There comes a point in time when you want to give up. Throw in the towel. Call it quits. Something happens - you get yet another rejection, you realize that your manuscript is crap - and suddenly you're filled with the urge to just push away from the computer and announce screw it. Any other form of torture would be less agonizing than this.
The choice we make at this point is crucial. It defines us. Do we allow the disappointment and frustration to permanently affect us? Do we move on to something else, something more sane, something easier? Something that doesn't make us want to rip out our hair or curl into a ball and weep? I mean, really, what person wants to sit in front of a computer for hours, pound out a story that costs a tiny piece of our soul, send it out into the world, only to have it tossed back?
A writer. That's who.
We're a crazy group of people with limitless hope and a hunger for more. If an agent or an editor shakes their head with a thanks, but not thanks, we just come back. We fight. We write. We ignore the odds and dismiss the no's. Most of the time we only look forward. Until that point. That point that defines us.
So why do we do this? Really, it would be easier to just close the laptop and walk away, wouldn't it? It's what a normal person would do, and no one would judge us if we were to make that choice. Hey, you gave it your best shot. You tried. No one can say you didn't give it your all.
Except that our all isn't enough. You know it, and I know it. There's more hope stored away in a deep, dark corner. Past that gnarled mess of anger and sorrow is the knowledge that the journey can't end like this. We can't have come this far just to turn back. Which is why the majority of us writers sigh quietly, sit back down at the computer, place our hands on the keyboard once again, and press on. We've crawled out of the pit and we're covered in mud, still furious and hurt, but here we are. We don't know where we're going to end up or if our endings will be the way we picture them, but there's no other options. Because the idea of giving up just isn't enough.