Like A Girl

Pushing the conversation on gender equality.

Code Like A Girl

It’s Ok to Want to Give Up, Sometimes.

Photo by Emily Morter on Unsplash

It’s what you do after that matters.

Writing is easy and it’s hard too.

Anyone who writes on Medium knows this. Anyone who pitches ideas and writes for other platforms knows this as well.

Some days you work on a post and it doesn’t always get the views or fans that you’d like it to. It sucks even more when you know that you spent extra time self editing, asking a friend to look over your drafts, and finding an eye-catching image.

It also sucks when you try to send a follow-up email to an editor and don’t get a response for months. It hurts when a story is killed, or when you don’t get a job after carefully crafting a cover letter and essays and articles for an edit test.

So it’s ok to give up sometimes. For a week or two.

It’s ok to want to give up while you work on a job that you aren’t passionate about. It’s ok to take on articles you don’t really like in order to pay your bills as a freelancer and to strategically get into a project or publication that you’ve been eyeing for months. It’s ok to take a pause on the software that you’re learning when it becomes impossible to figure out, regardless of how many YouTube videos you watch, or how many forums you browse.

What I’ve learned through all that is … it’s ok to give up.

You can give up for a few hours, or a few days, or even a full week. Pace around your house. Go for long walks and look off into your future like the protagonist in a rom com and try to think happy thoughts.

But when that “mourning” period is over, get back at it. Sit down at your work station, open up your drafts or code or audio project, and keep working.

Last month, I was editing a complicated podcast episode for a client. I was so tired trying to juggle everything, the brain fog was causing me to make a lot of careless errors. I let myself give up on doing anything for an hour. I went for a walk and refused to think about anything software or audio editing related.

I came back, sat down, and handed in the assignment on time.

It reminded me of the first time I opened Pro Tools to learn how to edit audio. I didn’t know what anything was or how to use it. I didn’t know how to finish a project, how to make new tracks, or anything really.

The first semester of graduate school was like that. I had to figure out new things like CSS and video editing and how to work equipment I had no access to in the past.

I temporarily gave up a lot of times.

But then I’d try again and keep working on my assignments. It took so many YouTube tutorials and so many drafts of everything from writing to video interviews to get it all just right.

Figuring out freelance assignments isn’t meant to be easy. So if you need to give up and come back to your work it’s ok. It’s worth it for the challenge and the invoice doesn’t hurt either.

It doesn’t make you a bad online creator to want to give up sometimes. You’re not a bad freelancer if you don’t want to keep going with a crazy assignment. You only fail when you give up all the time, and you fail when you give up indefinitely. You’re only a bad creator when you don’t make failure and giving up a lesson for future work.

So keep writing, keep editing, and keep coding. The world is made up of ideas. Who knows what you’ll come up with if you keep trying.

That site isn’t going to make itself. That article or blog post isn’t going to figure itself out. It needs your ideas and your skills. Take a pause if you need to, but don’t give up forever.