I’ve encountered two women in real life who have said to me “I used to write”. They tried make it as a writer, but it didn't work out, so they gave up. I don't know both their ages, but one, if not both, are under 40. What exactly did they do to try and "make it"? I don't know. I didn't pry because their statements (2 separate occasions) made me sad and I also don't know them that well. What it's left me with though is wondering, if you want to write, really want to write, do you ever give up? Because I don't think I could.
I'm not young, but I'm not that old either. I have two young children, a mortgage, a full-time job and all kinds of responsibilities. Though I may not have the opportunity to spend all day, every day, writing, I do what I can, when I can. Will that amount to something in the future? I hope so, but I know there are no guarantees. Thinking about all this, the idea that someone could give up writing really makes me think, I couldn't ever. I have so many stories in my head, so many ideas, that the only way I can get them out is to write them.
Maybe I can see giving up on the idea of getting published, one too many rejection letters or something like that. But the actual writing, it could get relegated to a hobby, but it wouldn't be gone entirely. To write for yourself, or even for friends and family, that couldn't go away. Plus, what about self-publishing? Just for fun, not expecting any return, just to have your stories out there. Amazon, Smashwords, there are so many options. As much as I (and many writers) long to be with a traditional publisher, there are other options.
If it's not about publishing, what could it be about?
Did they run out of ideas? Were they discouraged? Did someone tell them they were bad at it? If I had more than one person tell me I was bad at it, well, first I would work to improve. Join a group, take a course, something to figure out where I going wrong. Maybe they didn't have that option. Maybe they did. Maybe a lot of people discouraged them and they gave up. The idea of that, makes me sad.
Maybe it is about being published and I'm thinking too deeply about this. Maybe not.
I just know that I can't think of a reason, at least not right now, as to why I would ever give up.