Saturday, August 18, 2012

When You Want to Quit

"Never, never, never give up."
-Winston Churchill 

I spoke with my students this week about my writing journey. I explained to them about the many times I wanted to quit back in 2008 after receiving rejection after rejection from many literary agents regarding my manuscript for The Dragon Forest.

I wanted to give up.

Never Give Up

Then I told them about how I kept going even when the future looked pretty bleak. 


Because I knew of so many others who kept going even when it seemed impossible.

And of course, writers...artists...must never give up. We must always write or paint or compose no matter what.


After reading some of my students' reflective writing this week, I was moved by how some of them feel like giving up on a dream even at such a young age. For that reason, I am glad I was able to share my story with them and hope it helped inspire them to continue. 

I know one story that helped me keep going...

When I worked in the county courthouse, I often saw one of the judges getting out of his truck in the morning. What was the big deal about that? He was a paraplegic and getting in and out of his vehicle on his own was a chore. Yet he did it everyday on his own. 

He became paralyzed after a car accident in his teens. He went to college then law school all from a wheelchair. Then, after practicing law for many years, he was appointed to the bench by the governor of our state. After that, he went on to the Federal bench.

I'll never forget the sight of him getting out of his truck and into his wheelchair without the assistance of anyone else day after day.

He inspired me to keep going and appreciate what I have.  

So when I hear a person complaining that a task is too difficult or that they just can't do something on their own, I always think back to that judge and what he accomplished without the use of his legs. 

Keep Going

Even still, there are times that I stare at the computer screen without one thought to add to a story and think about giving up on my work-in-progress. 


Those words staring back at me  intimidate me and and the thought of rejection makes me want to QUIT. 

But I cannot quit. I must keep going. Even if it means I have to set that story aside for a time and start on something new, then so be it! 

Writers must write...artists must create...and we must all keep going no matter what. 

What I want to teach my writing students is that writing is a great way to reflect on what we want to accomplish, the obstacles in our way, and what we can do to overcome those obstacles everyday. 

As the great Winston Churchill once said:


Keep dreaming.

Keep striving.

Keep observing.

Keep learning.

Keep writing. 

Your turn:  What words or life experiences help you to keep going and never quit?



  1. Love this post, Ruth! Recently, my husband told me my determination is inspiring. There is this drive in me to never give up. I know it's a gift from God, because there are so many times I'm staring at a blank screen wondering which way to go next and the task seems so overwhelming, I just want to slap the computer shut and walk away - but I don't.

    I can't wait to meet and chat in person. I've been enjoying your Facebook posts (and political stand!).

    1. Excellent!! I have been there many times. Both with the blank screen or the blank canvas. It isn't easy to create all the time with so many distractions. Glad this post spoke to you!

      Yes the conference will be great fun!! Glad you enjoy my FB posts too. ;)

  2. It helps me to remember that God has a purpose for my life...but that doesn't mean it won't take HARD WORK to get there. Sometimes, I can burn myself out, but it's in those times I realize that I've not been taking time to spend with God. I start pursuing His best for me but leave Him in the dust. Not very wise. So I sit still, listen, pray, and make a plan to keep going.

    1. Me too Lindsay. It's easy to get distracted. Remembering to write for His purpose changes everything.

      Thanks for visiting!

  3. Hi Ruth, it is good to see others pressing on, and then receive the rewards you have worked/struggled so hard for. Been there a time or two myself. Thanks for the article.

    1. Thank you Linze! It's good to meet you and know yet another person who kept going. It's encouraging! Thanks for visiting.

  4. The only thing that can make you fail is if you stop trying to succeed.

    So glad to visit your blog, Ruth, as always!

    1. So true Jenny! You hit it right on the head. Thanks for visiting again!