Keep On Knocking (Writing Tip #64)

I think many writers--many very talented writers--give up too quickly. There are too many reasons to stop. Books take time. Getting published takes hard work and luck and more time. There are so many books published nowadays and success is rare. Why bother? Who cares besides my mother?

I think--no, actually I know--that I'm just a bit too hard headed to give up. I used to like to call it optimism, but that's a pretty way to put it. I'm not an optimist. I'm a stubborn jackass. But this is good in this publishing world, because surviving requires persistence.

I think so many people stop knocking on doors that might potentially open.

It's like a door-to-door salesperson (are there such things anymore?) that gives up before the sun goes down.

I'm always asked about my "brand" and I say a few quips in response. But the truth is this: I kept knocking and eventually one door opened. It was surprising, to be honest. A sweet little Christian love story? Really? That was the first book I got published? In some ways, it made sense. I'm a romantic in some ways. I like love stories. But still.

Yet The Promise Remains was a door that opened.

There have been others, too. Unexpected doors that opened. Sometimes they were ones I barely knocked on. In more recent days, they were knocks I heard from a distance that urged me to cross the street and check them out.

I'm not sure if I'm bragging when I talk about my persistence at this writing thing. Maybe I am. But I'm not bragging about my wonderful storytelling ability or the way I move people with my prose. No. I'm still trying to perfect all that. I sweat it out and at the end of every day I sigh and feel lucky to have made it through another day. I'm fortunate but I'm so utterly and insanely far away from feeling lackadaisical about things. Maybe that's a good thing, because my mind is constantly on and I'm constantly trying to figure out another story idea and opportunity.

They're doors in my mind.

Sometimes I knock and keep knocking and they don't open.

Then again, sometimes they open and I'm invited in to another world I didn't know existed. I'm welcomed and I suddenly wonder how I actually got there.

It wasn't the first or the second or the twenty-second door. But there are a lot of doors in this world.

You just have to keep pounding away at them.

Labels: , , ,