Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan, ‘Press on’, has solved and always will solve, the problems of the human race. —Calvin Coolidge
Two words, but oh, the blood, the sweat, and the tears that lay behind them. So why don’t we just give up? Is it ego? The idea that what we do is better than ‘good’? Or is it simply that we have a story—no, better make that stories—inside of us that are begging to be told, shared, wept over, enjoyed?
One of the many things that have become apparent to me since I joined RWNZ in 1993 is that persistence wins. I look around me at the number of my friends and acquaintances through the organisation who were ‘aspiring authors’ and are now ‘authors’. They are among the most talented, and educated geniuses (or should that be, genii?) it has been my privilege to know, and most of all they were persistent and determined.
Persistent in the belief that their stories deserved not only to be told, but to be read and enjoyed by the romance reading public. Determined in the purpose of bringing those stories to publication.
It has never been enough just to be talented. We are all storytellers, each in our own unique way. Every one of us has characters whose journey of love deserves to be told. How many times have you heard someone mention in passing “Oh but she/he had so much talent when they were younger [or whenever]”? Talent can always be there but if not used persistently and determinedly it can fall by the wayside along with mediocrity.
It has never been enough just to be a genius (just to be a genius? I hear you cry incredulously!) Well, okay, maybe geniuses have their place. But how much genius goes unfulfilled because of a lack of understanding or appreciation in our world. How many geniuses are permitted to truly reach their potential?
It has never been enough just to be educated. How many of us have been daunted by reading the academic qualifications of so many authors. They are brilliant—their minds developed by the rigours of study, lectures, exams, and theses. How many others are there in the wide world who are similarly, or even more highly, educated who have achieved little or nothing since attaining their scholastic goals purely for the lack persistence and determination.
So how persistent and determined are you? Do you take a step towards your writing dream every day? Or is it every week? Maybe it is every month. Or is this a ‘now and then’ dream to you?
I only have two words left… ‘Press on’.