Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what made you come back to writing?
When I graduated college, although I was exhilarated to be a college graduate, I was also feeling pretty burnt out. I was a writing major. My school believed in that academic writing program thing of workshops and literary fiction, trying to channel their writing majors into Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees and MFA programs.
That was not me. I didn’t think I was a particularly good fiction writer, to be honest. It was the only kind of writing I’d ever wanted to do but I came out of college thinking I didn’t have the chops. I didn’t have a particular genre I was drawn to write (I had a few I was very drawn to, reading-wise). I was hardly the most talented, most praised, most encouraged, or most anything of my fellow writing majors.
But I didn’t actually say, “I’m never creatively writing ever again. I quit.”
I think I decided that trying to finish up a story I’d been writing and rewriting since college was the way to go, for some reason. I’d been wanting to write a real book since I was 12. I had time, after graduating grad school. I might as well write that book now.
Thus, Book the First. It’s terrible, by the way, but it represents that last gasp of the stuff I was writing as a relaxer in college. It was never meant to be submitted in writing workshops.
I eventually came around to realizing that my entire personality is just…”writer.” Storytelling is compulsive. The incremental improvements, the nuggets of info and technicalities, the satisfying (or not satisfying) shape of a story coming together and doing what it’s supposed to…
There’s no coming back from that sort of thing.