I plan to do anything other than be a writer (even if my only even remotely marketable skill involves precision folding).

But then—and this is the most important part, I think—I pick up my pen and go back to work.

Because, love it or hate it, writing is what I do.



For anyone who wondered, the title of today's post came from an episode of Survivor. I don't remember the season, but there was this one contestant who decided to quit the game. I think he was the first contestant to just outright quit the game. When pressed by Jeff Probst about his decision, the contestant replied, "You call it quitting, I call it stopping." Which, for some reason, became an oft-quoted line in our household. It just seemed to fit this post.

Of course, it's possible that no one wondered where the title of today's post came from. If that's the case, sorry—my bad.

So what about you? Are you a quitter (or a stopper)? What do you do afterward?



Thanks for stopping by today!

42 comments:

  1. Writing. Is. Hard.But for me, quitting (or stopping lol) is not an option! :D

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    1. Doesn't seem to be an option for me, either. At least not so far. :)

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  2. Glad you always find your way back to writing, no matter how frustrating it gets!

    As for me...I actually have quit in the past. First, it was drawing, and later, it was novel-writing. Drawing's the only one I eventually un-quit, though, and that's because--unlike novel-writing--I had quit it for the wrong reasons. (And I always try to remind myself of that whenever I feel like giving up on it again, LOL.)

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    1. I'm very glad you went back to drawing. I love your art so much!

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  3. You'd be insane either way, so why quit?
    Stopping sounds good. Or at least pausing.

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    Replies
    1. Exactly. I think I'd be more insane if I quit for good, and everyone should fear that scenario!

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  4. This - "Because, love it or hate it, writing is what I do." :)

    I like what Alex said about "pausing" - I think we all need breaks now and then.

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    1. I think breaks are vital. And not just because I like to binge watching shows on Netflix...

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  5. I could have written this post - especially the part about giving up hourly! Getting back to it is the key :-)

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    1. I figure as long as I go back to it, I'm okay.

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  6. I had to laugh while reading this as I felt like I could have written it myself. Sadly, writing sentences that make Dick and Jane seem sophisticated was probably the thing I related to the most. :D

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    1. I chronically feel as though Dick and Jane are laughing at me. But I'm sure it's just in my head...

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  7. Have you ever taken your precision folding skills and tried origami? I find it a nice thing to do with my hands while I think. It makes my brain think I'm already doing something. I accidentally made 30 magic circles this way one afternoon. You could do the thousand paper cranes and use the wish to finish a book.

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    Replies
    1. I haven't tried that. I really should look into it. Thanks for the suggestion!

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  8. I love your honesty M.J. Writing is definitely what you do, and the world wouldn't be the same if you ever quit writing.

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    Replies
    1. Might be slightly less cranky, though. :)

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  9. I think I'm stopped right now.

    You could fold circus tents.

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    Replies
    1. I didn't even think of that. I totally could run away and join the circus!

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  10. So I take it on the day you consider going back to retail you're having a REALLY bad day?

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  11. Ack! Retail? Just leaving my writing cave gives me anxiety. But people... yikes!

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    1. I know. That's how desperate I occasionally am.

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  12. I'm like you. I quit in the moment and throw an tantrum then I get right back to it. :P

    Oh, and if you come to my blog, there are two pictures of you there. LOL!

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    1. Yeah...I skipped over looking at those pictures. I hate knowing they even exist—looking at them is beyond me. And you'll never find me in the group photo, either. I stood in the back behind a line of tall people. :)

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  13. It's probably healthy to "quit" from time to time. I do like the title of the post, but I didn't wonder where it came from. Those lines are great--the ones that become family inside jokes.

    I've probably quit writing as of this moment. I haven't written anything in months. But I have a feeling I'll get back to it eventually, so I haven't called it quitting. I think you "quit" like me. It's not a permanent condition.

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  14. I'll get distracted by something shiny and stop writing for a bit. But I never quit. ;)

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  15. I'm very anthropomorphic about my writing, treating it like it's a living thing. So, when I get stuck, I work on something else, hoping it will make the other piece of writing jealous and get it to start flowing again :-)

    @mirymom1 from
    Balancing Act

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  16. I like that line. It's true. Sometimes it isn't quitting, it just stopping to take a different direction. If I commit to something, I'm going to do it, no matter what. That's why I'm so slow to commit--just like joining IWSG. I sat on the sidelines for 3 years before deciding I could be a part. I think the key is knowing when something is worth keeping after, and when it isn't.

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  17. I'm a taking a break-er. It's not really quitting if you plan to go back to it, right?

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  18. I prefer to call it stopping too, Perhaps you are the more honest of the group today :)

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  19. I would call it stopping, too, because no matter how long I go without writing, I always get back to it.

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  20. Yes, 'pause' is a good word for our occasional breaks from writing. The important thing is: you always 'resume' after a short respite.

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  21. Well, you know I loved Dick and Jane during my early reading years. And who could forget Spot? All those action verbs. Glad you keep coming back for more.

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  22. Love that last gif - sums up my thoughts on the whole quitting and stopping thing, too. I guess I'm a stop and start and stop and start again kind of person.
    BTW - I think I've seen that Survivor ... my kids have become Survivor re-run fanatics.

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  23. Its hard to start and stop, and start....greetings!

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  25. I've considered quitting/stopping twice, but every time my brain goes there, I just get reminded of how much I love writing, so I've never actually gone through with quitting.

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  27. Ha! I knew the title sounded familiar. I'm a Survivor fan too.

    I've never quit, but I've taken extended breaks. Sort of like stopping, but knowing I'd be getting back to it eventually. Babies in particular were occasions for taking breaks.

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  28. Yep. For better or worse, writing is what we do.

    I don't really remember that line from Survivor, but I do remember the contestant who quit... or stopped.

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