Author Topic: Why do good writers stop?  (Read 1678 times)

idontknowyet

Why do good writers stop?
« on: February 21, 2019, 02:06:41 PM »
I've been sick this last weeks so I spent most of my time reading. (that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it)

I have a hard time finding truly good books. An even harder time finding long well developed series. (Not stand alone series)  This week I found one. A really good one. She released several series and stopped publishing under that pen name in about 2014. This woman (her pen name is female) can write no doubt about it.

Why why why why did she ever stop? I'm really hoping she just stopped writing under this pen name and not altogether. I'm going to go hunting her down on othe internet something i almost never do.

Here's my question. Why in the world do good writers stop writing in a genre they are great at?


« Last Edit: February 21, 2019, 02:19:56 PM by idontknowyet »
 
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Solitary Dan

Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2019, 02:18:01 PM »
Sadly, death or incapacitation is always a possibility.

Could also be that the books didn't sell well.
     
 
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CoraBuhlert

Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2019, 02:49:06 PM »
It occasionally happens that a writer who's really good vanishes. Over the years, I've had a lot of favourites who published one or two really great books or a really great series and then fell off the face of the Earth. With traditional publishing, it often meant that these writers didn't sell enough, so subsequent books weren't picked up. With indies, it can mean that the author switched genres and pen names. It's also possible that the author became ill or died, that they had a child, took a demanding day job or that they simply decided that writing wasn't for them.

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Dormouse

Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2019, 08:12:10 PM »
Quite a number of people have creative bursts covering a number of years. Then it packs up. Sometimes they stop, often they work at it for a while but aren't happy with the quality and then stop (or only work privately). True for writers as well as artists. Sometimes there's a period in life where it fits, but then other activities squeeze it out.
Lots of artists hate showing or deciding a work is finished. Or JD Salinger who stopped publishing in 1965 but kept on writing for another 50 years: “He just decided that the best thing for his writing was not to have a lot of interactions with people, literary types in particular."
 
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Al Stevens

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Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2019, 11:41:05 PM »
Could be she made enough money and retired. Hugh Howey bought a boat and went cruising the world last I heard.
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123mlh

Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2019, 12:33:21 AM »
Could be there were other easier ways for that particular person to make money so they stopped publishing what they write or stopped writing altogether. (Not everyone feels compelled to write or die.)

Could be they loved writing those books but that the money just wasn't there so they moved on to more lucrative genres under a new name.

Could be they loved writing those novels but received some harsh reviews or criticism and couldn't get past it.

Could be they burned out or got disgusted with how it all works.

Could have been a pen name of a successful author and they went back to their bread and butter. (There was an author who wrote a series I liked enough to keep an eye out for them. Years later I finally looked them up and found out that was a pen name of a different author and they'd just written that one series under that name.)

Could be they're an incredibly slow writer and are still working on the next book.

And, as mentioned above, they could have died or had health issues. Ursula K LeGuin said a few years before she passed away that she could no longer write novels and I know there was at least one other sci fi Grand Master who basically stopped writing novels after receiving that designation. We can't always continue to do the same things as we age.
 
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LilyBLily

Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2019, 02:02:28 AM »
Could be that they feel they have nothing more to say. I know of several writers who have retired despite or perhaps because of achieving plenty of fame and fortune and moral support from other writers. Some still go to conventions and hang out, and others have simply vanished from the writing scene. 
 
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Eugene Lloyd MacRae

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Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2019, 02:08:32 AM »
Don't forget the aspect of social media being a two-edged sword these days as well. Authors - trad published & Indie - are told they need to have a 'platform' or an email list to push their books. Interacting with your readers can be an enjoyable experience. But there can also be blowback in this age of media outrage. We've had threads where authors were attacked for cultural misappropriation or whatever you want to call it. One of the threads mentioned an author who never even published because of the anger vented at her on social media. I know of two authors who had enough problems that they have pulled back. I've had some problems myself were people want to 'help' with your books - mentioning typos, etc. it can be really helpful but I've had at least two people who became angry that I wasn't accepting 'all' of their help. It doesn't make any sense but people can take an 'ownership' in you and your work. This isn't a problem that just happens to authors - In one instance I was working on a team developing a game eight years when two people got into an argument online. It ended with one guy showing up at the other guy's house and an arrest following. :n2Str17:

Al mentioned Hugh Howey - I remember one particular situation when he was offering some advice to visitors to his website - budding authors - one guy got pissed off at him, claiming he had a silver spoon in his mouth and now that he had his money he was trying to prevent everyone else from getting theirs.  Some people just have rage built-in.

This can happen even if it's a pen name - at one point a few years ago when you published on iTunes your real name was revealed. I don't know if this is still a case. But if you have a website and someone runs a Whois search and you don't have privacy on your website, your name and address are revealed. There are other ways they can 'track you down'.

Let the paranoia begin.
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Maggie Ann

Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2019, 03:39:24 AM »
Diana Gabaldon is 65 (or thereabouts) but she has two more books to write in her Outlander series. She takes about four years to write one. Hope she makes it, but if not, I'm sure she'll retire after that last book (#10 in the series).

Susan Howatch, my favorite author, stopped writing several years ago. She just retired. No reason that I know of. But writing is like anything else. It just gets to be time to slow down, let go, enjoy whatever time you have.
           
 
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angelapepper

Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2019, 04:09:55 AM »
Dollars or Disinterest.
 
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Rosie Scott

Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2019, 05:20:57 AM »
A few others mentioned receiving criticism and the like, but I'd like to go a bit further and suggest it could also be that the fame got to them. I'm not sure how successful this writer is, but even moderate success can be too much. Many writers are natural introverts, and as nice as it can be to have anyone read your work and enjoy it, sometimes just the idea that hundreds if not thousands of people are out there consuming your art, judging it, and spreading their opinions about on social media and otherwise is overwhelming. Heck, I'm an extreme extrovert and I find it hard to accept. As a writer I live in a constant state of denial. If every time I sat down to write I imagined writing for the thousands of readers who will eventually read the book rather than just for myself, I'd freeze up and stop writing altogether. At a certain point, I'm sure this makes some people throw their hands up and quit.

The sad thing is that I'm sure there are thousands of great books sitting unpublished on hard drives everywhere because fame, one particularly critical review, or over-eager fans just pushed an author over the line. Self-doubt is so dangerous to writers and so unfortunately easy to fall into. As writers we can constantly improve our craft and our work ethic, but learning to accept the ups and downs of being a success is a hurdle some likely never overcome.

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cecilia_writer

Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2019, 06:32:30 AM »
Thanks, Rosie - you've put into words something I couldn't quite find a way to express. It doesn't particularly apply to me as I just trundle along regardless of success, lack of success, criticism or praise, but my son, who is even more of an introvert than I am, had some success (in a contest) with his first novel and then suddenly announced he was stopping writing. I am still hoping this is just a phase and he will eventually go back to it, but I think this was a case where he couldn't cope with either the good or the bad reviews.
On the other hand when I give up it will be when I am too infirm or dead to be able to do it any more!
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dgcasey

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Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2019, 06:52:57 AM »
I am still hoping this is just a phase and he will eventually go back to it, but I think this was a case where he couldn't cope with either the good or the bad reviews.

I hope it's a phase, too. I don't have many reviews on my titles and all the reviews I've received have been complimentary. I just hope I don't let my first negative review get me down. I'll be the first to point out that there are some out there that hate just to hate, nothing more.
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idontknowyet

Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2019, 09:07:06 AM »
I hesitated to post this...


I found out why this author hasn't published anything. She's been diagnosed with MS. She is writing, but it's extremely slow. I really would have wished it were something else.
 

Maggie Ann

Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2019, 09:10:48 AM »
I hesitated to post this...


I found out why this author hasn't published anything. She's been diagnosed with MS. She is writing, but it's extremely slow. I really would have wished it were something else.

Kudos to her for carrying on in spite of her illness.
           
 
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Eugene Lloyd MacRae

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Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2019, 09:46:25 AM »
I am still hoping this is just a phase and he will eventually go back to it, but I think this was a case where he couldn't cope with either the good or the bad reviews.

I hope it's a phase, too. I don't have many reviews on my titles and all the reviews I've received have been complimentary. I just hope I don't let my first negative review get me down. I'll be the first to point out that there are some out there that hate just to hate, nothing more.

Getting a one star bad review can be cathartic - you still wake up the next day.

Would you like me to give you one?  grint
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dgcasey

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Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2019, 02:15:10 PM »
Getting a one star bad review can be cathartic - you still wake up the next day.

Would you like me to give you one?  grint

Only if you buy my book first and read it!  Grin
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Jeff Tanyard

Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2019, 02:42:57 PM »
Getting a one star bad review can be cathartic - you still wake up the next day.

Would you like me to give you one?  grint

Only if you buy my book first and read it!  Grin


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angelapepper

Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #18 on: February 23, 2019, 02:28:24 AM »
I'm sorry to hear that.
 
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Al Stevens

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Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #19 on: February 23, 2019, 06:45:56 AM »
My brother, a fine painter, stopped painting years ago because he was dissatisfied with his art. I retired from writing computer programming books and articles in about 2003 because I dislike deadlines and pressure. There are many reasons.

I'm am sad to learn about the illness that slowed the subject writer's work. I hope she doesn't give up. I just watched "The Theory of Everything," about Stephen Hawking. His courage and fortitude coping with ALS is an inspiration for us all.
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Vijaya

Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #20 on: February 23, 2019, 07:20:16 AM »
Al, I really liked that movie. And what an amazing wife he had.

Lauren Hillenbrand inspires me no end. Both her books, Seabiscuit and Unbroken, are wonderful as were the movies. Whenever I'm struggling with pain, I think of people who were disabled and how they pressed on. Helen Keller was my first inspiration. Much later I discovered Christy Brown in My Left Foot. Great stories. Maybe someone will make a movie about LH too. Sorry to go off-topic, Idontknowyet. People stop for so many reasons. I'm sorry to hear the author is battling MS. I've known several people with it and it's tough.

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Lorri Moulton [Lavender Lass Books]

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Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #21 on: February 23, 2019, 08:55:30 AM »
Besides illness (which is a terrible thing to deal with) I think some writers burn out.  It's a lonely profession.  We usually spend time on social media because most people have no idea what it means to be a writer.  It's reassuring to talk to others going through similar challenges...but with the constant pressure to produce, market, follow genres, produce faster, market more, buy new covers, etc. it can all be a bit much after a while.

I'm rather glad I do this part time.  I've seen some friends getting very discouraged and I can't even imagine the stress if this is the only paycheck.  As the market continues to contract, I think more writers will quit.  While I can look at it objectively from an economics perspective, it's still sad to see friends leave.
   
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Maggie Ann

Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #22 on: February 23, 2019, 10:22:19 AM »
Besides illness (which is a terrible thing to deal with) I think some writers burn out.  It's a lonely profession.  We usually spend time on social media because most people have no idea what it means to be a writer.  It's reassuring to talk to others going through similar challenges...but with the constant pressure to produce, market, follow genres, produce faster, market more, buy new covers, etc. it can all be a bit much after a while.

I'm rather glad I do this part time.  I've seen some friends getting very discouraged and I can't even imagine the stress if this is the only paycheck.  As the market continues to contract, I think more writers will quit.  While I can look at it objectively from an economics perspective, it's still sad to see friends leave.

Just today, my daughter was advising me to write for myself and not bother publishing. She felt the promotion side of it was too stressful and the production side of it too expensive. Maybe she's right, but what's the point of writing if I can't pop onto Amazon and see my work up on the screen?

           
 
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Bill Hiatt

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Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #23 on: February 23, 2019, 10:38:38 AM »
Besides illness (which is a terrible thing to deal with) I think some writers burn out.  It's a lonely profession.  We usually spend time on social media because most people have no idea what it means to be a writer.  It's reassuring to talk to others going through similar challenges...but with the constant pressure to produce, market, follow genres, produce faster, market more, buy new covers, etc. it can all be a bit much after a while.

I'm rather glad I do this part time.  I've seen some friends getting very discouraged and I can't even imagine the stress if this is the only paycheck.  As the market continues to contract, I think more writers will quit.  While I can look at it objectively from an economics perspective, it's still sad to see friends leave.

Just today, my daughter was advising me to write for myself and not bother publishing. She felt the promotion side of it was too stressful and the production side of it too expensive. Maybe she's right, but what's the point of writing if I can't pop onto Amazon and see my work up on the screen?
There is something about seeing one's work on the Amazon product page!

Even more than that, though, I think storytellers inherently desire an audience. Writers, however introverted, want to share what they've created with someone. That may not be true of every single writer on the planet, but it's true of any of the ones I've ever talked to about it.

I've thought about writing only for myself. Somehow, writing seems more frivolous that way. Entertaining others gives the writing more purpose than if I'm just entertaining myself. If you think about it, that's true of a lot of things.


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Maggie Ann

Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #24 on: February 23, 2019, 01:06:14 PM »
Besides illness (which is a terrible thing to deal with) I think some writers burn out.  It's a lonely profession.  We usually spend time on social media because most people have no idea what it means to be a writer.  It's reassuring to talk to others going through similar challenges...but with the constant pressure to produce, market, follow genres, produce faster, market more, buy new covers, etc. it can all be a bit much after a while.

I'm rather glad I do this part time.  I've seen some friends getting very discouraged and I can't even imagine the stress if this is the only paycheck.  As the market continues to contract, I think more writers will quit.  While I can look at it objectively from an economics perspective, it's still sad to see friends leave.

Just today, my daughter was advising me to write for myself and not bother publishing. She felt the promotion side of it was too stressful and the production side of it too expensive. Maybe she's right, but what's the point of writing if I can't pop onto Amazon and see my work up on the screen?
There is something about seeing one's work on the Amazon product page!

Even more than that, though, I think storytellers inherently desire an audience. Writers, however introverted, want to share what they've created with someone. That may not be true of every single writer on the planet, but it's true of any of the ones I've ever talked to about it.

I've thought about writing only for myself. Somehow, writing seems more frivolous that way. Entertaining others gives the writing more purpose than if I'm just entertaining myself. If you think about it, that's true of a lot of things.

It's sort of like that old question ... if a tree falls in a forest and there's no one there to hear it, does it make a sound? Yes, when I write something, I want it to be read. It's validation when it's read whether readers love it or hate it. I think being such a solitary profession, we have little chance for validation in our own lives.

So, no, I will not be writing and not publishing. I am writing and I will write and I will continue to publish because it's what I do. Without it, I am not me.
           
 
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Laughing Elephant

Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #25 on: February 23, 2019, 04:08:41 PM »
.

Writers are gods.

Not only do we want to see our 'people' flourish, we want to set them free beyond the worlds we create.

Give each creation a key to a human's imagination so they may live, at least for a while.

Illness, life sometimes gets in the way but a storyteller's mind never stops imagining - that's why we have such vivid dreams, see such wondrous things where others may only see the mundane.

.

Writers, keep entertaining people for as long as you are able and be glad that you have added something glorious to our human world.


 
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Solitary Dan

Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #26 on: February 24, 2019, 07:41:48 AM »
. . . be glad that you have added something glorious to our human world.

Thanks, but sales levels often don't make it feel that way.

Some people think that all art is priceless, but it always comes down to the fact that things are only worth what someone is willing to pay for them.  And if no one is willing to pay, well, that seems to be a public statement on your work that says more than any number of reviews.

I used to think that at least my work would survive in the Library of Congress.  You send in two copies when you register your copyright, so they must have a huge collection.  So, there was always hope that one day your work might be seen and appreciated.  But, did you know they may eventually throw those copies out?  They only keep what they feel is worthy of being kept.  Other stuff gets tossed.  If you want them to actually keep them, they will but for an additional fee.  And how long will they keep it if you pay?  I don't know; I didn't check that fine print.

Years ago, there was a local poet in town.  He wrote poems and would make copies and hand them out to people.  I think he visited nursing homes, for example, and gave them poems.  He had different poems to cover different life situations and if he felt you were in need of some particular sentiment, he'd give you a copy of a poem he'd written for that occasion.  He had had an interesting life too, full of stories.  He always wanted to see his poems published in his own book.  Sadly, he passed away before that happened (so far as I know).  That was before Kindle and Lulu and CreateSpace and all that.  Had he lived a few years longer, he might have been able to self-publish his poems.

But what happened to all his poems?  Did his family keep them?  I've looked from time to time just to see if maybe someone in his family published them after his death, but I've never come across such a book.  Maybe they kept them.  Maybe they tossed them.  I don't know.  I hope someone kept them.

Too often people seem perhaps too eager to move on after a family member's death, by selling, donating or tossing everything owned by that person.  And then it's like they were never there.  I've seen this happen more than once.  People die and the surviving spouse remodels the house, makes it like the other person had never been there.  Often, a short time later and that surviving spouse will have remarried.  Sometimes so quickly you wonder if they even ever mourned the dead.  The famous get statues, biographical movies, museum displays and whatnot; the rest of us are just replaceable pegs no one notices are even gone.

At least with a book, some small part of the person lives on.

But if that art is deemed worthless and tossed, it's somewhat akin to saying that person's life was a waste because you're throwing away something of that person, not simply something they owned or bought in a store, but something they themselves created--a little piece of their soul, if you will.

I used to believe that there were people that valued what came before.  I don't know about that anymore.  People seem too eager to toss history by the wayside.  Old building?  Tear it down and build a new one!  Old tools?  Sell them for scrap metal.  Old books?  Recycle them.  Just seems sad to me.

Sometimes I think about Atlantis.  Some people doubt a civilization as advanced as Atlantis supposedly was could vanish without a trace.  But think of floods and disasters that have happened in recent years.  If neighboring states and communities hadn't been around to help, how many of those communities would have never been rebuilt and simply lost to nature?  Or, what if everything old was scrapped, torn, recycled or otherwise gotten rid of continually?  What if all your historical records were stored on magnetic media in the "cloud" somewhere?  One big disaster and everything could be lost.  It would all be gone.  Whether Atlantis is true or a myth, there's a lesson to be learned there.  Everything can be lost and forgotten, especially if there is no one who cares.

Do people care?  I don't know.  Seems too often people are more interested in getting their hands on the latest gizmo to care about a dusty book or a rusty tool or whatever.  Put the blankets grandma made up on eBay and sell grandpa's tools to the metal recycling all to get a few bucks toward buying the next iPhone and toss their manuscripts and drawings and whatnot to make space for a charging dock.  The dead are dead and the living need the latest smartphones to like all those cat memes on Twinstagrambook.

So, that's the realization that if you're not Hemingway or Stephen King or a big name, no one's going to care about anything you did.  When you die, your stuff--bought or created--will all end up in the same trash or recycling bin and within a few years no one will even know you ever lived.  Do we all become stories in the end?  Nope.  We're just dust in the windstorm.

Maybe that's why some writers quit.  Why go through the effort of building a sand castle if it's just going to be washed away and forgotten minutes later?  Might as well relax in a chair and watch the waves come in.  Less work and the end result is exactly the same.
     
 
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Maggie Ann

Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #27 on: February 24, 2019, 08:38:43 AM »
Yes, Dan, you're right. My parents both passed within the last few years and it was my job to clear out their houses. I tried at first to donate things, but there was just too much. I ended up tossing most of it.

My father had boxes of batteries and light bulbs marked N.G. My mother had laundry baskets full of empty peanut butter jars. No caps. I found the caps later in another part of the garage. My father had automotive manuals from the 70's and my mother had an extensive collection of corks from who knows where. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

I only had a week to clear out my father's house and he lived in NJ. Goodwill doesn't pick up and I had a house full of furniture to get rid of. We finally put everything out on the curb and put an ad on Craigslist for people to come and get it. And they did. In droves. With trucks. So I felt that people were getting use out of his things.

Nobody wants to buy used things anymore. Nobody even wants antiques. Ebay has spoiled that for us. I have things that fifty years ago were worth something but now are only worth $25-35 on ebay because there are a lot of the same items up for auction.

What's may father's legacy? I am and he won't be forgotten as long as there are those of us who remember him. Same with my mother. It's only the memories that are important. Not even the pictures are as important as what I carry in my heart.

My granddaughter is being confirmed tomorrow and I gave her my mother's confirmation ring to wear. That tradition could very well be carried on for generations. Maybe not, but I like to think a part of my mother is at the ceremony.

As for my books, I am making arrangements for them to be unpublished on my death. Nobody in my family wants to put any effort into either selling or preserving them. I can't blame them for that. It's my thing not theirs.
           
 
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Lorri Moulton [Lavender Lass Books]

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Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #28 on: February 24, 2019, 09:07:21 AM »
I love antiques and kept a lot of my grandmother's things...including her paintings.  She was incredibly talented as a singer, artist, actress, and even clothes designer.  She used to make all her own dresses when she sang professionally and designed most of the costumes for her theater group.

So, not everything gets thrown away.  And once we publish, our books live on forever.  Especially in paperback.  While I'd like to make enough with my writing to quit my day job, it's not the main reason I write.  It's to tell stories. 

That's what I enjoy and I hope other people enjoy them too.   :catrun
   
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CoraBuhlert

Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #29 on: February 24, 2019, 12:59:17 PM »
I love antiques, too, and even worked in an antique store as a teenager. I have a nice collection of both flea market finds and things which used to belong to deceased relatives. When I look at the item or handle it, I'm inevitably reminded of the person who owned it. I also have things which used to belong to my great-grandparents as well as to two grandparents I never met. One of my great-grandfathers was a sea captain who worked in South East Asia before WWI. I have some of the items he brought back from his travels and my parents have more. I also have a bracelet that belonged to my great-grandmother from another side of the family. She was very poor and this bracelet may well have been the only nice thing she ever owned, memento of the only holiday she ever took in her life.

As for the tendency to just throw everything out, that's a result of the decluttering culture and the whole Mari Kondo "Does this spark joy?" stuff. That said, winding up with a flat or house full of stuff after a relative dies can be overwhelming. My grandmother had beginning dementia when she died, so her flat was full of food long past the expiry date, supplies for her budgy which had died years before, random letters of the sort no one would keep, etc... She was also an enthusiastic photographer who took hundreds of photos, usually of her travels. Sad as it was, we threw those photos out, because no one cared about grandma's holiday in Hungary in 1976 and there were way too many to even go through them. But I do have things that belonged to her and my grandpa who died before her. I have grandma's garnet necklace, a set of wooden deer I always loved, a wall plate and a white madonna figure which grandma bought back in 1948, just before the pre-war German money was devalued and a new currency introduced (I kept those for the history connected with them), a wrought iron chandelier and wall lamp my grandpa made himself sometime in the 1940s, a model ship he built, etc...   

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Maggie Ann

Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #30 on: February 24, 2019, 01:40:21 PM »
Cora, what I threw out had nothing to do with minimalist trends. It went because it was useless (dead batteries) or had no value to anyone. What I kept were practical things. I gave away the crystal and good dishes and kept tools and kitchen utensils.

I had dealers come to the house and they'd say something like, "Don't take less than $200 for that." I'd say, "Make me an offer." Inevitably, they would tell me they weren't interested.

Mari Kondo doesn't know how to fold tee-shirts. They should be folded with the print on the outside. I watched one show and I doubt I'll ever watch another.

           
 
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Lorri Moulton [Lavender Lass Books]

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Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #31 on: February 24, 2019, 01:43:57 PM »
I like the idea of only keeping things that are useful or make us happy...but ALL my books, china and crystal seem to spark joy. LOL  Of course, most of the dishes are from family members.  Or flea markets, which have wonderful things!
   
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CoraBuhlert

Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #32 on: February 24, 2019, 01:56:30 PM »
Cora, what I threw out had nothing to do with minimalist trends. It went because it was useless (dead batteries) or had no value to anyone. What I kept were practical things. I gave away the crystal and good dishes and kept tools and kitchen utensils.

I had dealers come to the house and they'd say something like, "Don't take less than $200 for that." I'd say, "Make me an offer." Inevitably, they would tell me they weren't interested.

Mari Kondo doesn't know how to fold tee-shirts. They should be folded with the print on the outside. I watched one show and I doubt I'll ever watch another.

I wasn't referring to you in particular. I suspect your situation was similar to cleaning out my grandma's flat after she died. No one needed empty envelopes which had once contained tax documents (we never found the tax documents, just the envelopes), birdfood three years past its sell-by date or hundreds of photos of Hungarian wildflowers. And we did sell off some of her furniture such as her vintage 1950s kitchen. China, crystal, silverware and the like are also a problem, because quite often it has gone out of style (there were some really cool china designs in the past, but for some reason my relatives always bought the boring white with gilded edge stuff) and/or you simply don't need it. And the generation dying off at the moment was the last that still had trousseaus and big sets of fine china and silverware, so there are a lot of sets coming onto the market, but comparatively little demand.

As for folding t-shirts, why would you put the print on the inside? If it's on the outside, you can see at a glance what t-shirt it is rather than embarassing yourself by wearing a Star Wars t-shirt to a funeral rather than the plain black one you actually wanted for.

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She-la-te-da

Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #33 on: February 24, 2019, 09:33:27 PM »
I imagine there are as many reasons as there are people on this planet. I know I consider stopping when I get too frustrated with the "advice" people like to hand out like it was pearls. Like, you can only make it if you write to market (which invariably, when looked at closely, is writing to whatever trend is hot at the moment), spend huge amounts to make little profit, spend hours and hours searching for crap to post on Instagram (or whatever hot social media thing of the moment). Also, you must pay big bucks for a "pro" cover, and loads of editing, and formatting, and just the right website, and the special computer program that will work magic.

All this sort of thing, given without any real care or concern, has basically killed my writing for the past few months. I get so discouraged about writing, because I can't do it right. So why bother? On the days when I actually do write, I feel that love and spark again, but it doesn't seem to last. Not that anyone will notice if I stop writing.
I write various flavors of speculative fiction. This is my main pen name.

 
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Lorri Moulton [Lavender Lass Books]

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Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #34 on: February 25, 2019, 05:04:51 AM »
I imagine there are as many reasons as there are people on this planet. I know I consider stopping when I get too frustrated with the "advice" people like to hand out like it was pearls. Like, you can only make it if you write to market (which invariably, when looked at closely, is writing to whatever trend is hot at the moment), spend huge amounts to make little profit, spend hours and hours searching for crap to post on Instagram (or whatever hot social media thing of the moment). Also, you must pay big bucks for a "pro" cover, and loads of editing, and formatting, and just the right website, and the special computer program that will work magic.

All this sort of thing, given without any real care or concern, has basically killed my writing for the past few months. I get so discouraged about writing, because I can't do it right. So why bother? On the days when I actually do write, I feel that love and spark again, but it doesn't seem to last. Not that anyone will notice if I stop writing.

Honestly, I quit listening to most of it.  :cheers

Write what you love.  Write what makes you happy.  Write for enjoyment.  This is what I do and if readers enjoy it too...that's frosting on the cake! 

Yes, you can take this seriously and consider it a business and still write for your own enjoyment.  I call it my long-term plan because I want to be doing this for a long time.  Not end up frustrated and burnt out after a few years.
   
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Joseph Malik

Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #35 on: March 01, 2019, 12:45:44 PM »
Let's just call a spade a spade, huh? Who here actually enjoys writing?

The actual act of writing SUCKS.

I love concepting. I love plotting. I love characterization, and imagery, and dialogue, and creating allegory and metaphor and delicate subtext that leaves the reader pondering. I love irony; Christ, I love irony. I love building out characters to the point where I'm not writing so much as writing down what they say and do. I love love LOVE manipulating words to get that exact turn of phrase. I love words. I love mulling over fantasy languages, and worldbuilding, and maps and research and swordfighting and boxing and riding horses and rappelling off cliffs and all the other stuff I do to get the ideas flowing.

I LOVE words.

I hate writing.

If I ever quit, it's because I HATE, with the fire of a thousand suns, the mechanical act of putting words into a computer. Or a typewriter. Or even onto a notepad, as awesome as my pens are.

And don't talk to me about dictation software; I've tried it and I'd rather be shot through both balls.

Until we can install a jack into the base of a creator's skull and directly download a fantasy world into the mind of the reader, we have to keep digging ditches that people will pay money to admire.

 
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Arches

Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #36 on: March 01, 2019, 03:05:29 PM »
Let's just call a spade a spade, huh? Who here actually enjoys writing?

The actual act of writing SUCKS.


We all come to this crazy self pub world from different directions and with different goals and motivations. I love writing stories, and I love editing them even more. I can't imagine writing if I didn't enjoy sitting on my ass hour after hour and day after day and it wasn't fun. For me its a hobby that actually pays for itself and more, but I'd do it if I had to pay to get readers, rather than them paying me.
 
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Lorri Moulton [Lavender Lass Books]

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Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #37 on: March 01, 2019, 03:52:25 PM »
I love writing.  When it all comes together...it's wonderful!



ETA:  The comparison to Fred Astaire is so true. LOL
« Last Edit: March 01, 2019, 03:56:29 PM by Lorri Moulton [Lavender Lass Books] »
   
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Maggie Ann

Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #38 on: March 01, 2019, 10:31:17 PM »
Let's just call a spade a spade, huh? Who here actually enjoys writing?

The actual act of writing SUCKS.


We all come to this crazy self pub world from different directions and with different goals and motivations. I love writing stories, and I love editing them even more. I can't imagine writing if I didn't enjoy sitting on my ass hour after hour and day after day and it wasn't fun. For me its a hobby that actually pays for itself and more, but I'd do it if I had to pay to get readers, rather than them paying me.

I love writing, too, and I'm so glad to be back in the game. I love the research and bringing that research to life through my characters when I'm writing an historical, or exploring today's jobs and education and social activities when I'm writing a contemporary. It's almost as good as reading a book where I don't know what's going to happen and I can watch the story unfold.

           
 
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VanessaC

Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #39 on: March 02, 2019, 12:17:25 AM »
Let's just call a spade a spade, huh? Who here actually enjoys writing?

The actual act of writing SUCKS.

I love concepting. I love plotting. I love characterization, and imagery, and dialogue, and creating allegory and metaphor and delicate subtext that leaves the reader pondering. I love irony; Christ, I love irony. I love building out characters to the point where I'm not writing so much as writing down what they say and do. I love love LOVE manipulating words to get that exact turn of phrase. I love words. I love mulling over fantasy languages, and worldbuilding, and maps and research and swordfighting and boxing and riding horses and rappelling off cliffs and all the other stuff I do to get the ideas flowing.

I LOVE words.

I hate writing.

If I ever quit, it's because I HATE, with the fire of a thousand suns, the mechanical act of putting words into a computer. Or a typewriter. Or even onto a notepad, as awesome as my pens are.

And don't talk to me about dictation software; I've tried it and I'd rather be shot through both balls.

Until we can install a jack into the base of a creator's skull and directly download a fantasy world into the mind of the reader, we have to keep digging ditches that people will pay money to admire.



Ah, yes, the mechanics of getting our lovely, beautiful, shining words out of our squishy brains and into a format we can share with others.  It can be utterly frustrating.

I'm giving dictation a go just now partly because quite often when I'm typing I seem to develop eight thumbs and can't type a single word without one of those horrible red lines under it. 

It's that, or learn to touch type.  Tried learning to touch type once using one of those "teach yourself" CDs.  The "virtual teacher" gave up on me.  I'm not kidding.  With added sarcasm, too. Who knew a virtual teacher could be so vicious?
 

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123mlh

Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #40 on: March 02, 2019, 02:20:58 AM »
Let's just call a spade a spade, huh? Who here actually enjoys writing?


I do. But I type very fast so it's not a struggle for me. The words flow from my brain through my fingers to the computer screen without hesitation or effort.
 
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Al Stevens

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Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #41 on: March 02, 2019, 03:45:48 AM »
If I didn't like to write I wouldn't write. I don't like mowing the grass or cleaning the pool, so I pay to have them done. To spend my hours in this short life doing things I don't like would be a waste of potential for having a good time, brief though it may be.

But love or hate activities? Those are gratuitous usages of important words best saved for the real things.
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Al Stevens is a retired author of computer programming books. For fifteen years he was a senior contributing editor and columnist for Dr. Dobb's Journal, a leading magazine for computer programmers. Al lives with his wife Judy and a menagerie of cats on Florida's Space Coast where he writes by day and plays piano, string bass, and saxophone by night.
 
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dgcasey

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Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #42 on: March 02, 2019, 05:17:52 AM »
ETA:  The comparison to Fred Astaire is so true. LOL

I remember when I started to learn ballroom dancing. It really was "1... 2... 3... 1... 2... 3..."   grint
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PJ Post

Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #43 on: March 02, 2019, 06:33:38 AM »
Let's just call a spade a spade, huh? Who here actually enjoys writing?

The actual act of writing SUCKS.

Yeah...no.  grint

I love the writing part and the re-writing too, it's like moving paint around on a canvas or finding the groove when playing music. Once you find the pocket, it's like a creative singularity where everything locks into place. To be fair though, sometimes it's like playing drunk. While I might have a wonderful time, the audience may not share my enthusiasm. So, yeah, the work might suck, but finding the creative pocket remains a daily goal. 
 
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YouMeWe

Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #44 on: March 02, 2019, 10:06:57 PM »
I love writing. I hate publishing.

All the crap that comes with releasing words into the wild can suck the joy right out of me ... if I let it.

Pleez scoose n e errers, eyes lerrnin diktashun.
 
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LilyBLily

Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #45 on: March 02, 2019, 11:59:28 PM »
Responding to the original topic and where it has gone, I enjoy the surprise element to writing that comes only when I'm at the computer with the open file. Then the characters tell me where they want to go, and I follow. It's loads of fun. Getting myself to the computer is the problem. I'll do anything to avoid writing. And I like mowing the lawn and doing the other parts of my life.

Advancing age and lack of overwhelming enthusiasm from the public might be reasons to eventually stop publishing my books and possibly even to stop writing. It's likely that there will come a day when the work of being an indie is too much for me and not sufficiently profitable monetarily to hire someone to do the part I can no longer do. Would I keep writing?

There's a difference between not publishing anymore and not writing anymore, as noted above. We don't actually know if Lavryle Spencer has never written another word since she retired from writing over twenty years ago. All we know is that she stopped publishing.
 
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Rose Andrews

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Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #46 on: March 03, 2019, 04:48:34 AM »
I want to stop. Mostly because it's been an uphill battle this entire time.

But then I get depressed if I don't write because nothing of substance is coming out of me. Writing is one way I deal with my issues.

Writers are also like chameleons. We change genres, pen names, careers, etc. Publishing is really hard, especially when we read constantly of people doing so much better than we are given equal efforts or no effort. That kind of sh*t puts me in a bad mood real quick and I have thought of quitting many times because I realize that this is probably a huge waste of time for me. Maybe other authors feel the same way and that's why they disappear. Can't say I blame them.
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Rose Andrews

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Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #47 on: March 03, 2019, 04:52:46 AM »
I imagine there are as many reasons as there are people on this planet. I know I consider stopping when I get too frustrated with the "advice" people like to hand out like it was pearls. Like, you can only make it if you write to market (which invariably, when looked at closely, is writing to whatever trend is hot at the moment), spend huge amounts to make little profit, spend hours and hours searching for crap to post on Instagram (or whatever hot social media thing of the moment). Also, you must pay big bucks for a "pro" cover, and loads of editing, and formatting, and just the right website, and the special computer program that will work magic.

All this sort of thing, given without any real care or concern, has basically killed my writing for the past few months. I get so discouraged about writing, because I can't do it right. So why bother? On the days when I actually do write, I feel that love and spark again, but it doesn't seem to last. Not that anyone will notice if I stop writing.
This is totally how I have been feeling lately. Why f*cking bother? Why give a sh*t? Why try? The only place I seem to do okay is Wattpad and no one is paying me there. So...f*ck it.
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Lorri Moulton [Lavender Lass Books]

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Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #48 on: March 03, 2019, 05:04:58 AM »
I want to stop. Mostly because it's been an uphill battle this entire time.

But then I get depressed if I don't write because nothing of substance is coming out of me. Writing is one way I deal with my issues.

Writers are also like chameleons. We change genres, pen names, careers, etc. Publishing is really hard, especially when we read constantly of people doing so much better than we are given equal efforts or no effort. That kind of sh*t puts me in a bad mood real quick and I have thought of quitting many times because I realize that this is probably a huge waste of time for me. Maybe other authors feel the same way and that's why they disappear. Can't say I blame them.

Rose, I think many of us wonder if we'll make any money.  Or enough to keep doing this.

I enjoy writing, so I try not to think about the money.  Of course, that's impossible...but I'll just keep writing and hopefully improving.  When the market settles a bit, then I'll have enough books and series finished that I can actually think about paid promotions. 

For now, I'm sticking with my five year plan.  :catrun
   
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idontknowyet

Re: Why do good writers stop?
« Reply #49 on: March 03, 2019, 06:40:05 AM »
I want to stop. Mostly because it's been an uphill battle this entire time.

But then I get depressed if I don't write because nothing of substance is coming out of me. Writing is one way I deal with my issues.

Writers are also like chameleons. We change genres, pen names, careers, etc. Publishing is really hard, especially when we read constantly of people doing so much better than we are given equal efforts or no effort. That kind of sh*t puts me in a bad mood real quick and I have thought of quitting many times because I realize that this is probably a huge waste of time for me. Maybe other authors feel the same way and that's why they disappear. Can't say I blame them.

Rose, I think many of us wonder if we'll make any money.  Or enough to keep doing this.

I enjoy writing, so I try not to think about the money.  Of course, that's impossible...but I'll just keep writing and hopefully improving.  When the market settles a bit, then I'll have enough books and series finished that I can actually think about paid promotions. 

For now, I'm sticking with my five year plan.  :catrun
I solved that problem. I know people wont buy my books. Except maybe my mom?!?! She doesnt know how to use a computer so that's iffy. I write because the words are demanding to come out of my head (when they arent I cant write a word). I'm going to publish and do the best I can, because that's just the way I am.
 
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