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Flickr image by Akane Yamada. I think this dog has persistence.

Flickr image by Akane Yamada. I think this dog has persistence.

I remember 13 years ago when I was first starting to write my memoir. I would look at published authors and feel this intense need/want to have what they had—a published book. I relished opportunities to meet famous authors, as if by merely being in their presence for a few moments, some of their success would rub off on me.

So how did I go from being in a position of “wanting” to have a published book to actually having a book published? It’s not some magical secret (though when I was first starting to write, I was convinced there was some “magic” involved and that I would never have it). I didn’t do anything anyone else could not do. I simply put my butt in the chair and wrote. When I was done writing, I rewrote. When I was done rewriting, I took classes and got feedback from trusted writer friends. And rewrote again. And again. And again.

I think the biggest quality a want-to-be author can possess is persistence. This goes for anything that is hard that we want to accomplish—weight loss, training for a marathon, paying off debt. What have you tried to do but maybe gave up too soon? I think a great many writers give up before they are rewarded. And it’s easy to do—I wanted to give up many times. I wondered if all the hours I spent on my writing would ever pay off. But deep down, I believed that I had something to say that others might be interested in. I got some good feedback along the way that kept me going. I kept putting my butt in the chair.

In what ways has persistence paid off for you?