Jude Hardin

Author, Drummer, Turtle Whisperer

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Location: United States

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Top Ten Reasons to Quit Writing

10. The odds of landing a book deal right now are about the same as winning the lottery and being struck by lightning on the same day.

9. Even if you do manage to get a book deal, you can make more money bagging groceries.

8. Blank, white, rectangular thingies with the number 1 in the top right corner make you want to puke.

7. You could never write anything as good as {insert name of favorite author here}, so why even bother?

6. If you add one more rejection letter to the pile, the Earth might actually tilt on its axis.

5. There’s this abstract concept you vaguely remember called “a life,” and you’re starting to think you might need to get one.

4. You’re so preoccupied sometimes, complete strangers tap you on the shoulder and say, “Are you all right?”

3. You plan to make whoever was responsible for getting your order wrong at Hardee’s drive-thru yesterday a victim in your next mystery.

2. You have erotic dreams about the sales clerk at Staples.

And the number one reason to quit writing is...

Screw it. I'm not even going to waste my time posting the number one reason. If you’re really a writer, you’ll just ignore it anyway.


Blogger Mark Terry said...

That covers it, including #1.

9:48 AM  
Blogger Jude Hardin said...

Hi Mark:

I'm sure we could come up with a few hundred more if we tried. :)

9:54 AM  
Blogger Davin C. Goodwin said...


How about a 10 Ten reasons to continue writing......

Thats what I need -- I already know why to quit, but why continue?

10:16 AM  
Blogger Jude Hardin said...

Here they are, Dave:

10. Because you love it.

9. Hmm...

I really can't think of any more.

10:46 AM  
Blogger Stephen Parrish said...

After unscientifically surveying stats provided by agents, I estimate about one in a thousand completed and submitted novels gets published. Even if I'm off by a power of ten, it's still thousands of times more likely than winning the lottery.

And that's assuming your manuscript is selected randomly: nine hundred of the thousand are poorly written.

Oh, and the Earth is already tilted on its axis.

10:49 AM  
Blogger Erica Orloff said...

I've always bet on longshots.


11:18 AM  
Blogger Jude Hardin said...

Hi Stephen:

I was just joking about the lottery and all.

But according to your estimate, 99%of the good writers never get published.

Now I'm really depressed.

11:20 AM  
Blogger Jude Hardin said...

Hi Erica:

I love longshots too. They don't come in very often, but when they do the payoff is huge.

11:24 AM  
Blogger Davin C. Goodwin said...

9. Because of all the wonderful and interesting people I continue to meet?


11:59 AM  
Blogger Stephen Parrish said...

I was just joking about the lottery and all.

I was 51% sure of that, but I hear the comparison all the time.

I do in fact think 99 out of 100 "well written" novels fail to get published. But I also think the odds improve significantly with persistence.

1:11 PM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

As vices go, writing is non-fattening, non-carcinogenic, and probably won't get you divorced. (I say probably, your mileage may vary). Unlike a sex addiction there's no risk of STDs. Compared to compulsive gambling the monetary costs are very low with relatively little risk. Oddly enough, it's entirely legal (although I think it sometimes deserves a black box warning label), which is rather different than some forms of gambling and several classes of controlled substances.

Writing, like reading, is a totally legal stimulant. It's addictive, but relatively benign, with the possible negative side effects of paper cuts, hemorrhoids, near-sightedness and insanity, although clinical research studies have been inconclusive as to whether writing causes insanity or insanity creates writers.

3:45 PM  
Blogger Jude Hardin said...

Stephen: Persistence is key, I think.

Mark: The first step toward recovery is admitting you have a problem.

5:40 PM  
Blogger lainey bancroft said...

I dunno, Jude.

6-10 make me want to say dirty words that start with 'f' and end with 'u'. (okay, so I did say them, typing them is a whole 'nother story)

5, There. And quite possibly too far past it to ever recover.

4, talking to stranger is primo writer fuel...and cheap entertainment.

3, writing about killing the messer-upper at the drive-thru is waaaay healthier than actually doing it.

2, um, yeah. Either you have far more problems than I ever suspected or the clerks at your Staples are vvvveeeerrry different than the ones here in Nowheresville, ON! :0

Can't think of what my #1 reason would be???? Which could be the #1 reason I should quit before I gather up 1000 rejections and have far more than 10 #1 reasons to do so.

7:38 PM  
Blogger Jude Hardin said...


You can't quit any more than I can. It's in your blood.

But go ahead and curse me if it makes you feel better. :)

7:50 AM  
Blogger Chris Wood said...

I think the no 1 reason to quit writing is when you find yourself dressed as Napoleon and surrounded by rubber wallpaper.

I'm not there yet, but I am finding myself increasing drawn to old fashioned French hats ...

11:52 AM  
Blogger Jude Hardin said...

I think the no 1 reason to quit writing is when you find yourself dressed as Napoleon and surrounded by rubber wallpaper.

Nonsense, Chris. That's the reason I started writing.

12:41 PM  

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