Why Persistence Matters

Persistence leads to your success

“Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never ~ in nothing great or small, large or petty ~ never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”~ Winston Churchill

Persistence is the difference between success and failure

One of the main reasons that people fail to achieve their dreams once they start pursuing them, according to a variety of seminars I’ve attended, is that they give up too soon. They either underestimate the time it will take to achieve their goals or their ego gets in the way and they’re not willing to grow slowly. So they quit.

But persistence leads to your success.

Following a dream is sometimes a rough undertaking. You have to expect obstacles from the start. If you know they’re coming, you won’t be thrown off-guard when they finally show up. And, most likely, they will show up. They’ll come in the form of: other people’s negative opinions, rejections, a bad decision you made, fear, lack of sales, lack of money, bad reviews, just to name a few.

Persistence helps you overcome obstacles

It’s your job, as the dream follower, to face them head on, to not back down, to keep moving forward in the direction of your vision no matter what gets thrown at you. Many people get stuck when they hit opposition. They slow down, then stop. Finally, they give up. Here are some things I’ve run into, just to give you an idea:

  • I’ve been rejected more than 100 times. I kept sending my work out; I just simply stopped counting after 100.
  • There have been years ~ yes, you’re reading that right, years with an s ~ I made a grand total of $0 (yes, zero) from my fiction writing (so, yes, I still have a day job).
  • In total, I’ve spent thousands more on my writing than I’ve actually made.
  • I juggle a lot ~ working, taking care of my family, cooking nearly all the meals, cleaning the house, paying the bills, writing novels, reading, blogging, keeping my social networking sites updated, parenting my kids ~ and sometimes it’s just exhausting.
  • I spend countless hours away from my family. Both of my children have asked me, at one point or another, when I’m going to be done writing so they can see me again.
  • I’ve lost many, many hours of sleep because I started either working late into the night or getting up at some crazy early hour in the morning to minimize the time I miss with my kids.
  • The traditional publishing route doesn’t seem open to me, so I changed my vision & am now an independent author.

Is it worth it? you might ask. Yes. Because, overall, I’m happy & I love what I’m doing.

Persistence leads to your success

If you know opposition is coming, if you mentally prepare for it, then it won’t sidetrack you when it finally shows up. If Winston Churchill had given up, we might all very well be speaking German right now. He didn’t, the tides of World War II turned, and Hitler was defeated. Churchill was facing down the Nazis. You’re just following a dream.

Do you believe persistence matters? Please feel free to share your thoughts & experiences in the comment box below.

43 thoughts on “Why Persistence Matters”

  1. This is an apropos post for me. I feel like I’m reading a description of my life! Thanks for making me feel like I’m not alone. It IS worth it. I love writing; I love my family and most of the time they understand.



    1. Love the content of your site, positive, focused and inspiring. Recently started a designer t-shirt line embracing these forgotten areas. Your article Why Persistence Matters came at the perfect time. Starting from scratch isn’t easy but with persistence it will happen!

      1. Hi Linda! *waves*

        Awww, thanks for the fab compliment. Made me smile today. 🙂 Congrats on your new business, how exciting is that! I have no doubt that you’ll make it happen, darlin. I’m rooting for you & sending lots of positive thoughts your way. Have a great weekend. Cheers!

  2. Great Post, Shelli. So glad that you decided to self-publish and realise your dream. Persistence is key to the success of many, not just writers :)!

    Will Tweet & share!

  3. What an awesome post. And that quote! It gave me chills. I am so glad I read this today. Thanks for the reminder, Shelli. Persistence pays off!

  4. This post really speaks volumes to me! I’m a newbie, but a babe in the writing industry and I’ve barely gotten off my feet. But you know what, I’m ready for the rejection, and I’m ready for the pain. Writing is my heart, and it’ll never stop beating.

    Thank you for sharing this with us.
    Best wishes~

    1. Hi Eve. I’m so glad this post spoke to you; I love it when other people’s posts speak to me. I love this ~ “Writing is my heart, and it’ll never stop beating.” Amen to that!

  5. Shelli–This is such a great pep talk and few people need to hear it more than do writers. Thanks so much for sharing. It really made me feel not so alone, PLUS gave me a little push. I might just hang onto the post to re-read as needed!

  6. GREAT post. I really loved this so much and so glad to have found it. I can relate to just about the entire thing! 🙂

  7. Very well said, Shelli. I’ve recently started writing again after a fifteen year absence. When I began in the mid-nineties, I told my husband, if I wasn’t published in five years, I’d quit. An unrealistic promise I realized too late. Once spoken, I felt I should honor the promise. I made one submission and when that was rejected, hubby told me I was done, he wanted his wife back.
    I’m now writing again and a much happier person. It may take a while to be published, but I know that’s okay. I’ll hang on to your post to refer to it often for encouragement!

    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Carra! *waves* I’m so glad to hear you’re writing again. Yes, sometimes it takes a while & sometimes, like in my case, you have to change your vision. But the being happier part (with writing again, with the path you’re taking) is, IMO, the most important thing. Cheers, darlin!

  8. I’m sending the link to your post to my talented son (music) who could use your sage advice at this particular moment when he feels like throwing in the towel. And I’ve bookmarked it so I can have it as a reminder on those days when it seems being a writer is more of a struggle than its worth. Thanks, Shelli! Great post.

    1. Hi J.P.! Thanks for the lovely compliment. I hope your son doesn’t quit, I really do. I hope you don’t either. As I’ve often been told, the process of creating art is more important the end result. 🙂

  9. Dear Shelli
    Your prespective on life is A winning attitude with the belief that you cannot fail, and yes sometimes it takes
    time and patience and the ability of ~Never Giving Up~
    someone once said it’s always darkest just before the dawn!
    Best of luck with your future writing and juggling all that
    you do! ~Ellis~

    1. Hi Ellis! Thanks so much for the fabulous compliment. I agree that it takes time and patience (which I’m not necessarily great at, but I’m learning ~ lol) and especially not giving up. Thank you for the good wishes. Cheers to you! 🙂

  10. Hi Shelli: this is an awesome post. Everyone, no matter what they do always needs this kind of boost, when “blind” faith is all you have. Also reminds me of the famous Coolidge quote:

    “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination are omnipotent. The slogan press on has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race. No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.”

    1. Hi Viky! Thanks for the fabulous compliment and for that fantastic quote. Made me smile & strengthened my resolve. I am going to print it out & tack it up in my writing room. 🙂

  11. Nicholas A. Rose

    Spot on, Shelli. Those who want to be writers will write. It’s great to share work with others, and equally as good to get their feedback – even when that might be negative.

    Quiet determination always wins through. If you fall over, pick yourself up, dust yourself down and carry on regardless. Learn from your mistakes. Listen to criticism, then accept, amend or reject as necessary. Keep on plugging away.

    We all make our own luck.

    1. Hi Nicholas! *waves* I agree that “quiet determination always wins through.” I agree, too, that I’ve often learned more from my mistakes than my successes & that quality criticism has made me a much better writer. I love this because it’s absolutely true: “We all make our own luck.” Cheers to you!

  12. Thanks for this, Shelli. Very good reminder of what it takes to “make it” at anything. Most of us who are published, whether indie or trad, went through obstacles to get here. Those writers who didn’t are rare or non-existent. Great piece. Thanks for posting it!

    1. Hi Diane! *waves* It’s very true that you need to be persistent to make it at anything, not just writing. It’s also true that very few published authors (if any) had an easy time of it. Thanks for the fab compliment. Cheers, darlin.

  13. Dear Shelli,

    This sounds like a description of my life – without the job as I am also homeschooling my children. Again, like you I am following my dreams to the fullest extent.
    Thank you kindly for putting this on ‘paper’ – it’s something we all needed to be reminded of – why we do this lies deep inside and can’t be replaced with anything else.


    1. Hi April!

      Kudos to you for pursuing your dreams and taking care of your children. I’m so glad to hear that you’re following your dreams to the fullest extent. That’s fantastic. And yes, we all need the reminder sometimes (me included) that our motivation needs to come from deep inside. Cheers, darlin.

  14. Shelli, your bullets here could be mine…when it comes to writing.

    If we have the urge to write, of course we must as it is what spurs us on in life – these words we write, these characters we create: they are expressions of our true selves. I am blessed to have a wonderful husband who lets me take off on a weekend day and hide away to write or takes our son out so I can have a few hours alone to write.

    I see so many writers struggle, give up, become frustrated. I wish they could find the strength to never give up and realize that we are all in it together. I believe becoming part of an online and in-person writing community helps spur us on to achieve that “never never never give up” place.

    And if we can understand that our writing is never done and that the novel we just finished can keep on giving us gifts in the layers we find and richness we can bring to it, then we should never give up. A novel is not done after one draft or several. It’s only done when we’ve found all the power within the story that we can. THAT is what never giving up means when it comes to your writing.

    And I’m German-American, but very, very glad we are NOT speaking German right now in America because we “never gave up.”

    1. Hi Donna!

      I really can’t say enough good things about having a supportive, nurturing spouse. It really does make all the difference, at least for me. I, too, have seen writers give up & it’s so sad. I love this: “we are all in it together.” That’s so true & being online and with other writers has helped me a great deal to remember that writing matters, stories matter, and connecting with other people matters.

      And amen to this: “It’s only done when we’ve found all the power within the story that we can.” That’s so true, too.

      Cheers, darlin. 🙂

  15. You are very good with words Shelli.
    I came here to read this, and I RTd your tweet.
    I did that because I knew it would help someone else, but by the time I got to the end, I know you were telling me not to give up either.

    When the “opposition” against you is massive, they don’t care about you at all, and you know you can never beat them directly, it can be crushing, but if you have the strength and belief in yourself, you keep going, even though, after several years years, your evil opposition is still working hard to crush you.

    What they can’t crush out of you is your desire, your ideas, your skill, your talent, your ability to help and interact with other people, so you not only keep going, you look for ways around them.

    They are not the gatekeepers of your life. They are the gatekeepers of their own miserable enterprise and they care only about themselves. One day, karma will get them, one way or another, and when it does, I will have forgotten about them, and they won’t even register on my radar, because I’ll be doing what I want, and I’ll be helping others.

    Best Wishes with all you do, and use your amazing talent for good.

    1. Hi Alan!

      Thanks so much for the fab compliment & the RT. Made me smile today. 🙂 Absolutely true that nobody can crush your desire, ideas, skill, talents, and passions unless you let them. It’s a choice to keep going. Sometimes it does feel like the “opposition” is overwhelming but that’s when we all need to dig in & keep pushing forward & you’re right, find ways around if that’s what it takes. And you are so right, too, that no one is a gatekeeper to your life. You rock on & you keep helping others. Thanks so much for all your kind words. Cheers!

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