The Power of Persistence
These days more than ever, there seems to be constant challenges and threats that we have to fight against–from the macro level in areas like global security to the micro level, like paying the bills or dealing with personal medical issues. It can feel disheartening and exhausting at times, I know. The sense of some new obstacle or problem to handle, maybe when you were just regaining a level of relative calm or stability in life.
But one thing I have learned throughout my writing career and pursuits so far is this: the only time that being defeated is inevitable is when you stop trying. When you stop fighting. Whether that’s fighting for certain values you believe in or fighting for a dream, like getting a book published.
There are many things in life we can’t really control (though we try oh-so-hard). Many elements of the publishing industry are things we can strive to accomplish or obtain, such as getting a literary agent, getting a contract, getting good reviews, hitting a bestseller list, or winning an award. They’re all excellent goals and dreams (and yes, there’s a big difference there), but in the end, you can only determine the outcome of whether you sit down and keep writing. Keep getting those words down, editing them, and sending them out to hopefully get accepted–and yes, hopefully paid for.
I enjoy encouraging and supporting other writers, wherever they are in their careers. The reality, though, is that publishing and writing are difficult paths to follow. We face rejection all the time–yes, even “established” authors. Getting a short story or novel drafted is extremely satisfying, but can be a tough process, especially if you’re always looking to improve your craft and try now approaches. And once you have stories being published, there’s the marketing/promo side of the business that many bemoan having to invest in.
Yet if you don’t persist through those less-fun periods of hard work, seeing a manuscript through to the end…well…then it will simply never even have a chance of success. It won’t get into the hands of readers who would’ve loved the plot and characters. Persistence means getting up each day and getting the writing work done in the hope of seeing that effort pay off. It means believing in what we do even if we feel like we’re getting hammered on all sides for a time.
And it means being able to look back and feel a measure of pride–and even joy–at what you’ve done.
Because you didn’t give up.
Josh Vogt is an author, editor, and freelance writer. His fiction ranges from fantasy to science fiction to horror and beyond, including tie-in fiction for a growing number of roleplaying games. His novels include Pathfinder Tales: Forge of Ashes, as well as the urban fantasy series, The Cleaners, with Enter the Janitor, The Maids of Wrath, and the newly released The Dustpan Cometh. Find him online at JRVogt.com or on Twitter @JRVogt.