Yesterday I ran across a bit of “advice” that I’ve seen bunches of times before (which is why I’m not linking to it) and that never fails to annoy me: “If you can quit (writing, the violin), do.”
This is bullshit. I can count the number of things I can absolutely not quit on one hand, and those are body functions like beating my heart and inflating my lungs. I could quit writing. I could quit learning to draw, or playing the piano, or exercising. I could quit my job (but that would be a bad idea). I could probably even quit reading. I’d be pretty bored, but I could do it.
I suppose it’s supposed to be encouraging. But it pisses me off because it smacks of “writers are special people who were meant to be writers” and a bit of “got to keep the newbie writers down so I don’t lose my bestseller spot”. There are enough stories to go around for everyone.
Do you want to write? Then write. Do you want to write just for fun, not publication? Then have fun. Do you want to write for publication? Then work your ass off–either you’ll fail or you’ll find the necessary passion along the way (and maybe still fail). You don’t have to be 100% committed when you start.
But that doesn’t fit in a tweet.