Quitting Time

September 5, 2014 § 3 Comments

She's not a writer any more.

She’s not a writer any more.

It’s easy to find encouragement to write on the internet. Go forth, brave author! It’s never too late! Lots of readers are your age! And, for the struggling memoirist, Yes, but now you have life experience and something to say.

But support for quitting? For realizing that maybe you’re not a writer, maybe that’s not your job, maybe there’s…something else?

Not so easy.

“I failed at a very high level,” writes Alison Manheim. After her MFA, a stint at a noted artist colony, three manuscripts and an agent, she hadn’t sold a book.

When this last novel failed (number three, but who’s counting?), I seethed for a bit, confident that the germ of an idea for a new project would soon surface. They always did. But this time instead of plunging into a retelling of Chekhov’s “The Cherry Orchard” set in present-day Malibu I decided I’d had enough. My ego might have weathered another book, but at 43, my body couldn’t do it anymore.

Manheim listened to her body–and made another choice.

Read Checking Out: A Writer Re-Boots in Mid-Life at The Manifeststation.


Allison K Williams is Brevity’s Social Media Editor and the author of Seven Drafts: Self-Edit Like a Pro from Blank Page to Book. Want writing news, events, and upcoming webinars? Join the A-List!

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