20 October, 2010

Never Give Up

There are days when I just want to turn off my computer and never turn it on again.  Days I wonder why I ever thought I could be a writer.  Days I wonder why I didn't learn a nice trade -- like blacksmithing.

The process of writing is far harder than I imagined when I started out, several years ago, to write the next great mystery.  I had time, an idea, and the reassurance of friends that I had a knack with words.  What more did I need?

I can hear the groans, sniggers, and laughter out there. 

Like anything else worthwhile, good writing is a lot harder than it sounds. A lot, lot harder. Writing is not for the weak, the faint of heart, the quitters.

About the same time I took up writing, I started yoga - for relaxation.  I started with the usual Om Shanti, repeating it over and over.  Now I have a new mantra:  Never give up.

I'd like to take credit for this brilliant philosophy, but like most plots, it's been said before:
Never, never, never, never give up.”  (Winston Churchill)
and perhaps slightly less elegantly:
“Nobody ever drowned in his own sweat.” (Ann Landers)
“Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” (Michael Jordan)
“Never consider the possibility of failure; as long as you persist, you will be successful.” (Brian Tracy , training & development guru)
“I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.” (Thomas Edison).

Could all these people, famous or otherwise, be wrong or self-deceiving?  The answer is, they're not.  Look at what they've achieved.   And why?  Because they never gave up.

Every day, my writing gets better (I hope), even if there's only one way it can go.  Every day I try to apply something I've learned from a class, a book, or a better writer friend.  Every day I get just that much closer to something I'm proud of having written. Every day I have a chance at writing the one that will sell.

This post is a message to me -- a kick-in-the-butt  reminder to stand up and proudly (and repeatedly) chant my mantra.  But I'm willing to share.  So, for everyone out there who is having a rough day, whether it's writing or something else; everyone who is questioning whether the goal is worth the sweat, work, pain, tears, frustration, fatigue, dedication, and sacrifice that's part of the package, just remember: 

No matter how much drivel you write, never give up.
No matter how many rejections you get, never give up
No matter how many mistakes you make, never give up.
No matter how many times you fall, never give up.
No matter how frustrated you feel, never give up.

Never, never, never, never give up.

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