My advice? DON'T QUIT!
In my opinion, the biggest fault with quitting is that you'd be giving up on yourself. We've all heard the quote "the only difference between the published writer and the unpublished writer is perseverance."
You know who else loses if you quit? Your future readers. If they're giving up precious time and money to buy books, don't they deserve the best? Aren't they worth the scrutiny and hard work?
Picture Book Authors--Your reader grabs your book from the shelf and then settles into her mom's lap. She memorizes your words, and turns the worn pages herself. She learns about friendship, family, and acceptance in a joyful way because you didn't give up.
Middle Grade Authors--Your reader struggles through an awkward time. Her body and her life are changing faster than she can register. She's still wearing braces, and she's taller than the guy she's crushing on. Her hair and clothes aren't like the other girls', and she wants nothing more than to fit in. She clings to your character like a good friend, because you didn't give up.
Young Adult Authors--Your reader stands on the creaky bridge between childhood and adulthood. She's hanging on for dear life, because drama is all around her. Family troubles plague her. At school, she feels like she's "in" one day and "out" the next, and she knows that one wrong move can ruin her reputation. She can be bullied on Facebook, and each text she sends could be forwarded to a wide audience. She'll read your book and know that she's not alone, because you didn't give up.
Adult Authors--Your reader is stressed out and needs escape. Work is crazy. Traffic on the freeway tightens the screws on her neck. Bills to pay, kids to shuttle, house to clean. When she steals a moment away, she'll sink in a bubble bath and wet the pages of your book, lost in thought. She'll drag your book to soccer practice, or listen to it on tape while commuting. Late at night, your book will rest in her lap while she waits for her teen to come home, because you didn't give up.
When times are tough, don't be discouraged, be inspired. And think of your readers. They don't want you to quit. They need you.
Do you ever get discouraged? If so, how do you handle it? And do you imagine your readers, and what they'll think of your book? If you're published, do you imagine who's reading your book, and where they're toting it around to?