"Never, never, never give up."
I spoke with my students this week about my writing journey. I explained to them about the many times I wanted to quit back in 2008 after receiving rejection after rejection from many literary agents regarding my manuscript for The Dragon Forest.
I wanted to give up.
Never Give Up
Then I told them about how I kept going even when the future looked pretty bleak.
Because I knew of so many others who kept going even when it seemed impossible.
And of course, writers...artists...must never give up. We must always write or paint or compose no matter what.
After reading some of my students' reflective writing this week, I was moved by how some of them feel like giving up on a dream even at such a young age. For that reason, I am glad I was able to share my story with them and hope it helped inspire them to continue.
I know one story that helped me keep going...
When I worked in the county courthouse, I often saw one of the judges getting out of his truck in the morning. What was the big deal about that? He was a paraplegic and getting in and out of his vehicle on his own was a chore. Yet he did it everyday on his own.
He became paralyzed after a car accident in his teens. He went to college then law school all from a wheelchair. Then, after practicing law for many years, he was appointed to the bench by the governor of our state. After that, he went on to the Federal bench.
I'll never forget the sight of him getting out of his truck and into his wheelchair without the assistance of anyone else day after day.
He inspired me to keep going and appreciate what I have.
So when I hear a person complaining that a task is too difficult or that they just can't do something on their own, I always think back to that judge and what he accomplished without the use of his legs.
Even still, there are times that I stare at the computer screen without one thought to add to a story and think about giving up on my work-in-progress.
Those words staring back at me intimidate me and and the thought of rejection makes me want to QUIT.
But I cannot quit. I must keep going. Even if it means I have to set that story aside for a time and start on something new, then so be it!
Writers must write...artists must create...and we must all keep going no matter what.
What I want to teach my writing students is that writing is a great way to reflect on what we want to accomplish, the obstacles in our way, and what we can do to overcome those obstacles everyday.
As the great Winston Churchill once said:
NEVER GIVE UP!
Your turn: What words or life experiences help you to keep going and never quit?