10) You cannot fail…
… if you don’t give up.
As stated, I sold my first story at 15. Between that and my second sale, I accumulated well over 1,000 pages of rejections. Contrary to myth, none of them were nasty (though a few were a bit brusque).
But they all boiled down to the same thing: “No thanks.”
Thankfully, my high school dating life had prepared me for rejection. But still, when adding the one thousand dating rejections to the one thousand writing rejections…well…it started to add up. It started to weigh.
In between all the rejections, I also received several “offers” that I did not think were right for me. Either the money was wrong, or the terms were bad, or I just got a lousy feeling from the person offering to make me rich and famous. But ultimately I endured a 20-year dry spell.
And kept on writing.
And this, then, is the secret to success. In finance, in love. In the sacred, in the mundane. In life…in writing. You must endure to the end. You must write until your fingers bleed, and then write some more. The only failed writer is the writer who has put a cap on his pen, who has turned off her laptop.
The only failed writer…is a person who no longer writes.
It might take decades to achieve your goals. Perhaps even longer. But one thing is certain: a writer writes. There is no other criteria, no other requirement. A person who writes is a writer. A writer who persists is a person who is preparing for success.
And those who prepare for success are those who most often find themselves ready for it when it comes.