Are You One of the Lucky Ones?

4leaf cloverTHERE IS NO WRITING FOUR-LEAF CLOVER (photo Pixabay.com)

I keep studying the craft of writing. Every day. I even attended another writers’ conference last week … the Rochester Writers’ Spring Conference at Oakland University … trying to learn more about the social media aspects of marketing my work.

Took a lot of notes. Met some interesting people. Learned a hell of a lot more than I expected to.

It was a good conference.

Still, there are a lot of people who wonder why I bother. They know I’ve published fiction … and they also know it was a good thing I had a career beforehand. Writing is a tough business.

It often seems like success is handed to the “lucky” ones.

You know, the ones everyone thinks have been blessed with deep pockets, the right connections, or some form of magical God-given talent the rest of us were not in the right line to receive.

Wouldn’t it be nice to think success is something more … something you have some control over?

Surprise. It is.

It’s about talent, sure. But it’s something else, too.

It’s called grit.

Grit Scale
Did you know there’s actually a Grit Scale? It was developed by a Ph.D. psychology researcher at the University of Pennsylvania. You can take it yourself and see how you rate.

Even more surprising than finding out there is such a scale are the researcher’s findings: Grit trumps talent, IQ and aptitude as the top predictor of achievement. It’s the quality that turns a little engine that could into the little engine that does.

Does that apply to being a writer? Of course it does.

The literary field is littered with authors who simply wouldn’t give up. Case in point: Stephen King.

As a young man he would nail his many story rejection slips to the wall. He once had so many of them he had to replace the nail with a spike, just to hold them all up.

But he kept writing.

You may know that his first novel accepted for publication was “Carrie.” It sold a million copies in the first year alone, and we all know what’s happened since. Stephen King’s net worth is now estimated somewhere north of $400 million.

Louis Dearborn LaMoore, the man who became famous as Louis L’Amour for his stories of the American West, received more than 200 rejections before Bantam took a chance on him. His 330 million book sales make him Bantam’s best-selling author … ever.

One of my favorite authors, William Golding, received twenty-one rejections for “Lord of the Flies” before it was published. One from an editor who called it “an absurd and uninteresting fantasy which was rubbish and dull.”

Since publication, the novel has sold 15 million copies, and is widely regarded as a classic. Golding’s body of work earned him a Pulitzer Prize in 1983.

Clive Staples Lewis, better known as C.S. Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia) spent years being rejected, but the rejections did not break his spirit. He only became more determined to succeed.

His books have now been translated into 47 languages, selling over 100 million copies.

Even Theodor S. Geisel, the American writer and cartoonist now widely known for the children’s books he wrote as Dr. Suess, received rejection letters saying his stories were “too different to warrant selling.”

He’s the ninth best-selling fiction author of all time.

What Should Any of That Mean to You?
Probably the same thing it meant to me. Never give up. After I retired from the nine-to-five routine I got serious about writing. I spent a long time trying to find an agent to represent my work.

No luck.

So I tried publishing them myself. My first novel was released in 2012. Two novels and two short-story collections later, I have two award-winners and my most recent novel “One Way Street” received 5-Star reviews from Readers Favorite in 2014.

Does it feel good? Of course. Am I getting rich? Good grief, no.

However, that’s all beside the point. I’m enjoying what I do and intend to keep doing it, whether agents and publishers find me or not. I only hope readers do.

Is that grit?

Maybe.

Whatever it is, it’s enough to keep me at it.

 

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My books have garnered some terrific reviews. You can see the stories I have available by using the Amazon link below.

buy now amazon

You’re also invited to visit my website, BROKEN GLASS, or like my Book of Face page. You can also follow my shorter ramblings on The Twitter.

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Comments posted below will be read, greatly appreciated and perhaps even answered.

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3 Responses to “Are You One of the Lucky Ones?”

  1. dray0308 Says:

    I am glad you posted this. I will take a hard worker with desire over educated every day of the week! The “grit factor” is a term I had never heard of until now, but recognized it when you defined.

    Liked by 1 person

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