Never Give Up


In every creative person’s life, there comes a moment where you hate your work. Maybe you’ve felt this a few times before. I know I have. It’s that moment when you hate what you’ve made, you doubt that you’ve got what it takes, and when it feels like everything you make comes out as a pile of scrap. And maybe you just want to throw it all away. For me, this usually comes when I’m deep in edits, or when I’m stuck in an arrangement and I can’t find the right notes to go on. In that moment, we’re so ready to give up.

Please, don’t.

Yes, what you make isn’t perfect. The words you’ve written aren’t quite right. That’s ok. They’re not meant to be.

Yes, you’ve got a lot left to learn. You’re not a master yet. That’s ok. No one is.

Yes, you’re tired of looking at your work, judging it, hating it for its flaws and imperfections. That’s ok. Everyone judges their own work harshly.

Yes, you’re looking at the work someone else has made and it looks so much better than yours. That’s ok. Someone is looking at yours and wondering how you got to be so good.

You hate your work, because you’ve seen it so often. You’ve read every word a thousand times. You’ve struggled in the darkest hours of the night to find the right way to express the millions of thoughts that swirl in your head. You’ve been staring at those lines on a page, searching for the flaws until they’re all you see. You are so close to your work that you miss the beauty of your story in the details of commas. All you can remember are the problems, the imperfections, the wrongness. So that’s what you think all your work is.


Take a step back.

Take a breath. Close your eyes.

Go away for a while. See something else. Go outside and see the trees. Sit in silence and hear music, birds, or the people around you.

Take some time away from what you’re working on. Maybe a few minutes, a few hours, days, or weeks even. However long you need. It’ll be waiting for you when you get back. Don’t give up. Just step back and let yourself forget for a little while. Come back with a fresh mind and a brighter outlook. Read it like a story, not an editing exercise. Your words have a beauty to them that you miss when you sit so close.

Your work has merit. Your work is valuable. Your work matters.

Maybe today you want to give up. But please, don’t. Because while you see the cracks in what you’re making, we see the glorious whole. And trust me, it is beautiful. It is worth it. You are worth it.

Please, never, ever give up. 

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  1. Replies
    1. I am so glad that this found you at the right time!

  2. I can't even begin to describe how much I needed this post, this is so beautiful and helpful. <33

    1. I am so glad that you found it when you needed it, then!

  3. Thank you for this. I'm definitely feeling this lately while I'm editing Red Hood for the umpteenth time to resubmit to a publisher who wanted two things changed. I feel like I've gone down this road before and done all of this work for a publisher hoping they'd take it, then they end up not and my work feels like it's for nothing.

    1. That sounds equal parts exciting and frustrating. Hang in there. The fact that you have a publisher interested in your book and asking you to resubmit means that you're getting somewhere, no matter how long it's taking. People are interested. And when you find the right place, it's all going to be so worth it. Good luck!

  4. Beautiful post. <3 I'm editing my novel right now, and there are moments when I doubt if I've done a good enough job, or if anyone but me will love the story. I beat myself up about it some days.


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