I’m going to throw down the word right away: Perseverance.
That’s it. Nothing fancy. But within those twelve letters is a key difference between failure and success in writing.
Perseverance isn’t a popular word, because it often means dealing with rejection, difficulties, days when you just don’t feel like it, and other setbacks that happen in the course of making a writing career.
One of the ways I learn about various ways that things work (and don’t work) for people is reading success stories. And while many clickbait articles like to put forth that a certain person is just a rockstar superhero of amazing prowess, what it often comes down to is perseverance.
The successful individuals might have had some great bursts of inspiration. They might have been blessed to hit a certain market at the RIGHT TIME. They might have had amazing opportunities fall into their laps. But at the end of the day, they also had to have the perseverance and focus to keep going, keep trying, and keep doing.
Write from your gut – No matter what you write, make sure you have a clear sense of your vision, your goals, and your endgame. This keeps you invested in your work so that you see it through to the finish line.
Always keep learning – Being able to take feedback and increase your education is critical to making it through the writing and publishing process. We are all on journeys of learning and growth. Embrace the improvements!
Never give up – You may have to switch gears. You may have to ditch ideas. You may have to do five editing passes instead of three. You may have to submit to twenty presses or fiddle with your self-publishing platform thirty times.
But to succeed, you can’t give up.
I’ve been there. I recently had to pitch a 42K novella because the plot did not work, and the story wasn’t salvageable for my long term plans. I’ll be honest: this was a blow to my pride (10+ years of experience) and my publishing schedule. Some chocolate and complaining and groaning was involved after the decision.
But then I received the encouragement of my writing crew, dusted myself off, and kept on writing. I wrote another novella instead, that is one of four works to be published this year.
Keep seeking. Keep praying. Keep figuring out what works and what doesn’t. Take breaks, eat chocolate. Feel like giving up, then try a different way, and keep going.
It isn’t easy. It isn’t fancy. It isn’t some exact, ten-step process.
But in the end, perseverance works. It’s one essential for writing success.
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