Lately, the little demon that lurks in the back of every writer’s mind has been prodding me more than usual. It’s whispering that it’s time to give up on my writing … that I’ll never ever get much more than a nibble.
There’s a part of me that responds to this voice. Wouldn’t it be so much easier to work towards something more concrete? A career in medicine, a teaching degree, a dog walker. I’d never have to put myself out there to an agent or editor again. I might get bitten by a dog, but that rejection I could handle.
Then, last week, a very dear woman from my critique group passed away. Remembering Sally, reading her obituary, I was stuck how she didn’t seem to know the meaning of the words give up. Despite her 80 odd years, Sally wrote prolifically for newspapers, magazines, and inspirational books. She was also working on a fairly audacious historical Biblical novel that raised a few eyebrows. In her personal life, after losing one spouse later in life, she remarried and took an around the world trip for her honeymoon. As one member of critique group often said, “I want to be like Sally when I grow up.”
I want to be like Sally too; I’m going to try and banish those nasty give up thoughts from my mind. All of us have heard stories of authors who, after years of trying to get their work published, nearly gave up but then persevered a little longer only to become a Newbery Award Winners or international bestsellers. So, in the words of Winston Churchill (of which Sally would certainly approve), ““Never, never, never give up.”