Never, never, ever give up!

To become a published author, it takes a good amount, if not a ton, of perseverance, defined as: “…a continued effort to achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition.” Oh dear. Who likes to deal with difficult situations, failures or opposition?

Let’s make things a little simpler by distilling the definition into three words: Never Give Up. That’s much better, isn’t it?

As writers, we may sometimes feel like a seedling that’s been planted and knocked around by the elements, without experiencing much growth. We may (or our projects may) eventually shrivel up and disappear. But what if growth is occurring without our (or the seedling) even knowing it?

Take the Chinese bamboo tree. It’s a challenge to grow. The farmer plants the seed, waters and nurtures it…and nothing happens the first year. Or the second year. Or the third. Why bother taking care of something that’s not growing? Because something miraculous does happen in the fifth year. The tree grows almost 90 feet in six weeks! How is that possible? Because during the early years, the plant is developing strong, unshakable roots.

What if the farmer had given up because he’d seen no results? Bye-bye bamboo tree.

Let’s say you needed to split a boulder in two. You grab a hammer (a large one) and strike the rock. Nothing happens. You strike it a few more times. Still nothing. Maybe a few chips, if you’re lucky, but no split. After about the tenth or maybe twentieth blow, the boulder breaks in half. During the previous nine or so times, something was happening. All those blows mattered. You just couldn’t see it.

Writing can be the same way. Sometimes the words flow, and sometimes they don’t. Progress can be slow and even unrewarding at times. We write a passage and wonder if it’s any good. Can we stay focused and nurture our writing by forging on? We must. How else will we know how tall we can grow?

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6 years ago

Thank you. I agree 100%

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