“I realized early on that success was tied to not giving up. Most people in this business gave up and went on to other things. If you simply didn’t give up, you would outlast the people who came on the bus with you.”
“Get a good idea and stay with it, and work it until it’s done and done right.”
“Don’t quit, can’t fail” — that’s a saying coined by one of his callers that my good friend and mentor Rob Gilbert is fond of quoting on his Success Hotline (973.743.4690). I’ve thought of it often as I’ve revised my YA novel. I have no intention of quitting, so, clearly, I am not going to fail — which means that, somehow, some way, I’m going to succeed. I don’t know exactly what it is that’s going to make the difference, but I’m going to keep writing until I find it. And when I do, watch out! Something amazing will happen.
To be honest, I wasn’t always this focused, this determined. I have lots of half-finished projects in my drawers. Some of them will never be more than that. Others, I fully intend to push forward with now that I’ve learned the power of persistence. I’ve never persisted with a writing project as stubbornly, as wholeheartedly, as I have with my YA novel.
During the process of writing it, I’ve come to understand that persistence often consists of two elements: time and patience. To bring a creative endeavor to completion, you have to give it the time it needs to unfold and reveal itself. And you have to be patient with that that unfolding — you have to recognize that what you are striving for unfolds at its own pace, not yours: You can’t rush it and you can’t control it, you can only nurture it and husband your own energies so that you have the mental and physical stamina to stay with it as long as it takes.
I’m going to stay on the bus. How about you? Write on!