Monday, April 20, 2009

Passion, Patience, Persistence: The Three P's of Success.

"Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depth of your heart; confess to yourself you would have to die if you were forbidden to write." ~Rainer Maria Rilke

Passion, Patience, and Persistence. These are three of the essential qualities needed to be a successful writer.

First… Passion.

The need to write, the fervent desire to create worlds and watch the stories unfold on paper is prerequisite. If you don't feel as if your life would be desolate without the act of writing, flee while you can!

Still here? *smile* Good!

Nurture that flame within your heart every day, every hour. Trust me, you'll need plenty of fuel to keep that passion burning. No matter how tempting it can be to wallow in despair, kick any such tendency to the curb. You're a writer, damn it! Your heart beats a little faster when the words fly by, right? You quiver with excitement when a new idea hits and you can't wait to trap that elusive inspiration on a fresh page. Am I close?

When the writing sucks (and we've all been there) you'll be tempted to toss your story out along with your dreams.


This is a relationship and the honeymoon phase comes and goes. Okay, that came out a little more risqué than I intended but I do love a good romance. *smile* Nevertheless, the sentiment holds true. You must cling to the passion that first drove you to pound those keys in a fever of excitement. Keep that passion alive. Remind yourself daily: I am a writer. Look in the mirror and pour your heart and soul into those four little words. Hear them for what they are. An exclamation of undying passion to the career you've embraced.

We Are Writers! Yeah, baby!

Next up… Patience.

"The work never matches the dream of perfection the artist has to start with." -- William Faulkner

Dang it! *shakes fist at muse*

The inspiration dangling before our mind's eye never seems to coalesce quickly enough.

"Having imagination, it takes you an hour to write a paragraph that, if you were unimaginative, would take you only a minute. Or you might not write the paragraph at all." ~Franklin P. Adams, Half a Loaf, 1927

Patience is essential because you never really know where the muse will take you. The process of writing is a mixture of applied focus and blind faith. A good metaphor might be of trying to start a fire by rubbing sticks together. Others have done it. The process looks easy enough. Yet the length of time required before that first spark of flame may feel like an eternity. And to our dismay, the first spark doesn't burst into a raging fire.

Be patient. Each word leads to another. Each sentence becomes a paragraph. Each page gets you closer to a finished draft. In our world of instant gratification, it's difficult to remember how much time is required to write a book. Thank goddess for our passion, eh?

Time to remind ourselves of the heart of our own life story: We Are Writers! We CAN and WILL make this happen. One word, one page, one chapter at a time.

Which takes us to the crux of our quest: Persistence.

"Never give up! Never Surrender!" – from the movie Galaxy Quest.

No matter how many times I use this quote, it always rings true. These words need to be inscribed on our foreheads. Backwards, of course, so that when we're staring at the mirror shouting, "I am a Writer!" we can read them clearly. *grin*

Writers write. And it doesn't matter if you're published, pre-published or don't give a damn about ever being published (I've heard of this elusive creature, though I have yet to meet one).

Writers write. Remember that. Persist even when you hit the inevitable slump. Persist even if rejections pile up. Persist when your heart is into it and when it's not.

Hold that vision in your mind like an Olympic torch. You want to go for the gold? Visualize your finish line. See yourself clutching your published novel in hand. Or signing The Contract. Or answering the phone and screaming like a maniac because you just got The Call. Or hitting that NYT Bestseller list.

Got the vision? Great, now get to work!

"If you haven't got an idea, start a story anyway. You can always throw it away, and maybe by the time you get to the fourth page you will have an idea, and you'll only have to throw away the first three pages." --William Campbell Gault

And consider this…

Every writer goes through dark moments. Every writer wonders about his or her talent. Every writer worries about the dark moment or the climax, the character arc or the pacing, the beginning, the middle AND the ending.

"Cherish your visions; cherish your ideals; cherish the music that stirs in your heart, the beauty that forms in your mind, the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts, for out of them will grow delightful conditions, all heavenly environment; of these if you but remain true to them, your world will at last be built." --James Allen

You can do it. Why? Because You, my friend, are a writer.

April is here and we're ready to Spring into another week!

Write-Write-WRITE! Go-go-GO! Remember, We Are Writers!

--Chiron O'Keefe

My Bio Post at Pop Culture Divas!


Anonymous said...

Inspiring, as usual, and just what I needed to read.

While many, many times I claim I'm giving it all up, I can't. I must write fiction for my own sanity.

And as soon as I make such a proclamation that I'm quitting, I'll notice a person and think, "Ah, now that would make a good character or premise for a book" and know that I must continue writing, continue to create characters, and continue to submit hoping to release those characters into the world.

Thanks, Chiron, and have a great week!

Misty Evans said...

Happy Spring, Chiron.

I agree with the three P's. The first rush of a new story is divine, but the middle is often drudgery. I have to dig deep for patience and visit your motivationsl blog!

Linda LaRoque said...

Hi, Chiron. You sure know how to push, girl. Just when we needed it most.

Marianne said...

Another inspirational blog. You sure know how to keep one inflated with the desire to WRITE, WRITE, WRITE!

Motivation at it's best! I love the quotes. So much can be found in them! Thanks Chiron!

Chiron said...

Hey Kathy!

I hear you. Sometimes the frustration strangles me too but then I pull out past writing and I'm enthralled yet again. *smile*

We Are Writers. There's no other way....

Thanks again for stopping by!!


Chiron said...

Happy Spring, Misty!!

Yup, it's the middle for me too. Here's to the Three P's! Once I'm through with these edits though, I'm PUSHING to the end. I can't wait!! I'm pumped.

Smiles, dear friend!

Chiron said...

Hey Linda!

Thanks so much. Half the time, I'm pushing myself. *grin*

Thanks for visiting!


Chiron said...

Aw, Marianne!

Bless you. I really appreciate your kind words. You're a dear for stopping by!


Sandy said...


Thank you for a great post. The three P's are definitely necessary to make you continue to write.


Chiron said...

Hi Sandy!

It's always so lovely to see you here. *smile* Thanks!!


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