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Persistence Is The Key

Being a relatively unknown author I have been reluctant to submit a guest post.

I’ve always felt that should be left to the more successful authors, and I’m determining success, by numbers of books sold.

I do believe, however, that smaller voices such as my own can play a part, albeit small in the overall pond of writing, getting published, and becoming an established author.

Recently our adult daughter visited and determined to assist her ageing father (that’s me) by tidying my study. My wife Carole of 50 years has renamed my study ‘the bunker.’ But the bunker was about to be invaded.

As part of the tidy up files were visited from when I first decided to publish a book back in 2003. Between then and 2012 I worked on my first book. The weighty file in question, held in both hands was of rejections, and about two inches thick. “Dad. What’s all this?” asked our daughter Sara.

I explained that each and every rejection was from a traditional publisher who had chosen not to support my ten years work.

Sara said, “I knew you’d pressed on regardless but had no idea the weight of rejection. I’m proud of you, Dad.”

I do believe our daughter was somewhat emotional. The heavy file was despatched to the recycle bin. I determined nothing would be gained by reliving the pain of rejection multiple times, especially as none had ever given much by way of reason.

To me, their reasons were clearly based on their bottom lines, and risk of non profitability. An unknown author, writing about unknown people who perished in WW2, might not become a best seller overnight. I thanked each and every one for the opportunity – and pressed on.

So to all those writers out there, whether you’ve published or not. Whether you will, or you won’t, whether your work is great, or not so wonderful allow me to say this, “Perseverance is the key. If you want your work to be so safe that no one will ever criticise you or ridicule you, then you’ll likely to never get it off the ground. And, if you seek perfection for your masterpiece, then you’ll likely never to complete the book.

At 71 years of age I have met a multitude of people who’ve said, “One day I’m going to write a book.”

To them I say again, “Why don’t you? It’s not that difficult or I could never have published three, with a fourth in progress.”

Just remember; never give up, persistence is the key, press on regardless. And may your thoughts flow into words that someday, someone like me, shall admire.

This post is contributed by Author John Hickman

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  1. Gippy Adams Henry

    Congrats, John Hickman! You are right–we are never too old to follow our passions/dreams. I have been reinventing myself for years through my fine art and writing. But, like you, finally got the nerve to publish my first book this year and working on a sequel. It’s people like you that encourage all of us to never give up. Thank you! I’m glad you daughter encouraged you also. Family is important on our journey. I will check out your books.

  2. vicki lee zell (VLZ)

    I agree one hundred percent on everything said. As a storyteller, I write the way I write and put myself out there to gain what exposure I can to get readers to read my stories, to understand where I am coming from as a storyteller. I believe dialogue must be obtained, sustained, and remain to move any story forward, the essential key to storytelling. What kind of world would we be in if there were no speaking parts? I tell tall tales to get one’s imagination soaring to its limits, while adding tidbits of information relevant to our likes and dislikes as human beings. To get the reader to wonder and ponder on ideas and ideals. Leaving along the way throughout my stories, breadcrumbs, as a designated path leading the reader to open up to their imagination. If the reader does not agree with my ending, I keep to my heart, maintain, lock on. Getting a reader’s imagination is not only key, but the key unlocking the reader into thinking: What if? (even possibly) WTF?

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