The author Jesmyn Ward was recently interviewed on PBS.org’s website and she talked about the writing life. However, she gave 4 pieces of advice. I want to talk about the first one here and I’ll go into the other 3 on the next blog post. Her four big takeaways are “Persist. Read. Write. Improve.”
Time and again, I’ve heard the adage: “Persistence is the key to success,” so whenever I tried to do something, I try to be persistent at it, to have grit as Angela Duckworth and other educational theorists have defined it–the ability to stick to a task even when it is hard. In writing this is true as well. I’ve seen many writers (students and non-students) give up writing after their first rejection or after several rejections, but I tried to push through and I earned my first publication nearly 20 years ago. However, the journey from neophyte writer to a successful one has not quite gone as I’d envisioned after making that first sale.
Her advice rings true. I need to simply persist. I honestly wondered whether I should continue writing in early to mid December, but after the break I think I just need to focus on getting projects done and enjoying that aspect. It was so refreshing to have worked on the outlines for the projects with Tana on Ship of Shadows. Even if they are never published (even though I sincerely hope that’s not the case), I still had fun creating them and coming up with them while wrapped up in a warm blanket on a snowy day. The sheer joy of writing, of creating, is why I find being a writer (or to be Writing to reference an earlier post) to be so much fun and liberating. Unfortunately, “life” got in the way yesterday, and I wasn’t nearly as productive writing as I should have been–I only wrote a “note card” of one potential project and it was extremely tentative (wrote it late at night when I should have been in bed because of school) and as such, I don’t have the same “euphoria” that I did after the first Snow Day.
I must learn to be both Persistent in my writing and also to be consistently persistent. That way, even if I can’t publish the way I’d like, I can still have fun and enjoy the challenge of creating and writing the things that I love.