This is a post for anyone who has ever felt like giving up. You’re a teacher, you’re training for a marathon, you’re playing bass in a band on the brink, you’re writing novel after novel yet hitting wall after wall. No matter your passion, you will likely reach a day where you feel like giving up on the very thing that feeds your soul—perhaps the thing you have come to feel defines you, in certain limited terms at least. But one day your muse has evaporated, you’re too tired to take another step, you take a long look in the mirror and think, “Why am I doing this, really? This is too hard. To hell with it. I don’t want to do this anymore.”
Whenever you feel that way…maybe you’ve run into some tangles at work and you can’t unravel them; maybe you’re covered in Cheerios and spit-up and poop for the 265th day and you feel like little more than a toddler punching bag; maybe you just moved to Georgia and you feel just a bit lost and lonely—a stranger in a strange land.
Whenever you feel that way:
Download this song
immediately and listen to it on a loop: “Art” by Louque, from the So Long
album.Keep running. Your time’s coming.
How many days like those have I had? Too many to count. Specific to writing, in my case, because writing is the thing I must do, and when that little train isn’t chugging along on the track I want, it’s a painful thing indeed. But after I simmer down and tune out the needling voices saying discouraging things in my ear, I return to the center and start again. I have to. It is my first love—the one thing that makes me still feel like me whenever I start to lose my mental or emotional footing.
So. I’m glad I didn’t give up writing when I sure felt like it a few years ago, because then I’d never have been able to photograph a story I wrote in actual book form
sitting on a stack of old rejection letters:
And I'd never have received this amazing message from the awesomely talented Marian Keyes
"Dear Jess, I LOVED it!!!!!!!!! I've just finished it and so sorry for the delay. I'm humbled that you say you like my books because I think your writing is genius. This is a gorgeous novel, it's so so so funny and sparky, yet very touching. I found it HUGELY entertaining and I loved Leigh and all the characters, you handled her illness with such sensitivity because it would have been easy to tip over into maudlin sentimentality and you didn't. Really, I thought it was great, your voice, I love its irreverence. Congratulations on writing such an enjoyable, uplifting book and I wish you every success and happiness with it
I think I broke a lightbulb screaming when I read her note. I know every day won't be rainbows and shiny teddy bear farts, but damn does it feel good to look back and think, Thank God I didn't quit.
I'd like to close this post with some gratuitous nephew footage. Because really, what's more hopeful than a giggling baby: