Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Smart Persistence

*There are still a couple of slots left in my blurb writing class/ plotting crash course. You can sign up here.*

We talk about persistence a lot in writing. The Help went through more than 100 rejections before getting an agent. JK Rowling got a dozen rejections before becoming a millionaire. Dr. Seuss was told his books were weird and not marketable. We know the stories. So we write, query, repeat. Or write, publish repeat if you're going the indie circuit. What I think we don't talk about enough is smart persistence. There comes a point when sticking it out and keeping the pace slows you down.

There comes a point when continuing on goes from persistent to plain stupid, and as writers it's easy to get to this place, because we're attached to our work. We've invested so much of ourselves into it. I spent six months stuck there before I got over it a couple of years ago. And I've recently realized I'm here again. What tends to be my problem is failure to step away. I work too hard. (I didn't really think this was possible). But I think the most valuable thing I learned this semester was that I need to lighten it up. Have fun. Take my time. Enjoy the work. So I'm backing off my business plan. I'm learning advanced technique with the next few books and my professor thinks after that I can pick up speed again.
What about you? Are you being persistent? Or are you being too persistent?

1 comment:

  1. Very excellent point!

    I actually found myself in the same place since getting my rights back. I tried to force myself to edit the series etc when all my mind wanted was rest. Suddenly, editing wasn't fun, writing wasn't attractive and I wanted to do anything but that.

    And it was only when I gave myself permission to do those other things for a while that I got back into the editing groove. Sometimes, it's not persistence that helps us. It's loving what we're doing. And sometimes, persistence is exactly the thing that puts a wet blanket on the love we need.