The challenge of publishing and why perseverance pays off
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
End of post.
Just kidding. But to be honest, sometimes we all need a reminder that persevering will pay off in the end. There are so many clichés like the one above, that have been around for years and that everyone has heard at some point in their life. Why do they stick around? Because there is an element of truth that surpasses the cliché and has been proven by people time and time again.
We occasionally forget that the things in our life are physical, and if we are
science nerds about it… matter influences other matter. In essence, it is built into this physical world that we have much more control over it than we often resign ourselves to think. So why shouldn’t we have control over our lives as writers?
Why shouldn’t we be able to have an influence on whether or not our book gets published?
I think the “it’ll happen when it happens” or “it’s not ready yet” or “it wasn’t meant to be” phrases are used more as excuses than true reasons. Moreover, they are excuses that we settle on when we are feeling lazy, complacent, or particularly uninspired.
I would love to share a personal example. For about two years I published consistently to this blog and many others, and when life got crazy busy I stopped, and made what to me were valid reasons. I told myself there was simply no way I could keep coming up with ideas for posts when I was so busy. But I missed it. And my mind kept going back to… “If I had time, I would write about (blank).” Eventually, these voices in my head got so loud I realized if I shuffled some things around and became more organized, it would be easy to dedicate a couple of hours a week to something I love. So I did that over the course of a few months, and here I am.
I could share countless instances where the result of committing to doing something, even though it took time, resulted in the outcome I wanted (in some form or another). For me, this blog is about pushing and seeing results that have some meaning to me.
No it’s not always perfect. Especially when it comes to publishing, there are so many things that are out of our control. But isn’t it time to take a hard look at why you haven’t published? Have you simply thrown your hands up and said “I can’t!” (admit you’re defeated) or have you persevered in one direction, because you were certain it was the way, only to reach a dead end? (yet again)
To the first point, what proof do you really have that you can’t? And what is the reason you
feel you are physically unable to accomplish it? Have you done everything you can, or is it
just that your fuse is burnt and you need a break before you can jump back in? To the
second point, try another direction. Don’t be that dog that persists after encountering a glass or screen door. Take a step back, realize the reality of the situation and ‘bark’ to
call someone to open the door for you, or wait until someone comes out so that you can
be let in.
The best way is not always the most obvious, so the trick with perseverance is you have to always keep an objective eye as to whether or not you are persevering in the most efficient way for you. Is it success or spinning your wheels? I call it the Labyrinth Approach, and we will take a look at it in another post, but for now, challenge your current paradigm of thought. What is the real reason you haven’t published that book yet? No excuses. Just objective thinking. Then you’ll know you’re on the “write” track to publishing.
Some other quotations about persevering:
Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance– Samuel Johnson
Perseverance, secret of all triumphs– Victor Hugo
Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other– Walter Elliot