29 Reasons Why You Can’t Quit

by Sondi Warner (2)

–Sondi Warner, Writer/Blogger for Wrought Iron Reads


Just in case: You didn’t win. You received another rejection letter. You got a troubling review. You’re wondering if it’s time to give up on writing and “get a real job.” Here’s why you should adapt, transition, circle back, come at it from another angle, tunnel under it, drive through it, pick another route, remodel what you have to, accept a different end date, ask for help, proclaim it, have faith in it, even blind dumb faith. Here are 29 reasons why you can’t quit:

  1. “You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.” ― Madeleine L’Engle
  2. “The role of a writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say.”
    ― Anaïs Nin
  3. “The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.” ― Albert Camus
  4. “Who is more to be pitied, a writer bound and gagged by policemen or one living in perfect freedom who has nothing more to say?” ― Kurt Vonnegut
  5. “He asked, “What makes a man a writer?” “Well,” I said, “it’s simple. You either get it down on paper, or jump off a bridge.” ― Charles Bukowski
  6. “A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. He has no master except his own soul, and that, I am sure, is why he does it.” ― Roald Dahl
  7. “Writing is the only thing that when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.” ― Gloria Steinem
  8. “Some writers enjoy writing, I am told. Not me. I enjoy having written.” ― George R.R. Martin
  9. “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ― Maya Angelou
  10. “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” ― Toni Morrison
  11. “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” ― Ray Bradbury
  12. “Stories may well be lies, but they are good lies that say true things, and which can sometimes pay the rent.” ― Neil Gaiman
  13. “I am the sole author of the dictionary that defines me.”  ―Zadie Smith
  1. “I have no taste for either poverty or honest labor, so writing is the only recourse left for me.” ― Hunter S. Thompson
  2. “I realize that some of you may have come in hopes of hearing tips on how to
    become a professional writer. I say to you, “If you really want to hurt your
    parents, and you don’t have the nerve to be a homosexual, the least you can
    do is go into the arts. But do not use semicolons. They are transvestite
    hermaphrodites, standing for absolutely nothing. All they do is show you’ve
    been to college.” ― Kurt Vonnegut
  3. “I write to believe in goodness.” ― Red Haircrow
  4. “That’s why I write, because life never works except in retrospect. You can’t control life, at least you can control your version.” ― Chuck Palahniuk
  5. “It’s hell writing and it’s hell not writing. The only tolerable state is having just written.” ― Robert Hass
  6. “People say, ‘What advice do you have for people who want to be writers?’ I say, they don’t really need advice, they know they want to be writers, and they’re gonna do it. Those people who know that they really want to do this and are cut out for it, they know it.” ― R.L.Stine
  7. “All writing is difficult. The most you can hope for is a day when it goes reasonably easily. Plumbers don’t get plumber’s block, and doctors don’t get doctor’s block; why should writers be the only profession that gives a special name to the difficulty of working, and then expects sympathy for it?” ― Philip Pullman
  8. “A good [short story] would take me out of myself and then stuff me back in, outsized, now, and uneasy with the fit.” ― David Sedaris
  9. “While I’m writing, I’m far away;
    and when I come back, I’ve gone.” ― Pablo Neruda
  10. “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” —Richard Bach
  11. “To survive, you must tell stories.” —Umberto Eco
  12. “A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” —Thomas Mann
  13. “Not writing at all leads to nothing.” —Anna Quindlen
  14. “I don’t remember deciding to become a writer.  You decide to become a dentist or a postman.  For me, writing is like being gay.  You finally admit that this is who you are, you come out and hope that no one runs away.”  – Mark Haddon
  15. “Any writer worth his salt writes to please himself…It’s a self-exploratory operation that is endless. An exorcism of not necessarily his demon, but of his divine discontent.” – Harper Lee
  16. “And what, you ask, does writing teach us? First and foremost, it reminds us that we are alive and that it is a gift and a privilege, not a right.”
    —Ray Bradbury


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