Should you keep going?
George Saunders: Try to quit. See if you can. Either way, you'll get your answer.
I often describe comedy as a calling. You should do it because you have to do it. And if there’s something else that satisfies you, well, go for it – it’ll probably make your life way easier.
Author George Saunders offers similar advice: If you can quit, you probably should. And if you can’t, well, that’s an answer too.
One last thought: whenever anyone approaches me with any sort of “should I keep going?” query, I’m reminded of that old story about Flannery O’Connor. Someone asked her if she thought creative writing programs discouraged young writers and she said, basically, “Not enough of them.” This always gets big laughs when I use it at events, and it’s a little snarky, but there’s a certain rough truth in it. We know that writing, or any art form, takes insane, almost dysfunctional, amounts time and effort. So, this is a decent gut-check for all of us, from time to time, especially given how many other wonderful things there are to do in our very brief time down here on Earth: try to quit, see if you can. That is, see how it is for you.
If you quit for a while, and something else arises to fill the void, and that thing is fun and positive and you’re happier like that, and there’s nothing pulling you back to the writing table – that’s an answer, I’d say.
Conversely, if the quitting doesn’t sit well, and you find yourself drawn back….that’s an answer too.
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