writers / writing

#IWSG Regrets About My Writing Career? Not Even One

This post is for Alex Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writers Support Group (click the link for details on what that means and how to join. You will also find a list of bloggers signed up to the challenge that are worth checking out. The first Wednesday of every month, we all post our thoughts, fears or words of encouragement for fellow writers.

This month’s question — What’s the one thing about your writing career you regret the most? Were you able to overcome it?

The always-awesome co-hosts this month are Erika Beebe, Olga Godim, Sandra Cox, Sarah Foster, and Chemist Ken!


I sat in my new X Chair for a long time, trying to figure out what I regretted about my writing career. I finished an entire cuppa, downed my morning pills, and listened to most of Beethoven’s Ninth (well, maybe half), but came up empty. So I searched the question on DDG (the safe version of Google). Here are my responses to what the Harvard Business Review came up with as the most popular regrets people have about careers:

1. I wish I hadn’t taken the job for the money.  No writer does that!

2. I wish I had quit earlier. I occasionally wish I’d started writing earlier (I waited until my kids were in college and not so needy), but I see no last book, no too-bored-to-continue, no burn-out, no ran-out-of-ideas. Do I wish I’d started earlier? No. I was busy raising my children. All you parents out there–you know that is a 25-hour-a-day job!

3. I wish I had the confidence to start my own business. Did that, as have many Indie writers. It makes publishing our books so much easier.

4. I wish I had used my time at school more productively. Not at all. My BAs in Economics and Russian, and the MBA in Business add a depth of understanding to my stories I wouldn’t have been able to add otherwise.  

5. I wish I had acted on my career hunches. Did that! In my early 30’s, I quit a good job to be a dancer, bought a studio, got swindled out of it, and went back to traditional jobs. I don’t regret that, either. I learned a lot about people by owning a failed dance studio.

When I think back on my writing career, I can’t help but grin. To discover writing–to call myself an author–is a gift, albeit with some assembly required. No problem. I’m your girl for doing that.

I look forward to reading your ideas on this question!

#iwsg #amwriting


Here’s the sign-up link if the image above doesn’t work:


Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular prehistoric fiction saga, Man vs. Nature which explores seminal events in man’s evolution one trilogy at a time. She is also the author of the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers and Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. Her non-fiction includes over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, reviews as an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Natural Selection, Winter 2022.


127 thoughts on “#IWSG Regrets About My Writing Career? Not Even One

  1. Pingback: Top 10 Posts, Most Commented, and Tips for 2022 |

  2. Impressed with your degrees. I came close to going for a masters in Economics and took quite a few Econ classes as an undergrad… As for regrets, I do wish I would have spent more time learning how to write in college. I hated my English classes and accepted passing grades. My strength, especially in college, was in research. It still is, I think. Blessings in 2022.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I loved college. I took far too many classes every quarter, but couldn’t stand not learning everything I could. That’s interesting you are into research. I definitely see that in your sermons.


  3. HI Jacqui, I don’t think I’ve been writing long enough to have regrets. I also don’t write for money but rather for personal gratification. Dancing is not a career I would have associated with you, although I love watching dancing and can see the attraction. Terence and I went to dancing lessons for 2 years during one of my shorter term fads. The studio closed and I never looked for a new one.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A fantastic post, Jacqui! I love that you have no regrets at all about being a writer (I don’t, either, even without accomplishing this much) and that you keep sounding so incredibly positive about your career, one you thoroughly enjoy.

    I learned a few more things about you, like your knowledge of Russian and your attempt at becoming a dancer and owning a studio. The way you answered this month’s question is creative and entertaining. I’d never think about Googling an IWSG topic. Good on you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Liesbet. Once a writer, there’s no going back, is there. For example, you are a committed wanderer, adventurer, seeker, but also, you will forever more be a writer. Ship’s sailed, horses are out of the barn, sun has set–that will never change. Me too!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I agree with you, Jacqui. No regrets. Lots of people would disapprove of my choices, but it’s my life, and I’ve accepted all the ups and downs. I didn’t know you owned a dance studio! I studied classical ballet from ages 8-16. The last 3 years were gruelling with festival competitions, exams, and performance rehearsals resulting in a 7-day a week commitment. I wasn’t suited for the life.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Great answers–so glad you are writing happily and publishing! I am just writing for now, but may publish soomething again. How did you start your own business and publish your books more easily? I think your life would make a very interesting memoir–have you tried that genre?

    Liked by 2 people

    • I had a lot of books I published for my teaching business. I needed to hold them close so it made sense to start my own publishing company. Since then, I’ve liked that I can keep all of my fiction also tied to me, not free ISBNs with Amazon.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. What a journey Jacqui. The universe always takes us where we need to be, and away from where we shouldn’t go. It’s all the life lessons we learn along the way chocked up at experience. 🙂 Good for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Jacqui – boy do you have some back story/stories to draw on … amazing – so pleased to read. Congratulations to your successes so far, and many more ahead – Happy New Year and cheers! Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I admire you for not regretting anything, as everything that happened to you was either a lesson and an inspiration for a story. So many stories in your life! You’ll never run out of ideas.
    My only regret is I didn’t start writing sooner. But perhaps I wasn’t ready.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I couldn’t start writing any earlier. The last ten years of my full-time job were more than full-time, plus fighting the traffic. By the time after dinner, my brain was dead. Cancer made me retire one year earlier than I wanted. It took me many years for my brain to be active again after chemo.
    All of your points were right on, Jacqui! Everything has its timing and you were riding along nicely.

    Liked by 2 people

      • Exactly, Jacqui! I had four rounds of chemo. Had surgery after two rounds, and another surgery after two more rounds, then radiation. Not counting the surgery I had before the cancer turned from stage II to stage IV.

        After the first round of chemo, the women’s lit group thought I had all the time in the world and invited me to join the group. I didn’t tell them I couldn’t even walk still and had a couple seconds of delayed reaction.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow! I learned a lot about you! I never knew you studied Russian or that you danced. What kind of dance was it? Modern, ballet, ballroom? I studied modern and ballroom, but not to the level to teach it. And I barely speak halting Spanish.

    I already knew you wrote good books, and I’m glad to hear you have no regrets about it. 🙂


  12. No regrets is a great frame of mind! I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, but I’ve really only pursued it as a hobby. I never experienced any serious stress in terms of livelihood – something else always paid the bills. And I don’t regret that at all.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I like your no regrets approach, Jacqui. Other than just jumping into earlier and connecting locally more, I am where I want to be or where I should be at this point.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh this chair is amazing. I can spin a full circle with one tap of a foot! Yep, Russian was cool. I got to read their history from their perspective. It gave new meaning to the idea that history is written by the victor.


  14. The comments are as interesting as the post. A dancer and an MBA? Wow! Ok, that makes us half alike…the MBA half 🙂 And my mom tells me I never took advice either. I have been writing for under 10 years. Sometimes when I meet a new person and introductions take place with, I think the part that catches most people’s attention is the writer part, not the ‘work’ part that I have done for much longer.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I feel I’m where I’m supposed to be in life, and that everything happens for a reason, so no regrets.
    I learned quite a lot about you from this post, Jacqui. I had no idea you once owned a dance studio or have a degree in Russian. How cool!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Jacqui I learned more of who you are today. A dancer, how fun, me too. Although I did not own a dance studio. I have been a writer in many forms all my life. My work resume reads like war and peace. In my many jobs I wrote marketing and business development stories. So making stuff up has been part of my life. I had no idea at age sixty-five I would begin writing fiction. I found in retirement from business I had a lot of creativity to express. Writing fiction had been a big goal however, I never had the time.With my business background I have been able to use my marketing skills to promote my work. I have no regrets in any of my writing. Its like I am taking whatever I have done before and added it to the next task whatever that is. What I love is making new professional friends in the business of writing. We live solitary lives in our own world of imagination. To connect with one another and share our hard work makes my life better. No regrets, ever.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Hi, dear Jacqui,
    a lot of authors have been working as booksellers, owned bookshops, were editors, translators or taught. If you want to read about it, have a look at Martin Latham’s “The Bookseller’s Tale” (Penguin 2020) esp. chap. 12 and 13 (a book for bookish people).
    My teaching and running several bookshops didn’t interfere with my writing, actually it helped it. Especially a bookshop is a place for getting inspired. I learned so much from the customers. If you are only writing as an author you run into the problem to loose your grounding. Your stories become too narcissistic. Well, you can compensate this with lecture tours where you meet your readers. Meeting them on social media doesn’t have such an effect as readings and book signings in bookshops. The reader wants to touch you and the booksellers have to know you.
    Wishing you all the best for 2022
    Klausbernd 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    • I looked at some of the books you’ve written, Klausbernd–so much about dreams! I can only imagine how your readers would flock to meet you. I’ve never done an in-person meeting or book signing. I’m pretty shy for that. I’d come see you if you were ever in Southern California!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Derar Jacqui,
        I am retired for more than ten years because I was tired of talks, readings and book signings. I only had talks and book signings in the US in New York City, Burlington/VT and Portland/Maine because I am actually too shy for talks in English. These American events were organised by Element Publ., my agent for the US (later I changed to Barnes and Noble).
        I was invited to UC Berkeley once for a scientific talk about the grammar of symbolism but no book of mine was published in the US then.
        Keep well and happy
        Klausbernd 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  18. I regret how busyness coerced me into abandoning my writing dream. Compound that regret with thinking I could write a book readers will love without a plan. I finally learned how to overcome busyness and become a better writer. Now I have the joy of sharing what I learned with others—and that means no more regrets! Thanks Jacqui for all you do to help us become better writers.

    Liked by 3 people

  19. When it comes to my writing career I have no regrets. It would have been nice to have started earlier but like you, I was raising kids and working to pay the bills. I also had my own business for 7 years. A good learning experience.

    Liked by 2 people

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