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On Quitting

When Moving on May Be the Right Choice

Sharon Bially

It’s a familiar mantra: “We write because we must.” We write for our characters, whose voices would otherwise go unheeded, and for their journeys and destinies. Yet few would deny that we also write for ourselves.

At the intersection of these two forces lies the motivation to continue—or, I believe, the reason we quit. Just as our characters’ flaws, desires, conflicts, and inner struggles must somehow get revealed, resolved, or foiled as a story unfolds, so, too, must our own demons be confronted, our urges satisfied, our personal yearnings fulfilled through the process of bringing our stories to life. In the absence of meaningful fulfillment, frustration and discouragement take ...

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