Author Skill Set: Persistence

Persistence: The ability to keep working when initial efforts don’t pay off right away. If you’re a writer, you need it. This is particularly true if you are seeking publication. The only way to learn writing is to write, which means that you are writing through the learning curve. And it can be a pretty long curve.

Most writers try to get their work published before it’s ready, but that, too, is part of the learning process. You’ll need to learn how and where to submit your writing and become accustomed to the ups and downs of the submission experience. There will be plenty of rejections, and you can learn important things from them. I have a different word for rejection letters: certificates of courage. Because getting past the fear of rejection and criticism is crucial in order to improve your writing.

A writer who continues to improve while simultaneously getting his work out for people to read–that is a writer who will (eventually) get published. If you stop improving, or stop submitting or stop writing all together, that’s when publication doesn’t happen. When you are moving up the learning curve, you will reach the point where everything comes together–the writing, the writer, the market, the timing. And good things will happen.

What motivates you to keep trying?

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