Thankfully when I listened to the episode “Persevereance” on Writing Excuses I was doing a morning cardio walk on a trail, with no other people in sight, because it made me cry. No, the guys at Writing Excuses aren’t big meanies, honest. Despite this being one of my favourite podcasts, I’m behind on listening to episodes and this one aired back in March. I do believe the saying that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear, which is why this episode hit me so hard. I’ve been querying a novel, facing rejections (some very nice, but they still sting!) and a discussion on perseverance is exactly what I needed to hear right now.
Sherrilyn Kenyon is a guest on the podcast and quotes Cher, to “be the cockroach.” Sherrilyn explains how Cher said she would be the cockroach of music, still around when all others were gone, not even a nuclear bomb could stop me. Sherrilynn said she wants to be the cockroach of writing. She said that mindset has been important for her entire career, and that “it’s not an industry for the meek.” Sherrilynn said she went through at time after already being a best selling author, where they were homeless, living on the streets with an infant. But she didn’t give up. You need to listen to this episode to hear the story of her ups and downs, her brother’s death, her incredibly terrible letter from an editor and how she’s persevered to become the succesful, diverse author she is today.
Dan Wells talks about the disappointment in the sales of his first book, (I Am Not A Serial Killer) and his decision to keep going. His books are fantastic and are now selling around the world. If you haven’t read them, I highly recommend them. I’m a big fan of his series.
Howard Tayler reminds us we need to be the hero we’ve been writing about. Focus on your strengths. Rejections are out of your control, what you do have control over is the ability to “write another manuscript, your ability to keep doing this. If you’re going to the hero of your own story, then you have to go back to your strengths and act like a hero and submit another manuscript, or write another manuscript.”
Brandon Sanderson said he wrote twelve unpublished novels. TWELVE! I’ve written two. Puts it into perspective, doesn’t it? He tells us if you’re feeling low remember he felt the same in 2002 after writing twelve unpublished novels. One year later he sold a book, three years later he was number one on the New York’s best seller list.
If you’re feeling down, if you’re feeling like quitting, listen to this podcast! I’m so glad I did.