To Write or Not to Write is Your Choice

Unless your job requires you to write, you get to decide whether or not you want to. Thus, assuming you’re writing for reasons other than employment, you can stop writing if you’re not enjoying it or if you’re not liking what you’re working on.

If you (like me) were taught at an early age that you should finish what you start, you probably have difficulty giving yourself permission to stop writing that short story or article or book that you aren’t happy writing. But I encourage you to look at the decision to write or not to write with new eyes.

Stopping doesn’t have to be permanent. You can always start writing again after you figure out why whatever you’re working on isn’t working for you. It’s okay to put aside a writing project–it’s even okay to abandon it forever if you move on to other projects you’re enjoying more.

My husband and I were in a writing group once, and one member’s writing was consistently negative and incoherent. So my husband asked him, “What are you trying to say?” He gave my husband a blank look, but said nothing. He didn’t return to the writers group, but I connected with him several years later, and he told me to thank my husband for him because the question made him think. He decided he didn’t really want to write after all and began using his time for other things he liked better.

Writing is a decision you get to make on your own. You don’t need anyone’s permission to continue or to quit. You don’t need to feel guilt or regret if you stop. You’re not a quitter. You’re not a failure. You’re just making a decision to do what’s best for you.

And if you decide to stop writing, it doesn’t have to be a permanent decision. You can always make another decision to start again when the muse moves you. Happy writing!

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