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Friday, May 01, 2015

Persistence or Talent?

Writing takes time--large quantities of it, in which the author is all alone...well, not really because there's an entire cast of characters inside his or her head and they're all arguing and carrying on because they have a problem which must be solved. Then comes the black moment when all hope is lost and the author gets all choked up and wipes away tears, trying not to get any in the keyboard since the story must be typed out letter by letter, word by word.

Once the problem is solved and the happy ending is accomplished, the writer has to go back to the very beginning of the story and fix it. Then the manuscript gets fixed again--and again. And again.

Besides all that, there's the synopsis to write, and the back cover blurb, and the art form to fill out. This takes hours and hours--and often there's no guarantee the writer will make any appreciable amount of money to compensate for all the  effort.

Talent is a very wonderful thing, but for me--and for most writers I know--persistence is what it takes to be an author.

Writers get rejections, but they don't give up. They have publishers who close up shop, editors who quit, and agents who die. Despite all of that, writers keep writing. They have more stories to tell since that cast of characters inside their heads really don't take many breaks and are rather fond of getting into terrible trouble. Sometimes, it's a calamity of monstrous proportions and takes all of 90,000 words or more to resolve the difficulty.

Writers are tenacious. They refuse to quit. Talent only goes so far. If you want to be an author, you need grit as well. Take a tip from Samuel Johnson. :-)




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