Persistence Really Does Pay

A friend sent me this article by Zig Ziglar, a motivational speaker. Since I’m on my novel-writing journey, I thought I would post it here to inspire me to keep going. Here it is:


For eight years the struggling young writer wrote incredible numbers of short stories and articles for publication and for eight long years they were rejected. Fortunately, he didn’t give up and for that he—and America—will always be grateful.

He spent much of his time in the Navy writing a mountain of routine reports and letters. He learned how to say things eloquently and yet concisely. After his hitch in the Navy he tried desperately hard to make it as a writer, but despite those eight years and hundreds of stories and articles, he was unable to sell even one. On one occasion, however, an editor wrote an encouraging note on the rejection slip. It simply said, “Nice try.”

I think you’ll agree that most of us would not rate that very high on the encouragement list, but it literally brought tears to the young writer’s eyes and he was given new hope and continued to persist. He simply would not give up. Finally, after many years of effort he wrote a book that has deeply affected the entire world and helped him to become one of the most influential writers of the ’70s. I’m speaking of Alex Hailey and his book, Roots, which was made into one of the most-watched television mini-series of all time.

The message is clear: If you have a dream and if you really believe you have some ability that can be expressed, pursue that dream; don’t give up. Hang in there! Who knows, maybe on your next effort somebody will say, “Nice try.” That might be all the encouragement you’ll need. Remember, success might be just around the corner, over the next hill, or at the end of that next effort. Think about it, give it a try and I’ll SEE YOU AT TOP!

My Personal Challenge

Is it a coincidence that my writing spirit caught fire during National Novel Writing Month, (NaNoWriMo) last year, and then again, this year? I had never heard of NaNoWriMo, not until I joined a writing community late in 2010. Prior to that, even though I had already completed a number of short stories, I was still a writer in the closet. I was too embarrassed to show my work to anyone outside of a small circle of friends and relatives.
Now that I’ve “outed” myself, I’m actually more productive than ever. Once you put yourself out there, you’re allowing others to publicly criticize you. It was a big leap for me. A part of letting the world know that I’m writing is being actively engaged with a large online community. That has been a rewarding experience and a big eye opener. I don’t know about anyone else, but with me, when I put something down in writing or tell someone that I’m planning to do something, I am committed.
Yes, I’m committed to my novel. And yes, I’m committed to my short stories. I contemplated signing up for the NaNoWriMo challenge, but decided that I’m not quite ready to write 50,000 words in thirty days. However, as soon as I started to read Rochelle Melander’s Write-A-Thon – Write your book in 26 days (and live to tell about it), I realized what was wrong with my efforts so far. I did my MBA while working full-time and taking care of a young family. If I treat my novel writing project the same way as the way I accomplished the MBA readings and assignments, then it is conceivable that I could have my first draft completed before the end of this year. I believe the key is setting a deadline. I must have one to motivate me to the finish line.
There, now that I’ve written it, then it must be done. Gulp…