On an online writers group that I belong to, one of the authors recently wrote that she’s depressed because of her low sales. She’s been writing for nearly 20 years, and for the first time has been thinking about quitting. Her post touched a lot of authors, and it’s had 75 responses so far. At least 4 bestselling authors said they had been at the same place – but they persevered and ended up doing very well. Others said the same thing. While others just commented to offer encouragement.
In almost every reply, the authors said they’d been in her place. Some still are, but they’re keeping on because this is what they love to do. Others said they tried to quit, but they kept going back to writing. They had to write. And many of the authors said how much the replies helped them. Each reply cheered me, too. They gave me hope.
Something else happened on Sunday that made me decide to write this post. I live in Wisconsin, and we have Packers’ fever here. Green Bay Packers, that is. We were doing great this season…and then quarterback Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone. It seemed like a disaster. We had other key players out with injuries, too. Neither of the backup quarterbacks seemed that good. Our defense was letting us down. We soon lost a lot of games and tied one.
By then, most people were counting them out. Last week we won against Atlanta by one point. This week we played Dallas, whose quarterback is Tony Roma, and we were shut out of the first half.
Once again, it seemed impossible that we’d win. And this win mattered. If we lost, we wouldn’t have a chance to be in the playoffs. We’d done so well earlier in the season, before Rodgers was injured, that we still had a small chance. But after that disastrous first half, it seemed that it would take a miracle for it to happen.
I suppose you know where this story is going. They did win – by 1 point! – and it wasn’t a miracle. It was because the football players didn’t give up. Even when they fell so far behind, they gave it their best. They persevered.
I think that’s the basis of almost every romance, no matter what the genre. The hero and/or heroine may be out – and in fact, they often are. They may quit – in fact, they often do. But at some point, they persevere. They stand up and say, “Hell no! I’m in this all the way, and I’m going to get the guy (or girl).”
Perseverance won’t do it alone. As well as hard work, it’s necessary to have hope. I know a brilliant writer who gave up too quickly. When she didn’t sell right away, she quit. Though she was so good at it, maybe she didn’t love writing enough. What are your thoughts on this?