Winston Churchill once said, “Continuous effort–not strength or intelligence–is the key to unlocking our potential.” I believe he’s right. Over the years, the writers I’ve seen succeed were the ones who refused to give up.
I’ve been surprised sometimes too. Some of my most brilliant writing students gave up after a rejection or two and never were published. But I have books on my shelf from medium-talented students who refused to give up on their dreams–books published by large New York publishers.
I’ve been remembering that principle this month during NaNoWriMo when I was either sick or gone or interrupted. Many days, I felt weak and the novel sounded silly and self-serving, but I kept plugging away. Last week I was about 8,000 words behind. Today I am slightly less behind–but only by doggedly plugging away.
In a like vein, Helen Keller (below–one of the most determined people you’ll ever read about) said, “We can do anything we want to as long as we stick to it long enough.”
That’s good news to me! Is it to you?
It’s Your Choice
We may not be the most talented writers. We may not be the most clever or well read. We may not have an MFA in writing or be able to afford expensive writing conferences. BUT we can each choose to persevere, to stick to it till we finish.
Know where you want to go, and map out a clear strategy on how you plan to get there. There are many ways to study and grow, ranging from free online courses and books to expensive MFA programs at prestigious colleges. But in either case, the only person with an advantage is the one who refuses to quit.
Is that YOU?