Giving up

by Pari

I know I’m not supposed to admit it, but sometimes I feel like throwing in the towel. Most of the time, I have this fierce belief that I’ll be able to “make it” someday. But it’s those other times, the downhearted ones, that knock the air out of my lungs. That’s when I realize that if success is in the eye of the beholder, my eyes feel like they’re wide open in a sand storm.

My up-down measures of “making it” vary. When I think of it in financial terms such as: Can I make enough money to pay for my children’s education through college? It seems daunting. Other times I tell myself I know I will have succeeded if I make the jump to a respected NYC publisher, win a recognized mystery award, have one of my books optioned, or meet someone who really understands the themes in my works or . . . or . . . .

Yes. There are many moments of happy victory. There are also many of sheer discouragement.

The impetus that throws me into quiet exasperation or frustration isn’t always obvious. It can be as simple as a really unproductive writing session. It can be as complicated as a bracing analysis of the impact of early business decisions in my career and their future ramifications. It can be a bad review. It can be envy, jealousy or even an unearned sense of superiority.

No matter the cause, these times of self-questioning and doubt are corrosive. They eat at my resolve, my determination to continue.

Last week, I found myself thinking too frequently about life without writing toward publication. Should I just go out and get some shit job to start bringing in more money for our family? Would I be happier? Would I even write my fiction without a goal of selling it?

While I wallowed in the muck of these questions, I also began to think of writers I’ve enjoyed who did just what I was considering. There is Stephen Greenleaf. I’ve read every one of his books, grateful for his gorgeous prose and plotting. I don’t think he’s writing anymore. Deborah Donnelly had a wedding planner series that was both intelligent and great fun, but she hasn’t put out a book in years. Lee Killough’s paranormal fantasy/mystery works are beautiful psychological analyses of ordinary people thrust into extraordinary circumstances. Is she writing anymore?

I’m sure there are many other novelists who’ve stopped due to exhaustion, disappointment, spent dreams.

When I pause and look at my future, I can’t truly imagine quitting yet. Without being romantic, writing fiction is a creative endeavor that requires heart and dedication. To give up that focus—at least with the written word—seems to me to be a very empty proposition.

But some days, some weeks, the temptation becomes frighteningly attractive.

Writers: How about you? Have you ever felt discouraged? What brought on the feeling? What helped it pass?

Readers: Do you miss any writers who are still alive but who’ve thrown in that towel?


54 thoughts on “Giving up

  1. Publication or bust!

    Oh, Pari, don’t give up. Where do you think we unpublished writers get our inspiration from? More positivity, please. 🙂

  2. Karen in Ohio

    Pari, some writers stop writing because they told all the stories they had in them. That’s all. It’s not just because they threw in the towel. They said what they wanted to say, and trying to do more would be wringing the towel after it was already dry.

    I wonder how many writers actually make a living from writing.

  3. billie

    I get discouraged sometimes – more about the publication piece than the writing part, and like you mentioned, I wonder if the desire to publish pushes the writing more than I realize. I *think* I’d keep writing, but I can’t say with total surety that I would, since I’ve never quite given up the idea of getting the work out there.

    For me, it’s usually the parts of the process I can’t control (agents, editors, deals, contracts) that provoke a bout of discouragement. It’s always the writing that brings me back.

    I know one thing that helps me dig out of the rough spots is to remind myself that I don’t need to "make it big" with writing to have a fulfilling life. Getting a major deal wouldn’t change much for me – I’d still see clients, would still be here doing barn chores and living with horses and homeschooling kids, and I’m sure I’d use the money to buy more land which would anchor me even more to home.

    I have been fortunate in that both agents I’ve worked with have said "keep writing – it’s just a matter of time until one hits."

    Having a few people who know your writing well, love it, and believe in it goes a long way.

    I know you have these people in your life.

    I’m on the list of those who hope you keep going. Sasha is one of those wonderful characters who has settled into my consciousness – she is so well drawn it’s like she’s someone I met awhile back and think of regularly. I am looking forward to the next main character you create!

  4. PK the Bookeemonster

    Off the top of my head this morning I miss….
    Janet Dawson
    Mary Wilson Walker
    Daniel Hecht
    Donald Harstad
    Sparkle Hayter
    Lauren Henderson
    Martha Lawrence
    ….so many more…
    which why one must be diligent to find new authors, maintain the good ones still writing.

  5. Pari

    Dear Publication . . .
    I’m not giving up, just giving voice to something many of us don’t usually talk about. It’s not smart marketing to say you’ve got doubts or feel discouraged, but I think it’s part of the writing life — at least the published writing life.

    So, it’s not a question of negativity; it’s a question of honesty IMHO.

    I know there ARE writers who never think about these things . . . but I do.

  6. Pari

    You’ve absolutely right. I’m thinking of Harper Lee.
    I’m not in that category.

    As to making a living with our writing, I don’t know the stats. I do know they’re not encouraging and that they seem to be getting worse — more well-known authors have the blockbusters and more "midlisters" find they have little to no support from publishers. That’s why a couple of the writers I know have quit. It wasn’t for want of creativity, but more because they just felt the energy it take to create and get published didn’t receive the recompense they deserved.

  7. Pari

    I think you hit it with the externals. Those are often the things that make me pause. I do fine when I’m in a phase where the writing is all.

    As to hitting it big, I have friends who’ve done that too and not all of them are happy go-lucky. Some feel more pressure to "be creative" than ever before and I think it must be like going to the bathroom in front of somebody else — that often doesn’t work. <g>.

    As to giving up, I think about it but I hope people realize from the end of my post that I’m not going to yet . . . probably not for a long time. I fall in love with many of the characters I create. I hope that Darnda can find a publisher because I think she’s even more compelling and multi-layered than Sasha. And I’m not going to abandon Sasha, though I don’t know if she’ll ever make it into her own book again . . .

  8. Sylvia

    I for one wish the mother-daughter team known as PJ Tracy would get another book out.

    Frustration, especially financial frustration, is one of the worst. It’s grating and riddled with interest and penalties.

    As for throwing in the towel, um … sweetie, then you’d just have to buy a new one!

  9. Brett Battes

    I remember wondering if it was all worth it several times as I spent years trying to sell my stories, but finding no buyers. But every time I started to lean toward quitting my writing gene would kick in and I’d take up a new story, or I’d get an internal kick in the ass that said "you’re not going to let rejection stop you." It’s tough. Really tough. But I decided long ago that if I’m going to be a writer, I have to write whether I ever sold anything or not. That’s why I wrote four novels before I sold my first, and why I would have written another four on spec (and more) if I hadn’t sold that one.

  10. Pari

    I do think you know what I’m talking about . . .

    Well, I’m still here too. Let’s make a pact to stick it out together.

  11. Pari

    Yeah. Where is that wonderful co-authorship couple PJ Tracy?

    You’re right about the finances; they certainly do cause an insidious worry.
    As for the towel, yep, you’re right there too.

  12. Pari

    It’s that steel that keeps us going, that inner voice that doesn’t let us give in. I think part of it is that we expect the writing life to get easier if we somehow get published. One of the most difficult things I learned was that there were no guarantees in this profession.

    I’ve seen writers with dozens of books — all of which did well — dropped by their publishers because they’re not blockbusters. I wonder how they keep going?

  13. tess gerritsen

    such a brave and honest post. I think most of us have thought of giving up at some time in our careers. I know I have. It seems that the key to survival in this business is sheer persistence, even through the bad times. And also to keep reminding ourselves that telling stories is something we want to do, whether or not we sell.

  14. Louise Ure

    I admire your honesty here, Pari. I, too, have had those "should I quit" moments. And you know what, it wouldn’t feel bad to do it. But I still sit down at the desk everyday. Hell, I do a lot of things during the day that aren’t fun sometimes.

    As for what constitutes success? It isn’t getting published. It isn’t that big NYC publisher. It isn’t the award. It isn’t the next contract. No matter what you succeed at, you’ll worry about making it to the next rung.

  15. Pari

    Thank you.

    I sometimes feel the pressure to be upbeat all the time, to do the rah-rah-rah thing. But to me, it’s important to be honest.

    Your point about telling stories is a good one. Sometimes I get caught up in everything but that basic truth, the real reason I write.

  16. Kristen

    Pari, you’re definitely not alone in this. I go through periods of feeling discouraged or disenchanted with the writing life. I think most writers hit that point at one time or another. I haven’t met a writer yet who hasn’t felt that way at least once.

    One thing that helped me get through some very discouraging times was a book called "Writing From the Inside Out" by Dennis Palumbo. He does a wonderful job of exploring all the reasons writers experience fear and doubt.

    Another thing I’ve found helpful — and something you have here at the Murderati site — is the support and encouragement from other writers as we all make this journey together.

  17. JT Ellison

    I’m always interested in hearing how writers define success. I personally think it’s being happy with yourself, not necessarily striving to win awards or make the list or make a living. I’ve always seen you as a big success, Pari. You’ve been nominated for two incredibly prestigious awards for your writing, and another for our blog. You’ve been out in hardcover from day one. You’ve gotten excellent reviews. You’ve had opportunities other authors only dream about.

    But this industry IS fickle, and sometimes, sometimes, you have to stop worrying about "success" and write something new, from your heart, something different. When you’re writing for yourself, not for the audience, not for the editors, not for the publishers and agents, that can break you free into another level, if that’s where your heart’s desire lies.

    My only worry as a writer is entertaining my reader. I let the rest care of itself. But that’s me. I know we’re all very different creatures. I find if I start thinking about anything else, it can be crippling, so I just don’t do it.

    Hang in there. You’re too good to give up now.

  18. Stephen Jay Schwartz

    Wow. There’s so much going on in your post and in all the comments.
    I think the greatest motivating factor to succeed in writing is to dump the day job. I’m so tired of putting forty hours a week into something that doesn’t shake the foundation of my life. I want every moment of my life to be creative. When I was younger I wrote a project for a film producer who said that he loved working with writers who had day jobs, because they would work like rabid dogs. They would stay up all night writing, go to their day jobs, then stay up all night writing again. Why? To get that chance at freedom. I’ve spent most of my life as that kind of writer and, at this moment, I still am. I cannot wait until the day that my writing supports me and my family. I’ll gladly give up the house and the car. I do love writing and everything about the writing process, but I think I’m ready to do it full-time now. Ya hear that, universe?

  19. Pari

    Thank you so much for the book rec. I’ll read it for sure.

    And you’re right about community. It makes a tremendous difference. I do have some people I can trust with my innermost doubts AND joys. What a blessing.

  20. Pari

    Thank you, JT.

    I think you’ve hit on something important with the comment about writing for the reader and oneself. Everything else is a distraction that can, indeed, be crippling.

  21. Pari

    I hope your wish comes true sooner than not!

    I sometimes wonder if "having a day job" would distract me so much that I wouldn’t worry about being a success with my fiction. If I only had it as an escape, I might relish that freedom far more?

    Who knows?

    I love being able to write when I want to. And having the kids home for the summer means that I can spend beautiful time with them on my terms instead of waiting for some boss to tell me I can take the day off.

  22. Chris Hamilton

    Every single thing you do that extends you will cause you doubt. Every single thing you do that isn’t so easy that you’re assured success will cause you doubt. The only great things in life are the things that are, at some point or other, in doubt of happening.

    I’m not published (yet), but the book I’m working on is about my third total rewrite of the sequel to the one I’m trying to get published, which I rewrote probably ten times. (Not revised…rewrote.) And the current rewrite of the sequel isn’t fit to put on toilet paper (But it shows a lot of promise, he said hopefully.).

    You’d think I could get it right without having to rip it out and start over again. And again. And again. Not only that, but the genre is among those shrinking most quickly in terms of sales.

    What the hell am I doing?

    If nothing else, I am doing something that brings me a lot more joy than anything I’ve ever done for money. But what a waste of time if I suck at it.

  23. Zoë Sharp

    Oh Pari, I just want to give you a big hug!

    We all of us have our towel-chucking days – even weeks or months – sometimes. What it boils down to is, why do you write? Or, more specifically, why did you start writing? If you did it to make money, there are plenty of easier ways. If you did it to fulfil a creative urge that just would not be contained, then focusing back on that is the path to happiness. I seem to remember Neil Nyren saying something along these lines when he last guested on these pages. You have to ask yourself, what would make me happy, or will the grass always be greener on the other side of the fence? OK, so sometimes a BIT of grass on this side would be nice, but you know what I mean …

    A couple of years ago, I hit a particular low point and was more than ready to quit, but the reality of a future stretching away in front of me without writing, scared me. So I took steps to reduce my stress, to take a more positive view. That doesn’t mean the wranglings of the industry don’t annoy me to death sometimes, but Tess is absolutely right – persistence is everything. You’ve got to believe in your talent and keep plugging away.

    I do realise, also, that I’m one of the lucky ones. I gave up my dead-end day-job in 1988 on the strength of one published article, and announced to my Other Half I was going to make a living from freelance writing. That gradually segued into freelance photography. I still work as a photographer, although I long since gave up writing non-fiction to concentrate on fiction instead. My Other Half now writes non-fiction and I illustrate his work for him. Words and pictures, of one form or another, are our only source of income.

    Now, I love my day-job. It’s exciting, it’s constantly different, it’s taken me to different countries, and it brings me into contact with some weird and wonderful people. I don’t really foresee a time when I give it up completely. But, twenty-one years ago, I had a day-job I hated and I have engineered my life to this point.

    If writing is killing you because you’re pinning so much on it, find a way to take the pressure off, or it will knock all those creative urges right out of you.


  24. Pari

    Wow, Chris.

    Just wow.

    I bow in the face of your determination.

    You are so right about the fact that those things that cause you doubt are often the ones that stretch you the most.

    I hope you get published soon and taste this part of the process/life in a writer. You certainly have worked hard enough for it (by any measure).

  25. Pari

    Beautiful advice, Zoe.

    I think you’re on to something re how much I’m pinning on the writing without focusing on the pleasure, the joy of it which IS why I started it so long ago.

    Time for some reframing.

  26. Judy Wirzberger

    Writing is being in love. We do dumb things for love. We look back at ourselves and wonder how we could have ever been that dumb. But then we fall in love again. This time, we are a little older and wiser and our dumb things are maybe not quite as dumb. And so our love life progresses. We stumble, regain our balance. We fall, regain our footing. The highs are magnificent and the lows barely bearable. But we have passion and life without passion is worthless.

    Hope soars on eagle’s wings; fulfilling love is just a breeze away.

    (Note on PJTracy – You recall the daughter went to live near the mother. My suspicion. Someone was ill. Someone got better. Their next book appears next spring…or so I’ve heard).

  27. toni mcgee causey

    A happy writer. Kinda like unicorns, huh? Not seen often in the wild, approach with care.

    I don’t know many writers who aren’t driven by something–darkness, angst, desire to communicate. [It is rarely desire for money alone that infuses us with the ability to manage the long haul. Or fame. Money and fame are far more easily had in other fields, especially with the hours writers are willing to put in.] It takes being driven to get through the project. It takes being driven to revise, rewrite, rethink, rework, submit, revise, resubmit, start new. People who aren’t driven do not finish. They may be blessed with less second guessing about their lives, they may find other things rewarding enough to balance the desire. If they didn’t find other things, they’d be driven, instead, to finish.

    The problem with that, of course, is there’s no safe place to tuck that drive away. There is a certain amount of ego there–those who finish something and submit it for publication would like it to reach the widest possible audience. It’s a naked need we all try to disguise with pretty clothes and words that hedge and the desire not to look too hungry–we reel that in, but it doesn’t mean that hunger’s not writhing beneath the surface. We go from being Gods over our worlds to having no ability to control the outcome of who sees that world, from ego to self-effacing. Who wouldn’t suffer doubts in the face of that dichotomy?

    How paranoid of a world have we created (or been forced into) where we are required/encouraged to self-promote and yet, blatant self-promotion reeks? To enter into any kind of commercial endeavor in *any* other field, one would expect to be able to be proud of one’s accomplishments and tout them. Hell, anyone who’s ever written a resume has had this battle, but at least that’s one on one, applicant to employer. Writers have hundred, and if we’re lucky, thousands of potential employers. But we shy away from that, for lots of good reasons, truly, but at the same time, we’re living the paradox of conflict of personal literary desire vs. commercial need for success in order to be able to continue with the personal literary desire.

    Here’s what I know to be true: you can’t measure success in your own life with someone else’s yardstick. Not a single other person will die your death, in your shoes. Are you living the life you want to live? Are you spending your time on what brings you joy? That is the only thing we can control. Maybe, if the world smiles on us and we get very very lucky, more financial success follows and we can do more of what brings us joy, or help our families or shore up the future. We have no more control over that than we do whether or not someone plows through a redlight into our car. We can’t drive the other car. We can only drive the car we’re in.

    [who may have been reading a little too much philosophy lately]

  28. Rob Gregory Browne

    Pari, this post hit the mark for me right now. I’m between contracts at the moment and wondering if this economy will kill me as it has so many others, and have begun to ask myself if I’d be happy simply writing for writing’s sake, or would I even write at all if I wasn’t under contract.

    The fear is probably irrational at this point, but I remember feeling this way the last time I was in limbo, so I have no choice but to wait by the inbox and wonder.

    I have no real reason to feel this way. I actually have some good news I’m waiting to announce, but like most of us here, I’m a slave to insecurity. But then insecurity and creativity seem to go hand in hand.

  29. Rob Gregory Browne

    P.S. One of the most depressing things in the world for me is to look at the hundreds of books I have on my bookshelves and see names of authors whose work I really enjoyed, who had several books published over a short period of time, only to disappear from the scene altogether.

    Did they burn out? Did they fail to get new contacts? Are they writing under pen names? Did they die?

    None of these is a comforting notion.

  30. Dana King

    I give up writing much the same way Mark Twain gave up smoking: in my case, it’s about twice a week. My idea of success is to be able to make a living at it, so I can consider giving up every day. Damned frustrating way to spend one’s limited time on earth.

  31. Tom

    To be blunt, I’ve been trying to quit. It isn’t working. They psychic and physical fallout are horrendous. You don’t want it, believe me.

    You will find a way to balance the conference work, the writing, the family and the cello.

    Funny that you’ve taken up the Queen Of The Orchestra as your instrument. She’s a major element of the book I haven’t been able to quit.

  32. Bobbie

    Maybe we just need to stop revising our goals upward. I wanted to finish a book. I finished the first draft and cried because I was just so darned proud of myself for finally doing what I’ve been swearing I’d do since I was 12. And I’ve continued to write, sure, hoping for publication and working toward it, but when I start to get discouraged, I look back instead of ahead: I finished it! I did it! I kept my promise to myself.

    We raise our children to be proud of a game well played even if not won. We tell them, "You stuck in there for every single inning." We ask them, "Well did you try your best?" And when they say yes, we say, "Then that’s enough. Good for you." But we forget to applaud our own accomplishments, even if they’re not as grand as we want them to be each time. Few people out there–writers, musicians, or "even" professors and doctors–are exactly where they’d like to be. But when they were kids and dreamed of what they *wanted* to be, they didn’t qualify that dream by saying, "I want to hit the bestseller list at least a dozen times. I want to go platinum in the first month. I want to get tenure after 4 years. I want to be a world-renowned surgeon." Yes, we grow up and realize we need to fill in a lot of blanks we left empty when planning our futures, but I still believe we also need to embrace every small success, allowing ourselves our moments of discouragement, but also allowing ourselves an occasional "well done."

  33. Pari

    Oh, hell yes, Toni!

    One of the glorious things about writing a post like this, baring more than I’m usually comfortable baring, is that I get responses like yours — and others today — that help me frame it well and get back to the reasons I really write.

    Thank you for that "Philosophical" treatise. It helped.

  34. Pari

    Boy, Rob, I hear you.

    The whole "economy" thing is an incredible black hole, isn’t it? I want my agent to love my new book and sell the heck out of it and yet I get all insecure (I know that’s familiar) thinking that even if it’s great the market doesn’t need another book.

    Of course that’s bull. But it’s so easy to fall into.

    And I know what you mean about all those books on your shelves from authors who aren’t writing now. NO. None of the reasons you listed are comforting.

  35. Pari

    It’s true.

    The origin of this post was a discussion with my husband, one of those that begins with "I’m not going to tell you not to write . . ." I wanted to slug him.

    Money. Fame. Creativity. Can they ever go hand-in-hand w/o suffering?

  36. Pari

    I know.

    When I don’t write, even for a few days, I’m just not a nice person at all. So I’m not sure that quitting would do anything but make me and my family miserable.

    And I’m not so concerned about balance right now. Really. It’s more the act of writing, of trying to harness the creativity and turn it into something more than creativity for its own sake.

  37. Pari

    That is so damn beautiful it made me teary. You’re absolutely right, you know. Every single day I say something incredibly encouraging to my children.

    Why don’t I do the same thing for my writing career? Sheesh. Talk about dysfunctional.

    Thank you.

  38. Pari

    re: the cello
    I’ve had two lessons so far. It’s amazing to start something totally new. As adults, we just don’t do that very often.

    And even though I’m only playing open strings and harmonics I’m encouraging myself tremendously.

    Maybe I can take some of those good vibes and translate them back to writing?

  39. Alexandra Sokoloff

    The only reason I don’t think of giving up is that by now I have no idea what I would do instead. This is what I know. I get confused and surly when I’m not writing. I have to make a living and this is how I know to do it. I’ve always made it work.

    Feast or famine. It’s always a rollercoaster. Remember that creativity tends to be bipolar and we ALL have troughs – it’s the nature of creativity.

    Did I mention I’m moving? I may kill people by the end of this.

  40. Tom

    Yeah, the cello. One good down bow, and the cello can open up your heart and make it say, "AAhhhhhhhhhhh."

    Pure love, again, no marriages of state or convenience or necessity.

    You can write from that place, I’ll bet.

  41. Pari

    I had no idea you’re moving. Ooof.

    And like you, I need to write. However, unlike you, I’ve not made it work financially yet. That’s what tomorrow is for, I guess.

  42. Pari

    It’s funny, Tom. I know what you’re talking about and I’ve only been at it for, what? Fourteen days? Not even.

    I find myself wanted to experiment, to play with sound. That’s exactly what I need to get back to with my writing. If I can let myself feel free again, I think the melody of delight will return and all those cares and NOs will stop screaming for attention.

  43. Chris Hamilton

    Then, when all else fails, there’s always the "Screw you, you aren’t beating me" approach. Only lately I’ve been using another verb. Screw is nicer than the nay-saying accuser in me deserves. It’s masqueraded as the voice of reason for more of my life, but it is a liar and an evil son of a bitch and it deserves every ounce of contempt I can muster.

  44. Bryon Quertermous

    I have nothing new to add to this discussion, but I know I can write a comment and not feel bad about it’s quality afterward.

    Like Chris I spent many, many years writing, rewriting, stripping apart and totally reworking three different first person PI novels. I could see I was getting better but kept hitting the same walls and seeing the same fatal flaws pop up. I tried two more of the same type that failed after 60k each and then went through a really ugly time of not being able to finish anything and was so ready to give it all up. But then I had a baby and I was determined more out of pure spite than anything else, to finish something after the baby was born. So I did and it had all of the same problems as every other book like it I wrote and was pretty depressed about the whole thing.

    Then I went to LOVE IS MURDER this year and was whining about the whole thing to dear JT Ellison. I was telling her how I couldn’t work up the enthusiasm to pitch the book because I hated it so much and was bored by it. I told her about this book I really wanted to write and she verbally smacked me upside the head and told me to write the damn thing. So I did.

    Five months later I’m 200 pages into it and revitalized creatively. This book has opened up something new in me that triggered all of those feelings that made me want to start writing in the first place. But god it’s still a struggle. I’m hitting another wall with this book (not as bad as the others). When it comes down to it though, it’s the only major dream I’ve ever had and I can’t imagine the thought of not pursuing. I’d be a nasty person otherwise.

  45. Pari

    Thank you for this later comment. It really moved me. I know how hard it can be. The last book I sent to my agent I rewrote three times and if it doesn’t appeal to him, I’m not quite sure what I’ll do.

    Right now, I’m writing two books of my dreams and we’ll just have to see. But it feels good to be creating again . . .

  46. Christine

    I don’t think it’s ever occurred to me to give up, but I’ve only been seriously writing for about four years. I definitely go through times when I’m not writing at all, but when my hubby sees how grumpy I am, he asks when the last time I wrote was, and there’s my problem – I need to have a creative outlet, and right now, writing seems the best fit.
    I have the crappy day job – I don’t really have a choice in the matter. Sometimes I think that’s not really a bad thing – it pays the bills and keeps me in wine and bubble-bath. =)

    I’d say that if this is the "low" in your creative cycle that’s talking, and not a deep rooted urge to do something else with your life, then maybe what you need is a break – a creative refresher that’s artsy but has nothing to do with writing, like taking a guitar class or bringing your camera to a lake or woods for a weekend. If you think this might be more intense than just a normal low, maybe get a part time job and see how you and your writing react to it.



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