Monday, March 25, 2013

Perseverance!


I mentioned on my home blog today that I decided to stop working on my WIP. (Long story. You can read more here)

It was a hard decision to make and one I discussed in length with my critique partners. But I finally decided it was the best thing I could do for my writing, and I feel as if a weight has been lifted.

Nonetheless, it still makes me feel like I failed.

Have you ever felt like a failure?

If you have, you're definitely not alone.

I read in a devotion a few months ago about Abraham Lincoln and a little bit about what he went through in his lifetime. I decided to pull it out again and read it because I found it every encouraging. Maybe you will too!

According to Jim Burns, our 16th President had more failures than victories, yet many count him among the greatest presidents the United States has ever had. But I'm sure at one time Lincoln probably felt he was spinning his wheels too.

Take a look at his life:

  1. "He grew up on an isolated farm with only one year of formal education. In his early years he was exposed to barely half-a-dozen books.
  2. In 1832 he lost his job and was defeated in the race for the Illinois legislature.
  3.  In 1833 he failed in business.
  4. In 1834 he was elected to the state legislature, but in 1835 his sweetheart died, and in 1836 he had a nervous breakdown.
  5. In 1838 he was defeated for Speaker of the House, and in 1843 he was defeated for nomination for Congress. In 1846 he was elected to Congress but in 1848 lost the re-nomination.
  6. In 1849 he was rejected for a federal land officer appointment, and in 1854 he was defeated for the Senate. In 1856 he was defeated for the nomination of Vice President, and in 1858 was again defeated for the Senate."

Now, was Lincoln a failure? No. In fact, Stephen Spielberg, the director and producer of the movie, Lincoln, even said that Lincoln was, “arguably the greatest working president in American history doing some of the greatest work for the world.”

What does all this mean?

It means I want to see the movie Lincoln. LOL!
But also, Burns goes on to say all this means this: "There is one word that comes to mind when I think of failure: perseverance. To persevere means to hang on, to stick with it, to press forward! "

I really liked that. I think we can apply this lesson to writing as well.
Sometimes we'll be able to begin writing a story and finish it, sometimes we'll be able to sell that story, sometimes we'll get great reviews, sometimes the book will be a bestseller and sometimes...

none of that will happen.

But it's okay. The point is we press forward, we stick with it, and have perseverance.

I'm starting from scratch and trying out a new plot today. I'm pressing forward.

How about you?

 

28 comments:

  1. What a timely message and reminder. Thanks!

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  2. Wonderful post, Jennifer! This is exactly the encouragement I need on a Monday. Thanks for the boost!

    Lincoln comes out Tuesday on Netflix. Can't wait to see it!

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  3. Thanks for the inspiration, Jennifer.I'd love to see Lincoln as well! And I'm sort of pressing on...if a little slowly today

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    1. I hear ya. We'll keep rooting for each other.

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  4. Oops, I posted and it ate it! Bummer.

    I've been there, Jennifer, and it's a tough decision to make, but clearly sometimes it's the only one. Hugs to you, but so glad you've already moved on to the next one.

    Haven't seen Lincoln--it's on my must-see list! But the way I get to watch movies (there are six of us) is I'm last in line and I get to watch them in pieces. So over the course of the next two years I'll get to see it in its entirety. :)

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    1. Thanks, Ami. It's nice to hear other writers go thru this too.

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  5. This post is perfect timing as I force myself back into writing after my six month slumber. :) Thank you!

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  6. Hey, Jennifer!

    I so agree with perseverance - in all parts of life. Some situations are certainly more difficult when it comes to persevering, but I think it pays off. Good luck with your new plot today, and hope you enjoy Lincoln! xoxo Jenna

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    Replies
    1. Yes, this CAN be applied to all things.
      Thanks for stopping by!

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  7. Hi Jennifer! Thanks for this thoughtful post today - it's really nice to know I'm not alone. :) The P word is so important to remember. And that F word? Not *that* one (he he), but failure, is often so hard to move on from. But I like to think of it not as failure, but as a little setback. Something we can hopefully learn from. Something that taught us about ourselves so that the next time is better. There's no such thing as failure if we keep moving forward.

    Hugs to you and happy plotting. I have a feeling this next story is going to rock!

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    1. You are so sweet, Robin!
      Yes, no F words here. LOL Nothing but a setback.

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  8. Great post! I agree. Perseverance is vitally important to every important aspect in our lives.

    Good luck with your writing!!!

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  9. Awesome post, Jennifer. I sit here thinking what I'm writing should just be heaved into the trash right now, but I think I can't see the forest for the trees. Well I hope so. I will persevere and push through. A good reminder not to give up. Thanks!

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    1. I'm not heaving mine in the trash, but I will be setting aside.
      Need to move on. :)

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  10. Great post, Jennifer. We've all been there...trying to decide whether it's worth it to sink more time into a failing manuscript. It's great that you have critique partners you can trust with helping you with that decision. Good luck!

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  11. Thanks so much for this post, Jennifer. :)
    I think you're incredibly brave and talented. A great combination!

    P.S. DD and I plan to watch Lincoln this weekend.

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  12. Terrific post, Jennifer. I've set projects aside, and I tell myself they're just not ready yet. I don't believe any writing is a waste of time, either. It's what you needed to do to get to the next project. Hugs, and best of luck!

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  13. Great post, Jennifer. I have set a few projects aside before, and some I later revisited and reworked for the better. It's a tough choice to make, but often the best one in this situation. Good luck on the next project!

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  14. Hello Jennifer,

    This is a weird yet inspiring incident..i was asleep,but for some reason i twisted and turned and couldnt find my way back to sleeping.

    I got up,grabbed my cell to search for something i have love for 'pink typewriter', and came across ur blog without difficulty..

    Everything happens for a reason..Am glad i found u, ur words, and ur inspiration that touched me..

    I love how u wrote about Perseverance,its so true we should always hang on and push it to the next level...

    We all relate one way or the other since we all have the love for writing..

    Thankyou for a superb post :-))
    Il start following your work if u dont mind
    Yasmeen

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hello Jennifer,

    This is a weird yet inspiring incident..i was asleep,but for some reason i twisted and turned and couldnt find my way back to sleeping.

    I got up,grabbed my cell to search for something i have love for 'pink typewriter', and came across ur blog without difficulty..

    Everything happens for a reason..Am glad i found u, ur words, and ur inspiration that touched me..

    I love how u wrote about Perseverance,its so true we should always hang on and push it to the next level...

    We all relate one way or the other since we all have the love for writing..

    Thankyou for a superb post :-))
    Il start following your work if u dont mind
    Yasmeen

    ReplyDelete