Saturday, July 10, 2021

Writers, Let's Remove the Words “I Quit” From Our Vocabulary

by Beth K. Vogt @BethVogt

Anyone else have a rough writing week? Show of hands, please. Anyone?

Monday and Tuesday were frustrating days for me. Doubt got me in a headlock and tried to take me down and pin me to the mat. Thanks to an honest conversation with a trusted writer-friend—and a healthy dose of prayer—doubt didn’t win. 

By Tuesday afternoon, I got up off the mat as the victor. Worn out, yes, but I won the wrestling match. I also came away with a pivotal realization. There are two words that should be removed from every writer’s vocabulary: 

I quit. 

The thought sneaks up on us under the guise of “Maybe I should quit …” Those four words are a kinder, gentler version of the final takedown, “I quit.” But even beginning to entertain the maybe? We’re letting our guard down, giving doubt the upper hand in the mental battle. 

When we get discouraged in our writing journey, it’s easy not to guard our thoughts:
  • Maybe you didn’t final in an award. Maybe you finaled, but you didn’t win. Thought: I’m not good enough. 
  • Maybe your rough draft needs more work than you realized. Thought: I should just give up on this story.
  • Maybe your proposal got all the way to the pub board—and stalled out. Again. Thought: Why do I keep trying? I’m never going to get published. 
All those doubts can lead to “Maybe I should just quit …” and then become “I quit.”

Quitting is an attitude born out of doubt and defeat. We’re not thinking clearly when we’re in that kind of mental wrestling match. 

Forget about quitting. Instead ask, “What’s next?”

Those two words, that question, “What’s next?” gives us breathing space. It opens the door for opportunity. For God to work. For you to stay the course … or to move forward to the next right, good thing waiting for you. 

Consider this: Write the words “I quit” on a piece of paper. Then cross them out. Now write the words “What’s next?” on the paper. Post the paper on your computer or somewhere you can see it when you’re writing. 


Beth K. Vogt believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” Having authored nine contemporary romance novels and novellas, The Best We’ve Been, the final book in Beth’s Thatcher Sisters Series with Tyndale House Publishers, releasers May 2020. Other books in the women’s fiction series include Things I Never Told You, which won the 2019 AWSA Award for Contemporary Novel of the Year, and Moments We Forget. Beth is a 2016 Christy Award winner, a 2016 ACFW Carol Award winner, and a 2015 RITA® finalist. An established magazine writer and former editor of the leadership magazine for MOPS International, Beth blogs for Learn How to Write a Novel and The Write Conversation and also enjoys speaking to writers group and mentoring other writers. Visit Beth at


  1. Beth,

    Thank you for the honesty and transparency in this article. Every one of us considers quitting when the days are hard (yes even me) and in the world of publishing and writing, there are many hard days. I love your encouragement to write "I Quit" and cross it out--not happening.

    There are many stories that need to be captured and told--and as writers that is our gift to the world so we need to use it. Keeping on,

    author of 10 Publishing Myths, Insights Every Author Needs to Succeed

    1. Terry, Thank you for your honesty -- that you even have hard days as a writer. You do so much to encourage others in the writing world and it's true, there are many stories that need to be told.

  2. Thank you, Beth. I hate to admit it, but I needed this.

    1. Ane: There's no guilt in admitting to ups and downs along the writing road. We all have them. It's important to be honest and encourage one another. You're a great writer. Keep going!

  3. Beth, thanks so much for voicing what many of us feel.

    1. Good morning, Sandy! The thing about the "maybe I should quit" wrestling match, is we think we're the only one facing it. It's good to get the struggle out in the open and realize we all battle it.