Here’s a writing nugget. My friend Ellen passed it along to me. I may not have the wording exactly right, but someone once told her, “It’s not talent that determines a writer’s success; it’s perseverance.”
To succeed, you must persevere.
J.K. Rowling, Agatha Christie and Hunter S. Thompson received their share of rejection letters. According to Lulu, “Stephen King got so many that he used to nail them on a spike under a timber in his bedroom.”
In the Christian market, Max Lucado received rejections from 14 publishers before On the Anvil was accepted, and Frank Peretti also stuck it out in spite of 14 rejections. Don’t know what’s up with the number 14, but that’s a lot of rejection. It would surely tempt a person to doubt. I can feel like giving up after only the fourth rejection. I can be kind of insecure that way.
But they persevered. Max Lucado is a household name in Christian households, and Frank Peretti has certainly made an impact with his books on the spiritual realm. They have remarkable perseverance to keep working and submitting in light of twelve, then thirteen, and then fourteen rejections. They both had to send it out a 15th time to find a taker.
It’s hard to get rejected so many times that your file folder starts to bulge with all of that negativity, or your paper shredder jams with the sheer number of sheets you’re jamming in.
Perseverance sends you back to the computer chair to keep tapping away, composing a new cover letter, maybe even composing a completely new opening to a new article or reworking a chapter. Perseverance studies submission guidelines and sends off queries. Hope, faith and prayer come in handy, too.
My dad is fond of a Winston Churchill quote that sums it up nicely: Never, never, never give up.
Not in war.
Not in writing.
Is your writing life all it can be?
Let this book act as your personal coach, to explore the writing life you already have and the writing life you wish for, and close the gap between the two.
“A genial marriage of practice and theory. For writers new and seasoned. This book is a winner.”
—Phil Gulley, author of Front Porch Tales