“Persistence is absolutely key” – Notes on Writing

I ran across this post on /r/bestof and wanted to pass it along.. I’m always on the market for an insight about the life, so James Callum’s notes on writing, and how persistence plays a key role, struck a note with me. Maybe it will with you, too:

The internet (and life) is filled with the stories of people who made it rich, made it big, etc. As with everything, but quite heavily with writing, luck plays such a massive role. If J.K. Rowling didn’t submit her manuscript at a specific time, if the guy reading it didn’t have his (niece? daughter? I’m vague on the story particulars) read it and tell him it was good, the list goes on. Did a particular agent have their coffee that day?

Tiny things can have massive impacts on a person’s whole career and it honestly boggles my mind at how many great works of art and literature we’ve never seen because somebody was stuck in a dead-end job, they got rejected too many times, or they simply gave up for lack of support whether emotional or financial.

Persistence is absolutely key. Most of us (aspiring authors) will never get that lucky break from the get-go. Even the really big name authors have many stories that were rejected. It’s practically a trope at this point. It sounds meaningless and trite when you say it so simply but think about it like this: Each novel likely took months if not years of work. They were rejected for years and kept writing and kept getting rejections. Never knowing if they’d ever be able to get over it. Each novel is a part of you, it’s special even if it sucks. You can try to remind yourself the rejection isn’t personal but it doesn’t matter. It still hurts.

You can read the rest of his post here – I don’t approve of the naughty language he uses, but the above paragraphs represent some powerful ideas that all writers should be aware of. Everyone fails. Everyone. Rejection, not failure, is the default state for writers. True failure would be to allow those rejections to stop us.