Yes, there comes a time when we have to make a decision whether or not we are truly writers, or if it’s been a hobby all along. Some folks reach that decision after the first rejection. “I don’t need to have more negativity in my life. It’s just a story. Forget it! And there are others who have spiral notebooks filled with rejections:
“Thank you, not for us.”
“Lots of potential, but I’ll have to pass.”
“Great idea, but we’re full.”
And on and on and on. Yet, this particular author continued to write, continued to send out paper proposals at $1.50 or so a packet. That was over twenty years ago. And then she switched to email only to hear the same no thank yous.
Maybe I should find another so-called hobby. But lucky for me, she chose to keep writing. She did, however, learn along the way that she had to improve her skills. Many of the rejections, conferences, and contests were kind enough to point out areas for improvement. So she continued to write.
After eighteen long years…yes…eighteen, she found an agent willing to take a chance on her. Within a year or so, her first two novellas were published. Then six short novels, and finally, the one she’d longed to see in print, her romantic suspense.
No more rejections to add to the four spiral notebooks filled with “Thank you, but no thank you.”
So for her, the time never came to quit. She understood in her most secret thoughts that she had to write. It wasn’t a hobby, wasn’t a thing to try because of boredom. It wasn’t even the thousands of voices in her head aching to get out and live their lives. It was because deep down she had this massive desire to tell stories.
I know her well. She is me.