How To Decide If You Should Give Up On Writing Forever, Because You Feel Like You’re Not Getting Anywhere (With Asides!)

Every once in a while, because it’s a Tuesday, or because your spouse didn’t read your story, or because the cat looked at you funny, or because your best friend texted right as you were about to write, and it distracted you, you suddenly come face-to-face with a looming maw of amalgamated fear, loathing, and distress.

Should I really be writing this book? you may ask yourself. Is it worth it? Am I getting anywhere?

When you ask yourself these types of questions, you feel, sometimes, utterly at a loss. What is the point? you ask yourself. And, distressingly, you can’t find a really uplifting answer to that question.

Is It Worth It?

Let’s play a little game. I’ll use the power of my imagination to pretend I’m talking to you, and if you like, you can play along. Now, here is the opening salvo: Is it worth it? What a big question! Encompassing many possibilities, this question can cause discomfort and anxiety in the most positive person’s mind, and it can rankle the most serene writer among us.

Great, You’ve Told Me How Awful It is. I Already Knew That

Yes, you’re quite right. Let’s move on to our first investigatory prod.

Wait, Why Are We Prodding In An Investigatory Way?

Because the initial question, the giant “Is it worth it?” has a super-vague word inside it. (Aside: That would make a good comic. Here comes Super-Vague! Spreader of fog and distress! Bringer of instant malaise!)

Is what worth it? Breathing? Writing? Making dinner? Existing? Let’s try to get a wee bit more specific in our initial question.

Okay, Fine. Is It Worth It For Me To Keep Writing?

I want to change that sentence to this: Is persevering in my writing worth it? Now we come straight up against another problem. We’ve isolated the meaning of the initial, vague “it,” but now we find another area of reticence.

Worth it.

What does “worth it” mean? What is the “it?” What is the end goal?

You’re Being Awfully Nosey And Persistent About This

Yeah, I know, but this is how you answer the question. Until you have a specific, nailed-down query, you cannot find a response that will adequately answer your inner need. And if you sweep your current feelings of doubt and fear under the metaphorical rug of your consciousness, you will find a sour, rankling depression bubbling at your being for pretty much forever—or until you actually respond adequately. Let’s respond adequately now.


What is meant by “worth it?” Do you know?

Hey, You Came Up With The Question

All right, I’ll imagine your answer, shall I? Let’s see. “Worth it,” shall mean, “recognized publicly as an author.” Now can you guess what our new problem is?

No, We Solved The Problem

The new problem is that our reference to “public recognition” is very vague. Do we need to be named Author of the Year by the Byzantium emperor? Does an editor from Amazon have to contact us personally and offer us a sweet contract deal? Do we have to quit our day job? Do showers of angels need to flutter down from the sky while singing an aria about how our writing has single-handedly driven evil from the face of the earth, and restored human harmony?

Now You’re Making Fun Of Me

You’re maybe right. I have this problem, too, and I think it’s ridiculous. Addressing it helps. Let’s continue the exercise.

I Don’t Want To Play With You Anymore; You’re Too Mean

Well, I’ll continue on by myself, then. You are welcome to read along if you like, dear reader. (Aside: The thing I like most about Vellum is that I feel the manuscript is finished after I’ve worked it completely through the facsimile e-reader, which adds greatly to my peace of mind. Also, public service announcement, I’m going to store up a few books in Vellum format while I save money to buy the publishing program, so I’ll be unleashing several books close together in the future. Just to let you know. Back to our [my] question-answering.)

So, we [I] got to “public recognition,” and now I am going to elucidate what exactly I mean by that. I want to be in the single-digit thousandth rankings on Amazon, and I want people to talk about me (without me starting the conversation) online. That is what will count for me.

My new question is: Is persevering in my writing going to get me into the single-digit thousands and eventually cause people to talk to each other about me on the internet?

And, the answer, in this case, I believe, is yes.


You’ve been reading a blog about writing by Victor Poole. Ajalia hurts lots of sensitive feelings in these books