Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Tenacity and the Writing Career #IWSG

Just up the street from where I live there’s an old drain in the gutter. It’s an inhospitable environment for a delicate flower, yet a small clump has survived, seeded from a bush across the road. Each time I pass the flowers on my morning walk, I can’t help but compare them to making a career from writing.

To break into the traditional publishing world can sometimes feel like an impossible feat. There are so many factors against us—I can’t even begin listing them all here. When the rejections start piling up, the struggle can become…draining*.
This is when we need to remember the flowers. With a little tenacity mixed with a dash of passion for our writing, our goals can be achieved. It is possible to shine in a seemingly unwelcoming environment. It’s even possible to land that coveted contract. But it won’t happen if we stop trying.

It might not happen on your first attempt, or even your one hundred and first attempt. If this is your dream, then keep writing, keep improving your skills, and keep sending out those queries.

How do you find the tenacity to keep going?

*I couldn’t resist the pun. Forgive me?

This post was written for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. We post on the first Wednesday of every month. To join us, or learn more about the group, click HERE.

99 comments:

  1. I just do. Simple as that at my zoo. Keep on typing away day after day.

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  2. I loved the pun. It was my favorite part. I find tenacity in the T's of the dictionary. ;) Happy Humpday.

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    1. har har :P
      And when I pun, I usually get thrown out of the room ;)

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  3. I hate querying. I really do. It's just insane how long it takes to hear back. And now I'm venting. Ha! I guess that's how I keep going. I left off steam (usually offline) and then press ahead.

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    1. While offline is the best way to let off steam, it's good to vent on occasion. Healthy even.

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  4. How do we keep going? Well, there's no alternative really is there? There are so many publishing houses. Surely we can find one to take us on! Hmm.

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  5. Stay the course _/) That's my motto. If we give up, it's our choice to make.

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  6. The flower will bloom where it can - and so shall we!

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  7. That is one resilient flower. I wake up every morning and try my best to work on my writing and hope that one day something may come of it.

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  8. Hope you're safe, Lynda, I hear you had some storms down at the Golden Coast... hope it's not anywhere near you

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    1. Yep, I'm safe, Dezzy. Thanks. The Gold Coast is a long way north from where I am. Hugs.

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    2. We have one of our music stars living there with her husband and the wench keeps informing the tabloids on her upcoming demise under the Australian waves and flood :) Anything to get into the spotlight....

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    3. As far as I'm aware, it's mainly affected our farmers... so the price of bananas will be going up again. TBH, I haven't heard a lot of news about it.

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  9. This is all so true. I like the analogy to the flower. And what a great reminder for you.

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  10. Yes, those little flowers represent the only ones to make it into traditional publishing. lol I've almost quit a few times and I've taken some very long writing breaks. But after a few awful situations in the publishing world, I found they were blessings in disguise, changed my direction, and have never been happier. I hope my tenacity pays off in the next few years...

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    1. That's so awesome to hear, Lexa. I'm sure your tenacity WILL pay off.

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  11. It will never happen if we quit. Success is usually just around the bend from where most do quit though.

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    1. So true. I saw it happen for a friend recently. She was ready to quit and then suddenly it all started happening for her.

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  12. I'm actually finding it harder now after being published. The marketing aspect is killing me.

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    1. Yeah, a lot of authors aren't fans of the marketing side. When my times comes, I'll have to find something about it I love and focus on that ;)

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  13. I love that you see the flowers and make the analogy to a writing life. Awesome. Awesome, awesome, awesome. "You only fail if you stop writing." - Ray Bradbury

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    1. And I love that quote from Ray Bradbury. Words of wisdom.

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  14. Lovely post! I keep writing because I believe it's what I'm meant to do. The writing itself might take different forms - novels, stories, blog posts, etc - but writing is my purpose.

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    1. Knowing it's your purpose will certainly keep you going.

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  15. It sure is hard. I just keep writing, that's all I can do for now. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  16. It was a good pun, though. I had to call on all my tenacity this past month. It's not only tough to break in but difficult to stay in.

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    1. Ha, good point, Susan. Many people think once you've 'made' it, the struggle is over. Not the case.

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  17. Hi, Lynda,

    Love the flowers... yes, we need to keep trying for sure. WE spend months, years, decades writing, so we must love it and desire for our words to be read...

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    1. Yes, it's the both sides of it--the love of writing, but also the need to share those words.

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  18. I have written three upper MG books and I think I finally have the hang of this whole writing process. Forming a routine helps. Now, I don't freak out on the first draft, bc I know I can make it so much better in revisions. Yes, stick with it!!

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    1. Oh yes, routines are brilliant. I love them.

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  19. When I first began growing flowers in our garden (I love bright colors!) I didn't know what I was doing. But after working at it over the years, I've gotten much, much better. So I know my writing will continue to improve every year for the same reason.

    BTW, every time I get to a new level in Candy Crush, I see your name already there in my high scores list. :)

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    1. Yeah... kinda sad re Candy Crush, huh? I play the game only after I've spent the full day writing, though. I'm in the 500s

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  20. I think it helps to reward ourselves for small goals accomplished that lead towards the big dream goals - like giving ourselves time to read a book, or a cup of coffee, or whatever seems like a good reward. :) If we've written steadily day after day for a week, submitted/queried our work or kept a goal that way, then it seems like we need to reward ourselves for a job well done. I think that keeps the writing going.

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    1. Those little rewards are definitely helpful. Chocolate makes the best kind of reward ;)

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  21. I am finally learning what being tenacious is all about. Its difficult to hold on to one's faith, especially when rejections come thick and fast. Believe in yourself, believe in your writing and stories. And keep writing and keep trying, by never giving up, is what I am doing.

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    1. That faith in your work is definitely a must. And if we have that, then it tends to shine through in our queries too.

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  22. Haha! enjoyed your pun. YES, keep being tenacious! The early bird may get the worm, but the diligent one often gets one too with enough dogged persistence. :)

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  23. The tenacious little flower is a perfect metaphor for writers. You must be one of those--a tenacious flower and a writer. :-)

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    1. Let's hope no bees come along... oh wait, flowers like bees! They help them flourish. Bring on the bees!

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  24. Flowers are pretty tenacious. If others have done it, I can do it too. That's what I tell myself!

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    1. A great example of the best way to compare ourselves with others.

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  25. It would be a terrible thing to give up on one's dreams, no matter what. It's the moment that matters, the moment we're in the zone and the rest of the world disappears. Great post, Lynda.

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  26. I love the analogy. It's so true.

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  27. We have two little scrub pine trees growing out of a crack in a ledge. They've been there for 22 years. We decorate them with Christmas lights.
    I love this post. It makes me want to stick me feet in the crack in the rock and hang on.

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    1. Ha, those pine trees sound awesome.
      And it's so wonderful to know my post may have helped.

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  28. I have a cactus that I bought my wife years ago. I can only remember watering it twice, and yet it still lives.

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    1. Maybe that's the trick with cacti. I tend to drown them...

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  29. I toughed out writing & rejections for 15 years then wanted to give up. My sweet husband told me not to give up, not after all that time. Then 2 writer friends gave me a verbal kick in the pants and said don't you dare quit. After all that, how could I? So here I am 7 years later enjoying moderate success. Groups like IWG gives us that chance to keep going.

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    1. Support in our writerly endeavours is crucial.

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  30. What an inspiring post! It's hard not to give up when the rejections flow in, but I find they don't affect me as much as they used to. The only thing I can control is getting better at my craft, and I feel like if I've done that, I have success.

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    1. Yep, it's best to focus on that which we can control.

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  31. I don't think I'm capable of not writing, rejections or not! I guess I'm just like those stubborn plants. :P

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  32. In life, I find the tenacity to keep going by thinking of the end goal :) whatever that may be.

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    1. The golden goose! Or is it just a golden egg? Surely a golden goose would lay a golden egg! But, yes, the goal is our beacon.

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    1. You will, as have I on occasion, but that's normal too. We just need to pick ourselves up again.

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  34. Wonderful analogy. I've lost count of my queries, contest entries, and other attempts. I just keep at it.

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    1. That's the only way to go--keeping at it.

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  35. Very encouraging Lynda. Perhaps I should post the wildflowers above my computer for inspiration :)

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  36. I think maybe I'm just stubborn.

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  37. It would take tenacity for me to stop. Maybe I'm just a disturbed individual who can't stop thinking and plotting and writing.

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    1. Hey, if being disturbed works for you, then hold onto that state! ;)
      Besides, I think all writers are at least a little disturbed in some way.

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  38. Ah, the symbolism...how we writer's struggle in the drain of life, but at least we have sunshine occasionally:)

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    1. At the moment you seem to be basking in that sunshine. Yay :)

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  39. Hi Lynda - you're so right ... the little beauties that will dot our writing landscapes are always around - and we need to take time to admire their tenacity ... great analogy ... so many things struggle through life .. cheers Hilary

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    1. Thanks, Hilary. I love the way you put that.

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  40. My niece told me a few years ago that she wanted to be like me when she grows up becasue I'm a smart and pretty writer who loves comic books and food. She wants to be just as cool as me...She's why I don't quit. Don't think that counts as tenacity, but it'll do for me.

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    1. wow, how wonderful to have that blessing in your life.

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  41. Love that! And yes, tenacity is so important. Never give up! :) Have a lovely weekend.

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    1. Hope you had a wonderful weekend too, Christine. I switched off the internet so I'm a little behind...eeek!

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  42. Pun excused :)
    But you're so right about us needing tenacity.
    Never give up on your dream.

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  43. Tenacity. Yes. It's a must. For me, I do this by shutting out the publishing world when I'm drafting. Helps me stay focused.

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    1. Yes! It's a good way to stay focused on the story. That works for me too.

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  44. I don't always find the tenacity to go on, but sometimes friends and bloggers hold it out to me and I can keep going.

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    1. The support of others really does help.

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  45. This analogy works so well. It was actually an assignment I had in a college photography class--to find hope against the odds. I took a photo of something similar for my portfolio.
    What do I do when I want to give up? Reach out to other writers.

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    1. Yes, the support of other writers is invaluable. They are the only ones who truly understand what it's like.

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  46. I remind myself of two things: 1) I don't write to publish. I write because I love writing. 2) But since I am writing, I might as well publish what I write.

    Fine distinction, but it keeps things in perspective. :-)

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    1. I love it. That's a great way of keeping everything in perspective.

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  47. How do we keep going? That is the 64K $ question isn't it? But we do, sometimes grumbling all the way:)

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  48. What a beautiful post! I love the pictures and the message. Definitely important to remember the flower. :)
    ~Jess

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