Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Perseverance or an Obsessive Stubborn Refusal to Give Up?

I've been reading a lot of blogs about how the writer's life. How do we sit in the chair, often without pay, to write these stories? Why do we sit in the chair at all? And how does one know if a writer, new and unpublished, will become successful? 

Is it perseverance or an obsessive stubborn refusal to give up on one's dream? Or is a combination of both qualities along with a measure of self-delusion about the difficulty in achieving the ultimate dream of publication? 

Perseverance defined: 
Noun: steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success: her perseverance with the technique illustrates her singlemindedness

"Perseverance with the technique" stands out for me. 

Read it again. It says, try try try again BUT with the technique. 

If we sit in a chair and write every day, meeting our word count goals and more, then yes, we're persevering. And we often do it without affirmation or pay. Even harder to persevere if we don't have a paycheck or an editor breathing down our necks for our works. 

I believe writing and making writing goals is not enough. I believe that we need to learn, we need to persevere with our technique. We are never finished with the process of learning, regardless of where we are on our writing journey. 

So persevere with your technique. Accept constructive feedback, take courses about writing, ask for help, read books in your genre, attend workshops, enter contests, find a critique partner you trust (I've been super lucky in that regard), and then when you say, "Never Give Up, Never Surrender," you're saying it as you steadfastly work toward refining your technique.

What are you doing to achieve your goal? How are you accepting the changes you need to make as a writer so you can step inside the hallowed halls of publication? Don't just write. Write with purpose, with a willingness to grow and change. And as you struggle with the difficult tasks you face as a writer, try to remember why you embarked on this journey. 

Rediscover daily the JOY you have as a writer. The sheer amazing wonderful way your heart sings when you put words onto paper. Then become a master, an empress, of your joy and harness it with knowledge and technique.

Above all--Persevere with your technique.


KarenG said...

This reminds me of something my son's swim coach would say: It's not practice makes perfect it's perfect practice makes perfect. That's a principle that applies in sports, music & many other things, why not apply it to writing as well. We can't write one bad novel after another and keep submitting them. We have to go back to the bad novel and keep at it until it's good. If we don't have the skills to do that, then persevering won't do us much good. Thanks for the reminder!!

Christine said...

Exactly--and if that first or third or twentieth novel is not up to snuff, move on and apply what you've learned to the next novel or experience.

Perfect Practice Makes Perfect--LOVE THAT QUOTE.

M.V.Freeman said...

I'm with you...Perseverence.
If you want to make it in writing you have to just keep at it.

Onward and forward! :-)

Christine said...

Onward and forward MV with a strong paddle and a boat that has all the holes plugged!

Or as the TV show said: ONE DAY AT A TIME.

A little bit goes a long way if we apply it every day :-)

Piedmont Writer said...

Perfect post! We must persevere, otherwise we just become like everyone else.

Shmologna said...

Hi. I was scrolling through the one sentence book summaries on Rachelle Gardner's blog and found yours. I just wanted to let you know that I thought it sounded interesting!

Talli Roland said...

What a great post. I agree 100 per cent - you have to keep going, keep trying and keep getting better. It's all about staying in the game!

Wendy Marcus said...

If writing were easy, everyone who wanted to would be a published author! I've read that while talent is important, it's perseverence that pays off in the end.

Christine said...

Thanks Schomologna--I've been playing around with that summary for a while. The story is much bigger than the sentence, but that pretty much is it in a nutshell.

Now I must persevere in finishing my revision of the story :-)

Christine said...

Piedmont Writer, Talli & Wendy: Absolutely and spot on. If writing and improving our writing was easy, everyone who thought about penning a novel would do so and be published.

And now I must get back to my WIP--the bodyguard and the radio star are going on tour--after they finish their *fight* in the hot tub.


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