Giving Perseverance a Break

I wrote a book.

I queried a book.

After about a year and 100 queries, I got an agent.

My agent shopped my book to lots of houses.

After some close calls and a rewrite/resubmit from Little Brown Publishing, my book didn’t sell.

My agent and I divorced.

And, as far as one of those soul crushing experiences, this was definitely up there.I felt like I’d trained for a marathon. And then, at the end of the race, within 15 feet of the goal, I fell flat on my face.

To make matters worse, a ton of my writing friends were selling their books. It was like a flash back to my days in elementary school when I was picked last for the kickball team. Everyone was making it, except for me. And as stubborn as I am, I was just plain tired.

So I took a break.

I stopped writing. I was sick of pushing. I was through with perseverance. I was ready to put my book in the trunk and give up writing. Sometimes perseverance doesn’t work. You can be the most stubborn (which I am) person, and it still sometimes it doesn’t conquer the world.

Perseverance is exhausting.

For me, at least, perseverance needed a break. I directed my creative juices in other ways. 

I guess what I’m saying is this: Don’t be afraid to step away from perseverance.  Sometimes it just needs a break. In a race, sometime you need to stop and get a drink. You need to go to the bathroom. Sometimes you just need to sleep. This doesn’t make you a failure. It also doesn’ t mean you won’t finish.

Pushing and pushing makes you tired. In the world of writing, your emotional resolve takes a beating. Find something else to refresh you creatively  Writing is HARD. Writers are constantly being rejected. We NEED other things to refresh our spirit.

For me, it was face painting  I love being creative that way. And each time I paint a child’s face, I get instant approval and positive reinforcement. I get the pat on the back that I soo very much needed in the midst of so much rejection. The expression on the children’s face fills my emotional tank. Having my face painting business helps my writing life, it helped heal my emotional scars. It gives my creative side a pat on the back when I’m being pummeled by negativity.

As as stubborn as I am, my perseverance needed to heal.

But because I let it heal, I was able to keep going. After that break, and after some of the pain of rejection subsided–a little–I dragged out my book and edited it again. And after several more submissions and more close calls, my book sold.

It is coming out this December. 🙂

*****

The Emissary (3)

The Emissary  Dec 2013 from Month9Books)

A seventeen-year-old must defeat an ageless king and his powerful army in order to save their land from a cloud of darkness that threatens to destroy him, and those like him, who possess one of six deadly powers.

On Goodreads

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10 thoughts on “Giving Perseverance a Break

  1. Stubbornness is a very powerful force, but even the most stubborn person can get worn down. I agree we need time to recharge no matter what we’re doing. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. You sure have a point, Kristal. Sometimes you need to take a rest stop on that road called perseverance or you’ll just break down! I was right there with you–so close and then nosedive, and I know exactly how you feel, because we know a lot of the same people. But look at us now! Woot! (we invented that word, remember?)

  3. What a great point to make. Taking a break sometimes is what’s needed to move forward. And I’ve read all the stories of people who say, Write every day, query at this time, that time, do this, do that… The point is finding a process that works for you — and understanding when that process needs a time out. 🙂 Heck, sometimes I work out plots while I’m folding laundry. Breaks are good. 🙂

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