Writing Tip #31

Never give up. This one should be a given, and I’ve probably mentioned it in passing in earlier posts, but if you want to be a writer — I mean, really want to be a writer — you should never give up, never call it quits, never take no for an answer. Kathryn Stockett’s best-selling novel The Help was turned down 60 times before it found a literary agency to call home. “What if I had given up at 15? Or 40? Or even 60?” she asks.

Tenacity. Belief in yourself. I was reminded of these important things yesterday when I attended an appearance at my local library by news anchor Richard Rose who recently self-published his first novel Release the Butterfly. Rose had the idea for this novel for 30 years — 30 years! — twice the number of years I spent thinking about Baby Grand. And he never let it go. Even when he couldn’t find a traditional publisher who believed enough in his book to publish it, he self-published and has now written a screenplay for the novel which he envisions as a film.

I always think about my husband — my level-headed, pragmatic husband — when I write these kinds of posts. I imagine him saying, “Dina, be serious, you can believe and believe and believe, but, the truth is, not everyone is going to become a successful novelist.”

My answer to that? Well, somebody will. And who’s to say it won’t be him? Or her? Or me?


3 thoughts on “Writing Tip #31

  1. Wonderful post for this Sunday morning! I have a novel that just pours out of me sometimes and then i feel nothing on other days. I love writing and hope to be a published author one day. Sometimes I think I could never possibly do that! However, I’m just going to keep believing and building on my work. Thanks so much for this excellent article.

  2. The book I recently published took 11 years to come to life.

    About 9 of those years were the incarnations of the Theme in plot vehicles that didn’t work…

    I hadn’t thought, during the long periods I wasn’t thinking about the book, that the original Theme would finally find itself published.


    I feel that the never-give-up attitude can live on in the Unconscious even when the waking mind is otherwise occupied :-)

  3. Great article, Dina. My debut novel “The Final Salute” was a 16 year effort. So many times I wanted to give up, but I stuck with it because I believed in my story and I believed in my characters.

    We can never quit.

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