I've quit working on my latest MS. For the last few weeks I've been struggling with it, and I feel like it was draining the life out of me faster than I care to think.
In writing (and in life) we feel like we're not allowed to quit. Generally that's a good way to feel and it keeps us pressing on when the going gets tough. But sometimes, the best thing for all parties involved is to quit. Here are few considerations to help you decide when it's best to just drop the ball.
Most things in life don't come easy. And it's expected that there will be some emotional hardship. But if you're not prone to depression and you wake up every morning calculating the speed the freight train passes through town and one which part of the tracks it's the fastest, then maybe you need to re-evaluate.
IT DOESN'T FEEL RIGHT
Some people can do anything with an external motivator. For example, lots of people work in jobs the hate for the stability or the money or a way to support the dream. I'm not motivated to do any thing or be anywhere I don't want to be.
If you're like me, you may need to take a step back when it stops being enjoyable or if it no longer fits like a glove.
THE PRICE IS MORE THAN THE REWARD
We have to make sacrifices for the things that are worth it. Sometimes you would rather be hanging out than going to work, sleeping than going to early morning college classes, out at a movie than practising whatever it is you do that needs practising. But the end result is worth the sacrifice. And if that's no longer true for an extended period, maybe it's time to move on.
THERE'S A LESSON IN FAILURE TOO
In thinking about whether or not to continue on a path, you might convince yourself that giving up means you have gained nothing. I think of this as the "certification mentality". With educational programs, you receive your certificate only after you have completed all the requirements. But if you complete 61 of 64 credits of a degree, you receive nothing. Does that mean you are no better off than before you started?
If you feel like you can no longer continue on a certain path, you still get to keep all the lessons you've learned up to that point. In addition, you learn things THROUGH quitting. You might learn your limits, what you really can't stand, how much you can put up with, what you're bad at, who you become under pressure, etc. All of these may be seen as negative things, but knowing them can help you avoid them in the future, and save you from putting yourself back into situations you may need to withdraw from.
Every man is an island. (Yes, I know that's not the way it's supposed to go.) Other people can support or advise you, but YOU are the one who has to live your life. Your family and friends may mean well, and sometimes their support is enough (think Steven King's wife and Carrie), but sometimes it isn't.
It's easy to watch other people deal with similar problems and think, they're getting through it, I should be able to. I believe everyone has their kryptonite. They've got things that would through them off their game too. Don't judge yourself by your parent's, siblings', spouse's, bff's standards. Think about you.
It's Monday. That's what's on my mind.
How about you? When do you know it's time to quit?
PS. I'm also failing Socnoc, by extension. I don't think I've even written 10,000 words this month.
PPS. I think at some point I'll do a detailed analysis of all that I've learned from this project in the near future.