[Blogging Mindset] Never, Ever, Ever Give Up6 min read

What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step.

C.S. Lewis

When asked how he writes so fast, Stephen King answered, “One word at a time.”

This is the kind of answer that no one believes in. And the fact that there’s an abundance of related cliches doesn’t help either.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Or something like that. The Great Wall of China was built by laying one brick after another.

It is not the mountains to conquer that make you give up, but rather the pebble in your shoe.

All cliches. Terrible, terrible cliches that we can’t help but fear and loathe at the same time.

Want to know why?

Because they are so damn true.

Fourteen years ago, when I first started writing, I was sure writing was easy. You should have seen me, getting so excited about my first idea, working day and night on my story.

I knew for sure that I’d be rich and famous and they’d be making movies after my stories in no time, and I’d become the youngest writer to ever receive a Nobel Prize, and they’d maybe even give me an Academy Award for writing the best original screenplay…

I never got to finish writing my first novel. As a matter of fact, tens of pages of that story somehow got lost, never to be recovered.

The first story I did finish, I posted it on an Internet forum, and people hated it. Not even one person had something nice to say about it. Some guy said I was either fourteen years old or a retard.

Probably I was both.

Maybe there are but two requirements to being successful in life:

  • You’re either brave enough to do what needs to be done.
  • You’re so dumb that you have not idea what you’re getting yourself into.

But did I quit writing?

Of course not.

I kept writing. One word at a time.

First novel I self-published? Sold two copies of the paperback and two copies of the e-book. It received two reviews, one of which was from a guy who had only bothered to read the blurb.

First blog I started? I quit after three posts and no feedback whatsoever.

I quit writing after this. Not enjoying the success I had expected broke my heart in two.

But during the following months I realized something:

Giving up doesn’t hurt that much. What really, really hurts is to wish on a daily basis that you hadn’t given up. 

Every single night I’d struggle to fall asleep. All these ideas would still come to me, begging to be given life, begging to be written down.

What happens when you don’t give up.

In April 2012, I got angry. I was sick and tired of it all: of being lazy, of feeling weak, of always giving up when things were hard, of feeling sick and tired and not doing anything about it.

Here’s what makes the difference between people: some folks get punched in the face once, and they decide they never again want to get punched, while others are willing to get punched over and over again. Some are so crazy they even smile when they get punched, as if urging life to hit them as hard as it can, for there will come a time when they won’t even feel those punches.

I decided to give blogging another try. To write and self-publish stories and novels. And to never, ever, ever give up. No matter what.

And I meant it. I swore that I’d much rather starve to death and die writing words that no one even bothered to skim through than live a dreamless life, to wallow in self-pity and regret and this lethargy of feeling tired, barely awake to notice what was right in front of me.

I promised myself to never give up, and it may sound easy, but it wasn’t.

Only I know the things I had to eat (or don’t eat), and how I spent 15-16 hours a day working, and the resentment I felt whenever I couldn’t manage to sell a book or product or when I’d pour my heart and soul into a certain blog post only to get a few likes and some generic comments.

The road to success is paved with anger, bitterness, being told “no” over and over again, failure, petty frustrations, the endless grind, more failure, the mind-numbing, graceless task of becoming great, even more failure, pain, all forming a river of blood, sweat, and tears, and then having to swim across it.

From a post I wrote some time ago

Count on it taking longer and it being more difficult than your worst estimates.

Eight years. That’s how long it took for me to earn my first money from my writing.

How much?

$1.05. Before taxes.

My first month blogging? I barely got 500 visitors in total.

Blogging is not easy, and I am not in the business of telling you that it is or making you believe that all you need are some tools. You can have all the tools you need, but if you do not know how to use them, or if you do not want to use them, or don’t feel like it, or you’re too tired, too stressed, too angry, too lonely to use them, it’s as if you never even had them in the first place.

Most bloggers quit when they realize how difficult it is.

When you feel like giving up, think of the fact that that’s when most folks quit. Do you want to be like them or do you want to succeed?

Do you want your words to mean something to someone? Act like it. Punch the damn keys. Stop complaining that it is hard and do the work.

One word after another. One day after another.

Focus on the struggle, not the victory.

It’s essential to have goals, and big ones, but it is also important to never focus too much on them.

Like I previously said, my dream was to become the youngest writer ever to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Now, if you are writing a blog that barely gets five likes (on a good day) and your self-published stories sell about one copy every ten or so days, then you might be inclined to give up.

After all… there’s this huge gap between who you are and who you want to be, an impossible distance between where you are and where you want to go.

Why even bother?

Besides, it’s difficult. It is painful. This is some sort of suffering that you’d be insane to want in your life.

One day at a time, my friend. Day after day after day.

Focus on the struggle. Focus on doing a bit today, a bit tomorrow. One word after another after another is power. Trust me. Write a few words in the right order, and those words can nudge the world a bit.

Do a bit of blogging every single day. Write, edit, read other blogs, take part in interesting conversations on other people’s blogs, use social media, listen to podcasts, watch documentaries, movies, TV shows. Feed your brain with as much information as possible.

It doesn’t sound like magic, I know.

It’s not The Definitive, Incredibly Short, Easy-To-Follow, No-Bullshit Guide to BloggingI know.

And I know this whole word by word, day by day, brick by brick principle sounds boring, stupid, basic, but it’s the truth.

After all, brick by brick is how they built the Great Wall of China, and you can see that damn thing from freaking space.

Cristian Mihai

Cristian Mihai (born 25 December 1990) grew up in Constanta, Romania. And he’s still growing up, or at least trying to. Sometimes he writes. Sometimes he gets lucky and writes something good. His favorite painting is “Wanderer above the Sea of Fog” by Caspar David Friedrich. He can’t, however, draw a straight line. No matter how much he tries. Not even with a ruler. And, please, don’t ever ask him to sing.

272 thoughts on “[Blogging Mindset] Never, Ever, Ever Give Up6 min read

    1. I am glad that you enjoyed reading this post. I am glad that maybe it gave you a bit of a push in the right direction. Keep punching those damn keys and never, ever, ever give up.

  1. I am so glad I read this when I did. Giving up is the one thing you may never forgive yourself for. When you have a passion and a drive that you can’t shake, and when you don’t exercise that drive or develop it, you are selling yourself and the world short. I love how Mother Teresa put it:
    “…What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight;
    Create anyway.
    Give the best you have, and it may never be enough;
    Give your best anyway.
    In the final analysis, it is between you and God;
    It was never between you and them anyway.”

  2. Reblogged this on and commented:
    This is a beautifully written piece that deserves more than just a repost, more so a standing ovation!

  3. Thank you for such a motivating content. I didn’t even receive a like from any of my blog post even they’ve already reached 44 blog articles now. But still, I continue what I love doing: writing and blogging.

    My website is only one year old now but I’m already earning from it and was already awarded Best Events Blog of 2019.

    Don’t just ever give up. Success is not done overnight, not even in a year or so. Just continue reaching your dreams until you see them coming true.

  4. Brilliant Stuff!!! Blogging is so much about the mindset we carry, you have subtly touched the heart of the matter. It is not about the topic we choose and the content we dwell, the marketing that we do and the interaction we have with this wonderful platform. These are pure mechanics but there is that spirit that makes the soul of blogging to flourish and we need to be cognizant of it. These are fragmented residues of the relationship we nurture with blogging. And that the connection has its root in the mind and the way we set ourselves to grow with this virtual body of thought. No amount of teaching and training can help unless we spend time and that too good amount of time in building that elusive mindset and then nurturing that special relationship.

    Yes, given the quantum effort needed to sustain and the constant churning that get demanded to keep creating, creativity is at the core of the content…never easy to keep going and most of us after making that initial enthused effort tend to give up and many have given up, who otherwise, would have been the star performers and they had everything, and were even better than many of their contemporary successful bloggers. Just that they couldn’t convince their mind to keep going and console their heart they are are doing a good job and to taste the recipe of success they have the right blend of ingredients and the right amount of heat – now they need to keep stirring and have the patience for the dish to get soaked with spices and cooked well. Indeed this is powerful, a food for thought for all bloggers who are at that phase of their journey where they are lost, and the key to unlocking the treasure trove of blogging is keep trying new things and keep going…

    There is no standard formula though there are certain factors that strongly contribute to the story of success but the same factors for some others simply don’t work. There are layers within layers, there are substrate to the stories of success, there are different set of combination to framing that complex equation, and there are different approaches to solve it…we learn our way and we learn as we go long the journey, and we all chart our own course, just that we need to keep going. And it is so much about the growth mindset that we need to incubate and nurture.

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