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Remember This When You Want to Quit



For as long as I can remember, I've wanted to write books.


As I watched my mother tap out her ideas on her gray Smith-Corona typewriter, I thought being a writer was the most fascinating thing a person could do. Now more than forty years later, I still believe it's true. Yet I long to quit all the time.


I want to quit because good writing requires something. It's not simply words on a page, but it's part of your heart on paper that you've nurtured, coaxed, trimmed, pressed, and loved into being. On a recent string of days where I felt like I didn't have anything good to say, I decided to quit a long-time book idea I'd been working on for more than a year. In truth, it's much easier to quit on something than to keep agonizing through it on a day-to-day basis.


On that particular "quitting my book" day, I decided to go to a yoga class and forget about my book that would never be. Here's what happened next:


The yoga instructor gave us all the usual words of encouragement, with one addition. She said, "Before we begin, I wanted to share that the class music playlist is called, 'Maybe You Want to Write a Book.' I created it as a theme to remind you that dreams of the heart are still worth having. Use today as your chance to be reminded of their goodness and keep going."

I wish I was making that up, but I'm not. I decided that day was not the quitting day, but instead the keep going day.

At the place I work out, the fitness trainers encourage us to do one rep more when we want to quit. Apparently, that is where the growth happens, in that single rep more. They say, "Don't think about it, just do one more rep. Then take a quick shake out and get right back to it." Perhaps the best wisdom for life can be found both in the Bible and fitness classes.


Since then, I've decided that when I feel like quitting anything, I'll give it a bit more. Whether that's five minutes or 5 days or whatever I want. But when the quitting thoughts come, my encouragement is to do what the fitness people say - take a deep breath and keep going in the smallest way you can.


Wherever you are at with that dream inside of you -- whether like me you feel like quitting or you are cruising - keep going. If you feel like today's quitting day, remember this -- do a bit more, shake out your tiredness, and then get right back to it.

We all have to do stuff with our time. I'd much rather waste my time pursuing a long-held dream, no matter how awkwardly. In truth, if I wasn't pursuing writing in my messy, awkward, and amateur way, I'd probably be watching TV or scrolling on social media. I might as well do something authentic and get after my dreams.


What about you? Where do you want to quit?

Instead of focusing on how hard it is, do a smidge more, take a rest, and then get right back to it. You were made to honor the dreams inside of you, no matter how ridiculous, outlandish or awkward.


When you want to quit, do a tiny bit more, then rest and keep going.

 




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3 Comments


Karen Brown Tyson
Karen Brown Tyson
Oct 26, 2023

Love this! I think every writer can relate to this post. I cannot tell you how many times I wanted to quit writing my last book. Doing "just one more rep" helped me to finish. Thanks for sharing.

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mchudson77
mchudson77
Oct 26, 2023

Thank you, Cara. I needed this reminder.

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mchudson77
mchudson77
Oct 20, 2022

Love, love, love this! Everything - 1000 x yes! Thanks for sharing straight from your heart.

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