Friday, May 15, 2009

Is perseverance a skill?

Is perseverance a survival skill when it comes to writing? Let's look at the definition: steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., esp. in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.

It's normal to feel discouraged when you don't final in a contest. It’s okay to sulk for a few days and not write, but once you’re over the initial shock, get back at it. There are many pitfalls in the business of writing. I’ll give you a personal example. My manuscript that just finaled in the Duel on the Delta, was written in first person point of view (past tense.) Now that the bloom is off of chick-lit, which was also written in first person, some companies are not buying first person. An agent pitched my novel to Harlequin’s Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense line, which is their Christian suspense line. The editor wouldn’t look at it because it’s in first person. Guess what happened next? The same editor is the final judge in the Duel on the Delta contest. I made a mad scramble to turn that entry into third person before the deadline. The entry was only 25 pages. Now, I’m working hard to turn the rest of the book into third person just in case the editor requests a full. What if I had said, “That’s too much work.” There would be no chance of my getting that novel published. You can’t give up. Many famous authors received rejection letter after rejection letter, but they persevered and it paid off. Take a moment to think about why you write. Is it a stress-relieving hobby for you like it is for me? I enjoy writing as much as I do reading. It’s a creative outlet and also very therapeutic. I’ll continue on. It’s a lot cheaper than paying a therapist !


  1. Excellent story. Shows how doing your homework pays off. I wish you all the best in the contest.

    And, yes, perseverence is definitely needed in this business.

  2. Cheap therapy!! :) I love it!!! Have fun writing today!!

  3. It's a long road - but it's still fun :)

    Good luck in the contest! Regardless, when it is all over, you will know you did your best (by doing the extra rewrites). That is worth a lot.

  4. Thank you, thank you for this!

  5. Oh, yes! Perseverance is definitely a necessary skill when it comes to writing. Throughout the journey there's going to be various kinds of rejection. It's going to be hard--and it might get harder before getting easier. But if you still endeavor to keep going, you know writing is for you.

    Good luck in the contest! Have a great weekend!