Let Perseverance Be Your Guide
Qualities of Good Writer
When I first started forming this hub in my mind I came up with several differ ways to present it. The more I thought about it the more I was stymied as to the direction to take. I knew the subject was the one I wanted to write about but I was not so sure about how I wanted to use it. Should I talk about perseverance in relationships of everyday life? In relationship to personal matters? Or one of the other million options that came popping into my mind?
After much thought I decided to focus on perseverance concerning writers. As a writer I feel that one of the very most qualities we must possess is perseverance. Of course there are a ton of other qualities we must possess but without perseverance we kind of go in circles. It is perseverance that will ultimately carry us to the end to reach our goal. What are these other important qualities? I'm pretty sure you already know, them but I am going to put them down for you anyway.
We absolutely must have a streak of stubbornness a mile wide along with a drive to succeed as a writer. Without them we would crumbled at the first inkling of rejection. We also need to have an abundance of patience and a well developed attention to detail. Without patience how will you get through those periods of brain freeze and writers block? The attention to detail is so important when weaving a story. If you have no detail you just have blandness.
You definitely need to have faith and hope. Faith in yourself and your ability. You know you can write you just need the right person to recognize it. Every time you send out an article or send out a manuscript you need to have faith that the publishers will like it and hope that they will be sending that letter we all want. You know the one, "Congratulations, we would like to talk to you about publishing..."
You also need a very healthy ego. This might be the second most important quality. Without a healthy ego you will crumble the first time you receive a rejection letter. And believe me you must steel yourself for a stream of them. There are many, many famous authors out there who have received those rejection letters by the dozens. Yes, believe it or not there are authors that you know and love that have been rejected more times than you know. If they had given up think of some of the wonderful books we would have missed. What kept them trying? Perseverance.
Rejected Authors Who Perservered
- Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach ~ Received 18 rejection letters before Macmillan Publishers published his book in 1972. Imagine the sick feelings all of the other publishers felt after learning that that the book they turned down sold over 1,000,000 copies the first year.
- The Peter Principle by Laurence Peter ~ Received 30 rejections before it was finally published by Bantam Books. One of the rejections, McGraw-Hill informed him, "I can foresee no commercial possibilities for such a book and consequently can offer no encouragement". (Barrow 1990) It sold more than 200,000 copies the first year.
- M*A*S*H by Richard Hooker ~ Was rejected 21 times before the author went to W. C. Heinz for help. A year later William Morrow and Company agreed to publish the book. Little did they know what a prize they obtained. The book was rapidly tuned into an award winning movie and then to one of the most popular TV series known to man.
- Carrie by Stephen King ~ Rejected 30 times. He was told they were "not interested in science fiction which deals with negative utopias". After receiving this note he threw the manuscript in the garbage. Luckily for us his wife pulled it out of the garbage and persuaded him to try one more time.
- Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell ~ Rejected 38 times before it was finally printed. This novel became the highest grossing movie in history. What a loss it would have been for all of us to have missed this romantic southern piece.
- The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank ~ 16 publishers rejected this book. After the war the diary along with extra notes written by Anne herself er given to her father, Otto Frank, the only remaining family member. It was through his efforts and perseverance that we have this wonderful historical piece of literature. This piece of literature won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
- Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling ~ rejected 12 times before being picked up by Bloomsbury, a small London publisher. The reason they agreed to publish this book is because the 8 year old daughter of Bloomsbury, Alice Newton, couldn't get enough of the story. Even so J. K. was told to get her day job, she wouldn't have much of a chance as a children author.
- A Time to Kill by John Grisham ~ rejected by 28 publishers and 16 agents before Wynwood Press decided to take a chance with him. This much rejected book launcher John Grishams career.
- Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence ~ One publisher warned, "For your own sake please do not publish this" It was first privately printed in Italy in 1928. It took until 1960 for the full version to be published by Penguin. Back in it's time this caused quite a sexual revolution stir.
- The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie ~ Ms. Christie tried for four years to get a book published. The book was declared to be "not suitable for a publisher's list by one of the publishers who rejected it.
- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle ~ This wonderful childarenn's book was rejected a total of 26 times before being picked up by Farr er, Straus and Giroux. The year after it was published in 1962, it was awarded the Newbury Metal. It is one of the best selling children's novel of all time.
- Chicken Soup for the Soul by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen ~ This writing team was turned down a grand old number of 140 times by publishers who felt that their series were "too positive" and that "anthologies don't sell". But did they give up? Thank goodness, no. Finally in 1993 the Health Communications gave them the chance they were waiting for. They have to this date sold over 80 million copies of their pieces in 37 languages.
These are just a few of the fabulous authors that found themselves on the recipient of not one or two but many rejections slips. Instead of giving up, they kept believing in themselves and working towards their goals and dreams. Some of them ultimately become published while others looked into ebooks and arranged to be epublished. Which ever way their book came to be known by the public, it certainly is a blessing.
Just what is perseverance?
Perseverance is known by many names. It's quality is well known. Perseverance is what gets us to the end of our goal. It's that quality that keeps us going against all odds. It's that wonderful little stubbornness that keeps us from quiting.
Many people describe perseverance as hard work, commitment, patience, endurance, and fortitude. Others say it's being able to bear difficulties calmly and without complaint. Still others say it's the stubbornness that keeps you trying again and again, to keep on going even though there are obstacles and challenges. And of course we can't forget tenacity and persistence.
To me perseverance is all of these things thrown together. As you can see from the list above there were some excellent authors and books that were rejected. Fortunately for us these authors persevered. They never gave up.
As a writer we need to be able to be able to believe in ourselves, be stubborn enough to keep on sending out our writing, know in our heart that there is someone out there that will see just how publishable our work is and develop the hid of a rhino. We can't crumble and cry every time we receive a letter of rejection or someone leaves an unflattering comment on our hub. We need to keep picking ourselves up, bushing ourselves off, and try it again.
The hubs that are chosen every week are not chosen just for the heck of it. They are chosen because the writers follow rules, work hard, give it their all, keep on trying and believe in themselves. All of these qualities describe perseverance. Without perseverance we as writers are stalled in one spot. Without perseverance you will have a very hard time becoming published. So put on your big girl panties or big boy pants, grow a thick skin, pick yourself up and keep on trying.
What Makes a Great Hub?
- Perseverance - keep on trying.
- Capture your readers interest. Know your readers and what they want to read.
- Make your hubs pleasant to the eye.
- Make your hub the right length, it needs to be at least 400 words longs.
- Encourage people to comment.
- If you are writing a longer hub make sure you break it up into smaller, easy to read segments.
- Make sure you do your research.
- Use interesting and relevant pictures.
- Draw the reader into your story or article.
- Add a poll, they can really add to their interest.
- Grammar and spelling are important.
- Find a neat video that is relevant to your subject.
- Create from the heart, not just for the bucks.
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© 2012 Susan Hazelton