Thursday, July 22, 2010

Enthusiasm and Perseverance

In the realm of ideas everything depends on enthusiasm... in the real world all rests on perseverance.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I recently read this quote and saw myself. My Random House Webster’s dictionary defines enthusiasm as: lively, absorbing interest; eager involvement. My bone-deep love of storytelling and a keen desire to share my stories is what keeps me enthusiastic. I am bereft when I miss a day at my computer, lost in another world with my characters. I imagine myself published, and busy working on my third manuscript. Inside my head, I already have a two-book deal, signed, sealed and delivered. Dreams are a big part of enthusiasm. When an RWA member announces the call, I whoop in joy for her. We all recognize the effort and time it took for her to win the prize. We tell ourselves, yes, I can, too.

How do you keep your enthusiasm when someone shoots it down? An agent rejecting your query letter is like a hammer blow. And, I’ve taken my lumps from contest judges––crawled into a hole of self-doubt for awhile––but, I focus on the big picture.

This is where perseverance kicks in. Again I turn to my Webster’s dictionary for a definition of perseverance: steady persistence in the course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement. Persistence is it, then. I’ll share two of my favorite quotes about Persistence and Determination.

Press On
Nothing in the World can take the place of Persistence.
Talent will not: Nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent.
Genius will not: Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb
Education alone will not: The world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and Determination alone are omnipotent.

From the 30th President of the United States

Edison failed 10, 000 times before he made the electric light. Do not be discouraged if you fail a few times.
Napoleon Hill

I haven’t reached the destination of published full length romance author yet, but with enthusiasm and perseverance I intend to succeed. I want the same for every writer reading this blog!

When you’re feeling low and need to recapture your enthusiasm, what do you do?


Mona Risk said...

Sheila, years ago my husband found the quote about Press on. He had it printed and framed. We hanged it on a wall for years and read it every day. It was the motto of our lives.

Sheila Tenold said...

Mona, we have a copy, too, which I have next to my PC monitor. It's definitely a great way to start your day.

Lee Lopez said...

When I get rejected, I do allow myself a bit of a "pitty party" for a second. It's important to allow those low moments, realize it, and get back up on the horse. I make a martini, enjoy it, and move on.

Jill James said...

It helps me a lot when other writers announce sales. It shows this dream is do-able. It gives you something to believe in to continue on.

Sheila Tenold said...

Lee, I love the "pitty party" idea! I may try that next time...but I'll make my drink a gin and tonic!

Sheila Tenold said...

Jill, I got a big boost reading about your first sale in the July FTH newsletter. Way to go!!

Skooby said...

Great way to boil down what it takes to do this crazy thing we have devoted so many of our waking hours to! Tx for giving me pause before going to the next page of my manuscript. Skooby

Sheila Tenold said...

I agree, Skooby, we writers are a little crazy! Who else spends hours alone, our minds filled with people, problems and places. I'm glad my thoughts rang clear.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

I cry on my friends' shoulder for a few moments and then brush off the negativity. My worst negativity is when I get discouraged and my muse turns silent. I've grown accustomed to them talking to me so the silence is worse than a rejection.

Nothing makes my muse and me happier than listening to Phantom of the Opera music, espcially if it's in the form of the Gerard Butler movie. It works every story, and I'm sticking to it. :)

Sheila Tenold said...

Oh, Paisley, I love Phantom of the Opera, too! To my way of thinking “The Beauty of the Night” is the most emotionally-charged romantic song ever.

Dawn Marie Hamilron said...

Sheila, I enjoyed reading your post. I have to agree on the "pity party." Mine is with a glass of rich red wine. :) Good luck to everyone on their trip to published author.

Sheila Tenold said...

Hi, Dawn. You're talking my language mentioning red wine! Isn't Pinot Noir a staple of life?

Let's hope our next "party" is a celebration of good news!

Josie said...

Edison failed 10,000 times? That's oddly encouraging. You're right--perseverance is so important in this writing business.