I Almost Quit - The Doug Neill Show - Episode #31

I Almost Quit

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How a period of transition (and stress) had me thinking about quitting this show, and why I decided not to.

The Doug Neill Show: Episode #31

Recorded on July 31st, 2019

You can browse all episodes here.


  • 0:35 – Let’s talk about quitting! In any creative career, the thought will inevitably cross your mind, so let’s explore it.
  • 2:01 – What’s been going on for me that had me consider pausing or quitting the show: a period of transition (and at times stress) at Verbal to Visual.
  • 3:32 – The first of two primary stressors that have made me think about quitting: fluctuation in income, with the short-term or long-term financial stress that comes along with it.
  • 5:04 – The Elizabeth Gilbert quote about day jobs from Big Magic: “I held onto those other sources of income for so long because I never wanted to burden my writing with the responsibility of paying for my life. I knew better than to ask this of my writing because over the years I have watched so many other people murder their creativity by demanding that their art pay the bills.”
  • 7:27 – The second stressor: overcommitting my time – stressing about getting everything done that I want to get done.
  • 9:48 – The question that I ask myself when I consider quitting something: “Will I regret quitting in 1 year? In 5 years? In 10 years?” If the answer to any of those is “yes”, then I keep going.
  • 11:22 – The follow up questions. If “no, I won’t regret quitting,” then you have to ask yourself “how can I quit this thing responsibly, preferably without burning any bridges?” If “yes, I will regret quitting,” then it’s “what do I need to change to make continued work on this project more sustainable?”
  • 13:08 – A few tweaks to this show to keep it sustainable for me: 1) giving myself the permission to take a week off from this show if things get crazy elsewhere; 2) removing (for now) a long-term project that I’ve been talking about for months – An Illustrated Guide to Building a Sustainable Creative Career.
  • 16:10 – What I’m going to keep making: this show, along with the sketchnote summaries and visual templates and bonus monthly episodes for Patrons!
  • 17:22 – Now in a good place to keep this show going while also continuing to build the foundation of my work (and economic engine) at Verbal to Visual – the day job that helps me not murder my other creative projects.
  • 18:52 – If you’re going through similar (and maybe even additional) stressors, I hope the questions I explore and process I outlined is helpful.
  • 19:49 – Wrapping it up for the week.

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Thanks for listening, and talk with you again next week!