Persistence. Life’s most important lesson?

This blogpost really moved me. It’s about a writer chasing their author dream, and I know that may not apply to many of my readers, but the story really lays out one of life’s most important lessons.

And when you read about her love of writing and how it gets tested by companies going bankrupt, opportunities falling through, and her career field losing that shine it started with, I’m confident it will make you think of whatever career you’re in. (And probably struggling with.) And while the easy thing to do is just switch careers or start with something else, this article helps remind you that:

A) You’re probably closing to succeeding than you think.

B) All career fields start out fun until you realize their dirty secrets and shortcomings.

Just one great quote from the article:

It’s persisting in the game after you know what it’s really all about. After the shine wears off. It’s persisting after all your hopes and aspirations bang head first into reality.

Below is the full article. It’s a tad long, but well worth the read! On persistence, and the long con of being a successful writer(Warning, there is some profanity.)

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

P.S. If you enjoy fast-paced books, you just might like my works. “Sold Out” tracks the life of a legendary Marine Sniper after a CIA unit decides to kill him for reasons of national security. “Little Man, and the Dixon County War” tells the uphill fight a young deputy faces after surviving three years of war only to find himself in the sights of a mighty cattle baron. And “Soldier On,” a short novel, follows the lives of several German soldiers in a depleted infantry company trying to make it through the final, miserable months of World War II.

12 Comments

Filed under Eastern philosophy, Writing tips

12 responses to “Persistence. Life’s most important lesson?

  1. What an interesting read. I love the quotation you highlighted – it really summarizes his story and the nature of passion itself. When we follow our passions, despite the inevitable negatives that will accompany it (anything from terrible bosses to rejection letters), we are being true to ourselves.

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    • Yeah, that is so true.

      Oh, and I loved your post earlier today about Poe, but I didn’t have anything to add… : (

      You know, you kind of intimidate me since you’re all edumacated and university-professor-ish and love literature and dense stuff, while I’m all like, “Let’s read something fun and fast!!!” And you’re like, “What language will I study today,” and I’m like, “Where’s my bologna sandwich?!”

      I figure at some point you’ll admit you only follow and flatter me with your interactions because I’m some part of social experiment you’re conducting!

      I warn you though, and you can ask Danah to back me up on this…

      A) I’m kind of like a monkey. If a hot woman like you is even remotely paying attention to me, I’ll sit out in the rain trying to figure out how to get the triangle shape through the square-sized hole while people point and snicker. And you can be laughing at me squinting and trying to bite the hard object in a final futile effort, but I’m so thick in the head that I think you’re about to just congratulate me and hand a banana over the fence. : )

      B) I’m kind of like a dog. You throw a stick ONE time, or pet me on the head and smile, and I pretty much never go away… I’ll follow you to the ends of the earth and like twenty years from now finally catch up with you and be like, “But I thought we used to be friends?” And you’ll be like, “Who is this guy? And where is security when I need them?”

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      • Haha, you’re sweet!

        Trust me, I love reading all sorts of books. I recently finished the latest Patricia Cornwell book about the forensic scientist Dr. Kay Scarpetta. I’m always excited when a new one of those comes out! My family teases me that I get excited when the mail arrives because I get to read the junk mail :)

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        • That’s hilarious! And honestly, I do try to read literature. Like hard…

          I’ve tried to get through “War and Peace” twice. Managed to get to just over 250 pages the last try (and by that point had amassed about twenty note cards with character names and traits).

          It was just too much work though. And that’s how I feel in regards to most literature. Just written at a time when folks were less busy and far less distracted.

          BUT, I love SOME of Steinbeck…

          On “Of Mice and Men,” I was like, “meh,” And I couldn’t even get through Cannery Row.

          HOWEVER, I think “Grapes of Wrath” is an epic masterpiece. I have a copy I read about once a year that has lines and lines underlined, notations I’ve written throughout, etc. I literally study it. What he’s doing in it, whether it’s reinforcing a character’s trait, advancing the plot, ramping up the tension, throwing a curveball, foreshadowing, etc.

          I have this stuff written out in the margins like it’s a sheet of music, and I try to see what he’s doing from the perspective of the entire forest instead of just looking at the tree.

          That marked-up book is very valuable to me because of all the things I’ve written in the margins.

          But here’s a question I have for you Letizia…

          I wonder what causes a writer to have such an effect on people with his/her own works. You know, where you hate some of their stuff and love others?

          And why doesn’t this seem to happen with modern-day, mainstream authors much? (Or does it and I’m just an idiot?)

          For instance, Lee Child, Stephen Hunter, Robert B. Parker, Tom Clancy — these are just some of my favorite authors — all their stuff seems to be pretty much the same. You either love it or hate it.

          I do know John Grisham has written a couple I’ve hated, while loving the rest, so anyway, not sure what all this means, but I’d love to hear some wisdom as to why this used to happen. And some confirmation that it happens less today than it once did. (I have the same experience with Hemingway as I do Steinbeck… I love some of his stuff and hate others…)

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          • Hahah – I was going to say something about persistence but this conversation is the best thing I’ve read all day so instead I’ll just jump in and say – The Grapes of Wrath is my favorite novel. I’m in awe of it whenever I read it. I also wonder why some books resonate and others don’t, but I think classics have a better chance of doing that because they pay attention to the sound of the language and the rhythms so it becomes a sort of poetry. They usually have more philosophy and meaning to them. The ones that are just for entertainment are always fun but if they don’t make me look at the world in a different way then they’re probably not going to stick with me. Sorry – I got all excited just because you mentioned The Grapes of Wrath. The monkey/dog thing made me laugh too! Now I forgot what I was going to say about persistence – oh well.

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            • Great point on classics and the sound of the language, as well as the philosophy and meaning point that you made.

              That helps me see a bit clearer why literature succeeds when modern fiction often doesn’t. Thanks for the comment, Sheila! And I’m glad I made you laugh! (I’ll probably regret that comment and about a hundred others if I’m ever lucky enough to be famous!!!)

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              • Hahah! When you’re famous, people will love you even more for being like a dog and a monkey. Those are some of the best animals to be.

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                • You know, you’re probably right about those being soem of the best animals… I’ll have to put some more thought into that to confirm, but after the obvious dog or cat reference, they’re pretty far up there I’d say.

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  2. Her story is certainly interesting. She did a bit of traveling, and if I read the article correctly at 28 (?) she’s making $90,000 a year? Not bad. I know a lot of authors that struggled, and still don’t make those wages. I remember some of my friends who were writing for hire in the dark ages, making $1,500.00 a book, and finally took out their .45 and blew a hole in the computer screen so they wouldn’t write another word. I received rejection slips from big names, and two of my novels gathered dust for thirty years while I did something else. Writing is the easy part, making it in this business is the hard part. I’m retired now, after 80 books, and it feels good not worrying about an agent or publisher. I’m glad she made. There are a lot of horror stories out there.

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    • You are soooo right, Tom. It’s a brutal business.

      I once read somewhere that the only reason you should enter it is if you absolutely have to. If you’d write for free — and do. If you can’t sleep at night and MUST get that story down, even if nary a soul reads it.

      I really think that’s sound advice, especially with the flood of writers rushing into the market.

      I just feel lucky to have crossed paths with you so I can bug you with questions from time to time.

      Thanks for the comment and take care of yourself until we talk again!

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  3. Love the quote! It is very much about persisting in the game after you know what it’s all about.

    I spent most of last year coming to terms with self-publishing, after the honey moon period. Now I pride myself on continuing with my passion and not sweating the outcome as much. Makes for a happier story all around. : )

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    • Yeah, I so went through that phase, too.

      In some ways, that’s when it’s most dangerous for you. You’ve killed yourself, finally published, and BAM, just not getting the results you expected. (Or, arguably deserved.)

      And then it seems like all your critics were right about how you shouldn’t be wasting your time chasing that dream.

      It’s just one of those things you’ve got to push through. (Or dance through if your name is Britt or Stan!)

      Like

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