Not sure how many saw the news, but James Rollins received a $15 million multibook deal recently.
That’s amazing news in a number of respects.
One, you don’t hear of deals that big these days, especially for just four books.
Two, “there were not multiple bidders, and he was not jumping to another publishing house,” according to the article.
Three, there has been “a slump in print sales in recent years, (and) publishers have been more cautious about paying huge sums for book advances,” the article says.
But I think Rollins’s news has a pretty big lesson for us all.
And that lesson is persistence.
Rollins’s first contract was in 1999, and it was for $25,000.
Think about that. Fifteen years ago, he earned $25,000 on a book that probably took him several years to write.
But he didn’t give up. He didn’t allow that to deter him. And he kept writing.
And twenty books later, he just signed a contract that he claimed he’s still a little freaked out about.
It’s stories like this that keep me writing late at night and during lunch breaks. I am that guy who sometimes turns down the chance to go out with friends just so I can get in my writing or exercise. (Yes, exercise. For me, exercise fuels the dream and energy levels necessary to go that extra mile; to keep believing; to think I still have a solid chance and shouldn’t give up on the dream.)
So, if you’re still working toward your dream, keep pushing. It may take 15 years. It may take longer. But if you achieve that level you’re seeking, it’s going to be worth it. Maybe $15 million worth it. (And when that happens, people won’t think you’re nuts for turning down opportunities to go out!)
And now for a little preaching…
If you’ve dropped your dream or laid it aside for a while, pick it back up! Grab it with energy and zest! Smile and enjoy the work and ignore how daunting the journey or project or task may be.
Take it one page at a time. Or one step at a time. Or one day at a time.
Inch by inch, life is a cinch! Yard by yard, life is hard.
Let’s go members of Mitchell’s Militia! Let’s do what we were born to do, even if we never make it big.
Keep the faith,
Stan R. Mitchell
Oak Ridge, Tenn.
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