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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Try until you can't.

My uncle was discussing the family business. He said, “We were just too dumb to give up.” I thought to myself, “Yes. That is writing.”
I don’t want to make anyone start to hyperventilate, but think about it for a minute. Think about all of the books in print. All of the writers who have Yale and Stanford educations who are trying to publish their “brilliant” piece. Then think about you. Little ol’ you with your dusty laptop and your tiny bedroom with nothing but a mason jar of ideas and chicken scratches you make at work on yellow post-its when you’re supposed to be data entering for the man.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get that black monster on my back. It’s called “Self-Doubt”. It’s a freaking jerk. It scratches at you and starts to make you view your work as nothing more than an intangible dream that you should have forfeited long ago.
But the difference between you and everyone else is that you won’t give up. You refuse. Damn it, you have a good idea. You know it’s good. People deserve to read what you’ve put down in your hard drive or your post-its. If it dies with your computer then the world will be out a really good idea. THAT is what separates a success from a failure. A true failure gives up. A success fails and fails and fails and is just too dumb to give up, as my uncle would say.
A writer will doubtless have countless “failures”. But they aren’t really failures. They’re only alternate options to the correct one. You won’t be allowed to choose the wrong one. Whether you credit fate, the universe or God, the right opportunity will find you as long as you keep looking.
That’s the key to success. It isn’t necessarily talent or the best idea ever. It’s believing in your idea and trying until it happens. As Regina Spektor says, “You try until you can’t.”
So why might you get published and not the smartest guy in the world? Your refusal to surrender (like the Americans in the Revolutionary War) and your ability to take criticism because you don’t think you’re the best thing since the invention of the wheel.
See? Now get writing.

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