Perseverance and the Writer

Writer, Steven King

Writer, Stephen King received many rejection letters before gaining traction.

THEY say it’s lonely at the top. But the truth is that it’s even lonelier at the bottom.

It’s also more frightening and more frugal. Unfortunately, the bottom is where many writers spend their most formative years.

Getting published or having a script made into a movie has always been hard for a writer.

Steven Spielberg brandished the script of E.T. for several years before he convinced financiers to let him make it. Writer Stephen King’s rejection slips could fill an entire wall before he became one of the world’s most popular writers.

These sorts of accounts are legion.

But then, in 2007, something changed, for novelists anyway. Amazon’s kindle came along and the sun broke through the clouds.

The idea of reading stories on tablets proved contagious. Other companies followed suit with their own brand of e-readers. New writers flooded the market. Some were really good, launching sustainable careers. Others, not so much.

Still, writers could publish their work on these platforms and get feedback from their readers in the form of reviews. Sales, some sky high, some closer to earth, followed.

Then, something changed again. Amazon began to tighten the screws. Algorithms were altered, making it harder to get noticed. Reviews became subject to all sorts of restrictions – some justified, some not. Sales plummeted.

Some writers lost steam. Others gave up on their dream of becoming writers altogether. It was too hard, too lonely, at the bottom.

Sound familiar?

“The truth is that writing screenplays and novels, and attempting to get them made and read, is as difficult as winning a medal in a long-distance marathon. It may sound like a platitude, but it takes strength, endurance, and an unflinching belief in yourself to finish in good time.”

There are many moments during a race where it seems easier to give up than to press on. These moments become even more tempting as the race drags on and you find yourself alone on the road and gasping for breath. You need something special to keep you going.

But perhaps the solution is all around you.

How a writer beats the blues

Do you fear not finishing? Simply giving up? Then use that fear to drive you on.

Concerned that you are not good enough to produce high quality work? Then read the blogs and articles on how to improve your craft and put them into practice.

But even more importantly, try to remember that magical moment that first got you writing. There is something timeless and powerful in that moment — an antidote to doubt.

Become familiar with it. Learn to conjure it up at will. Use it to inspire you when you need it most.

That moment, together with a sense of what life might be without your dream, might just help keep you in the race.

Summary

Keep writing. Keep learning. And never give up.

7 thoughts on “Perseverance and the Writer

  1. Michele Perry

    Great article to read and to remind writers to never give up. As an editor and writer, I need to keep going for myself and my own stories, and for other writers that I edit for!

    Reply
  2. Alex Paige-Green

    Well timed article, Stavros. Just what I needed to get me motivated to try get some writing done this holiday!

    (Just on a side note, I believe the author “Stephen King’s” first name is spelt as such and not as “Steven”, as you have it in the opening section and image caption.)

    Reply
  3. Gerhard Pistorius

    The term professional is defined as a specified activity as one’s main paid occupation rather than as an amateur. am I a professional writer – no. Do I believe in my ability – absolutely. After a year of unemployment , depression does effect your endurance to write in the first place. I should know , I spend a year on my dad’s couch waiting for phone calls that never came.

    My advise to anyone trying to establish themselves as a writer is to fist obtain a income that gives you a life line. Writing is about sitting down and bleeding. You my obtain a degree in what ever line of work , however not until you get some life experience will you have the ability to write something worth while.

    In short : You must unlearn what you have l learned.

    Reply

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