This morning I was on my third round of running a quarter mile and doing 15 overhead squats. If my car keys had been in my pocket, it would have been my last round.
I wanted to quit.
What the *&#$@ am I doing, I thought. Why am I here?
Inertia kept me moving forward. And let’s face it…my car keys were inside the gym.
I’ve had similar experiences and thoughts with writing.
You probably have too. There are moments when you think:
- It doesn’t matter.
- No one cares.
- This is too hard.
- What am I doing?
Or my favorite
- …this is just so stupid.
So what keeps you pushing forward? How do you harness the power of persistence and continue to take positive steps toward your writing goals and dreams?
You Just Can’t Give Up
‘Not giving up’ is pretty much the closest thing there is to a ‘recipe to success’. If you keep on trying then you haven’t yet failed, you’ve just changed tactics. Each time you try you create a new opportunity to be successful and that way you can play the numbers – eventually things are likely to go your way.
Often though, we fail to stick at things after the first or second failure. This is a huge mistake, so it’s important that we analyze precisely what causes this behavior in order to try and overcome it…
Here are some of the big reasons we tend to quit…
Effort and Time
One of the biggest reasons we tend to give up and stop being persistent is that whatever it is we’re doing takes time. If you’re sending queries and getting no responses this can often seem like a big waste of time.
But the point to remember is that your failed attempts are not in fact time wasted. Rather, they are like training sessions or practice rounds where you will have improved yourself and learned valuable things. The best way to ensure you keep trying though is to pursue something that you enjoy so much, you would be happy to continue trying without reward. Would you continue to write even if you never published? I would, but maybe others wouldn’t. It’s good to know that about yourself.
One of the biggest reasons we often give up trying is that it can damage our ego to fail. If you’ve received rejections from 20 editors and agents, then you’ll be putting your ego through the ringer each time – especially when you have to tell your friends. Thus we often make excuses to give up with the intention of protecting ourselves – even if we don’t know that’s what we’re doing.
The solution is to find ways to remove your ego from the equation. Find motivation. Read about other amazing authors that faced rejection for years before they were “Discovered.” And maybe ask your friends to stop asking about your progress. Tell them that you’ll be sure to let them know when you get a publishing contract.
In many cases we don’t persist because we don’t want to ‘be a bother’. Seriously, I have to lock myself away for hours some days and it can feel selfish. While this might sound reasonable on paper, the reality is that you’re actually giving up on your dream or career prospects in order to be less of a nuisance. Like it or not, being a nuisance is often what you have to do to make things happen for you!
Of course repeating an affirmation can help you get in the right mindset for the day and hold onto persistence. If you’re ready to kick your creative fears to the curb and banish doubt, writer’s block, and confidence issues then check out 365 Affirmations for Romance Writers . It’s created specifically to help you overcome any mindset challenge you’re facing so you can sit down at the blank page with clarity and confidence.