Often, at the back of my mind, is this critical question of when to give up. I may like an author, I like the cover, there was a positive recommendation on a podcast, or raving review on NPR. These things are shaped and paid for from publicists and promotion. They may just be very good at their job. A story may connect with some types of readers but not all, and I may be one of those left out.
So when do I give up? There was promise in the first three chapters, but nothing connects, do I press on and see how things turn in the next? I am half way through and I am not enjoying the way has gone, I can see a dark turn ahead, do I press on?
There are chapters I’ve written and loved writing every word. Still, there has to be something different, a decision ahead that needs to be made, do I really want to take these characters there?
I was hoping to have had more interest in what I was doing. My hope was to have more readers. While it grows, nothing seems fast enough in this age of instant gratification.
“Knowing when to leave” by Hal David and Burt Bacharach from the musical “Promises, Promises” encapsulates this sentiment best. “Go while the going is good, knowing when to leave may be the smartest thing that anyone can learn” is a great lines to me. The conflict of the character is in one simple sentence. It’s an ability that made that writing duo great.
When I think of when the right time to walk away from something or someone I think back to this song, as you see I am not all that smart at these types of things. My thick hair an skull keep me safe at times in this little bubble of being hard headed and not giving up, even when it makes sense. I hope to learn that lesson one day, but until then I keep pressing on with completing books I should have given up on, writing characters with flaws in development and grammar, and working through situations I should have abandoned and known better than to have started.