Blowdowns and Abandoned Writing Dreams

Thank goodness for a 4×4 truck! As I’ve mentioned in at least one previous post, when we head north to our cabin, the route takes us via major highways, gravel logging roads, private dirt roads and eventually to our very primitive road.

There is no public access to our land, and therefore no road maintenance. When trees are down, or washouts happen, you know who has to deal with them.

A couple weeks before we arrived there for our summer holiday a localized tornado went through, affecting areas on a hit-and-miss basis. In some places only a tree or two went down; in others, whole stands fell over. We had to cut our way through three trees before we reached our cabin. Readymade firewood!

On our recent fall trip, the now leafless branches became art as they arched across their fallen neighbours. I’ve returned to these photos several times, noting how it was mostly the less mature growth that bent, broke or flattened in the pummeling wind. I see how tall and gangly some of the growth was — struggling to escape the crowd to reach elusive light.

The images morph into a question … whether experienced or perhaps more mature writers are better able to withstand the stresses of an uncertain future in today’s publication industry.

How often do newer writers become discouraged and decide to lay down their pens? What makes them give up on their dreams while others determine to hold on? I wonder why some writers seem more firmly rooted in the path they’ve chosen.

I’d like to hear your ideas.


Happy 176th Birthday to Mark Twain, pen name of Samuel Langhorne Clemens.

“Don’t say the old lady screamed. Bring her on and let her scream.” [Mark Twain]



Published by Carol

A freelance writer of fiction and non-fiction living on the West Coast of Canada.

16 thoughts on “Blowdowns and Abandoned Writing Dreams

  1. Wow, interesting question, Carol. Many people come to writing, not always because it is their passion, (and I do believe that passion develops over time) but perhaps for other reasons. Many think that flicking off a story is easy, just write it out and away we go. I get that impression from people I speak with all the time. What could be easier than sitting in your home, writing a story, and getting rich and famous in the process? –I wish. While there is nothing wrong with making all sorts of money writing, you and I both know the reality of that fantasy. (It’s not an impossibility, but how often does it really happen? Getting our work published is not an easy feat. Do we get discouraged and want to give up? Of course we do. And maybe we even vow a time or two that we will give up, but that determination, that need to keep going makes us pick up that pen again and again. We just can’t seem to walk away.

  2. Good question, Carol. I just did a blog post on creative drive – how some folks can’t NOT write. I’m one. I’m always doing it. At work, in my head, in the shower… even when I theoretically stopped for many years I was still jotting down bits of scenes and character ineractions. LOL I think, like Laura said, it’s a question of passion and whether you’re writing because you “need” to, whether or not anyone will ever read it, or you’re writing because you think it’s the thing to do and you can make money off it.

    1. When I read your comment, I had to respond. I thought I was the ONLY one who “wrote all the time in my head”. Sometimes it can be so annoying—like in the shower, on the road, at the grocery store! Ha ha—

      1. Trust me, I’m finding more and more writers who live in their heads. Guess it’s what would be called an active imagination. 🙂

  3. And sometimes it depends on how deep your roots go. If your writing is rooted in a deep faith, it will continue to grow no matter the winds that pummel it from time to time. Eventually the Lord will bring His word to fruition, even in from our puny pens.

  4. I often smile to myself when a “young” writer says to me, “I’m going to hang it up, I’m just not cut out to be a writer. ”
    To which I reply, “Did you just receive your FIRST rejection?” “Well, yes, how did you know?”
    Whenever I think about quitting—- the Lord reminds me WHY I write—it’s for HIM and His glory, not my own. So I continue, word after word—day after day—-Great post!
    Hugs and Blessings to you

  5. I find myself doubting I was meant to write. I’ll get down on myself and think this is a pipe dream and a waste of time. But I always come back to it. And as others have mentioned I often write in my head, then loose the words and get discouraged. What I’ve been learning about me is that I haven’t been good at writing down clear goals. I jot down ideas constantly but don’t reflect back on them. Now that I have a bit more time I’m setting specific morning time to write, re-reading the goals and keeping my idea list refreshed and in front of me.

  6. Carol, that is a great question and one that we are doomed if we do and the same if we don’t. I would rather not second guess what has been the driving force behind what I want in my career. Perhaps because I came to this later in life and already knew how well I could “weather” the storms of time. Maybe it was because I had waited for so long to finally get to it. For whatever the reasons, I feel that this old tree has deep and powerful roots and has no intention of letting the north winds get me down 🙂

  7. I don’t have a sure-fire solution other than to say that I think stubbornness has a lot to do with my career. I’m too stubborn to quit. And really, the rejections are great for wallpapering the bathroom. The conversations we have over which is their favourite rejection… well, it’s downright entertaining. Except lately I’ve noticed guests are spending way too much time reading.

    Great post, Carol.

  8. When I was young I knew I had plenty of time to get that story out. It’s easy to give up when you know you can always go back to it later. Well later is now. I don’t have the luxury of procrastination or quitting.

  9. Wow! Thanks to all of you for contributing to our conversation on this topic. Kathils mentions knowing that she can’t NOT write, and it reminds me of something my hubby once said. When asked how one can tell if they should go into ministry he said they shouldn’t unless they felt compelled … if there was anything else that appealled to them just as much, they should do that instead. It takes a particular kind of dedication to persevere and be successful in any profession.

    Personally, I think those who like to write, should. But I suspect it would help to understand their goals right from the beginning, and know that publication isn’t necessarily the only destination for the journey.

    1. Absolutely, Careann. Sure, I’m hoping I can interest an agent/publisher in my novel, but even if I can’t I’ll keep writing. Heck, I’ve been doing it since I was a kid. No point in stopping now! LOL

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