I've decided that I like being a writer.
Good thing, huh? But you know how it goes. Up and down, down and up, down and down (to be perfectly honest). It takes more than passion for the pen to keep us going.
And recently, I've learned that it takes more than tenacity, too. Last week, I threw out the following question to Holly Root, who opened the Twitter floor to questions that she promised to answer on her blog:
When does tenacity become foolishness?
You can read Holly's thoughtful answer here.
I have since come up with my own answer to the tenacity vs. foolishness question. It's this:
Tenacity is never foolishness unless it resists the ongoing reevaluation of one's ideas and methods.
(Whew. That sounds almost lofty.)
But seriously. Hanging onto one's dream without budging from the status quo -- even when it's not working -- is the epitome of foolishness. Here's an example: An aspiring author has written his first novel. He's worked hard, he's polished it, he's been querying agents for almost three years. He's still unagented, has had a few requests for partials, but no positive comments or any other "bites" on his manuscript.
Continuing to query the same project--without alteration--because he believes in it so strongly = foolishness.
Reworking the project (because he believes in it so strongly) while beginning something new to start querying = tenacity.
Not that that's a brand new concept to most of you. It's just that, sometimes, we experience a moment of clarity that sheds new light, deeper truth, on something we thought we already knew.
That's what has happened to me this week.
I am brilliantly engaged in an I've-Reached-New-Heights edit of my "number one" manuscript, while continuing to press forward on my new YA project. (And, oh, your encouraging words about the YA have been invaluable. Wish I could fully express that without going all schmoopy.)
So be tenacious--and not foolish--along with me. And share your thoughts here. Not just because you know I love to read them, but because they just might speak to the hundreds of kindred spirits who visit this blog daily.
A tiny deposit of wisdom or encouragement will nurture a withering spirit more than you may realize. Your words are worth it--even to only one, silent, withering spirit out there.
Happy Friday, happy writing, happy tenacity!