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?
Amy Kortuem said:
I can play the harp. It’s hard. It hurts. It makes me tired. It brings me joy.
I’ve so many times wondered why I can’t put my harp-like persistence into my writing life.
It’s probably because feedback from the harp is immediate (well, maybe not super immediate because it takes time to practice and write music), but it seems faster than getting feedback from writing. I put a lot of energy into work and running–I can see results from both of those pretty quickly, and that keeps me wanting to do more.
Tracy Lee Karner said:
First of all–congratulations!
Everything that rightfully makes me feel a sense of a achievement–being able to cook a gourmet meal, growing a garden, fulfilling relationships. The best results came only after faithfully putting in the time and effort.
So true! Anything worth doing takes persistence.
Lisa Simons said:
I heard it called BIC (Butt In Chair) time. Great post!