Blogger: Rachel Zurakowski
Location: Books & Such Main Office, Santa Rosa, Calif.
Last week, Wendy Lawton blogged about authors who persist to the point of pestering or harassing an agent or editor. Persistence without first acquiring a teachable spirit (see Monday’s post) is a bad thing in the publishing world. However, I do believe that perseverance plays a huge role in getting a book published.
Perseverance is an attractive and necessary quality for a writer to possess. It’s kind of a no-brainer in one respect: a person without perseverance will never be able to finish writing a book. But the need for this quality in an author does go deeper than this. Let me illustrate:
Let’s imagine that your book continues to receive positive feedback from different editors or agents, but no one seems willing to take a chance on you. If you give up, your book is never going to be published. If you take the feedback, change the project accordingly and continue to submit, you’ll have a much better chance of eventually having a book (or two!) on a bookstore shelf. It could take A LOT of work, but giving up won’t ever get you to the finish line. Part of being a writer is learning to take rejection as a sign to revise and press on rather than a personal insult meant to deter you from success. If you aren’t willing to persevere, the author who is is going to beat you to publication will be the one with greater perseverance.
Sometimes perseverance in writing means scrapping one idea that you thought would really take off and moving on to a new project. Timing has a lot to do with getting a book published, and if one idea isn’t clicking with editors or agents, the timing might not be right for that project. Press on, start on a new idea. Don’t throw out the other one, but set it on the back burner for awhile. Let it simmer while you cook up another delicacy. Perhaps when your NEXT project garners more interest, the timing will be right for your first project too.
So press on! Keep at it!