Finishing the Race

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal

Hi, everybody. Another Wednesday, but this one not the ordinary mid-week hump Wednesday. My daughter and her husband are visiting this week after a weekend in Texas where Gary, my son-in-law, entered and finished an Ironman race. That’s impressive. It took him five hours and forty-three minutes to swim a mile plus, bike fifty some miles and run thirteen miles. The question he’s heard most from us is “Why?” I don’t think any of us could imagine doing one of those things. I might walk thirteen miles, but not run them. So we are admiring his endurance and perseverance in finishing the race. And shaking our heads as we ask “Why would you want to do that to your body?”

So since they’re visiting we went to see the babies in WV today. And the rest of the family there too. The twins have almost doubled in size since I last saw them and I have no trouble telling them apart. Now if I could just get the right name to roll off my tongue. I do that trick of calling every name but the right one. They say that’s a grandma age thing. Oh well. The grandma benefits are well worth a little aging.

But back to the perserverance of finishing the race. I’ve always thought perserverance was the greatest attribute a writer can have. It takes perseverance to finish a book length piece of fiction. It takes perseverance to finish any length piece of fiction and then go back and rewrite it until it’s right. It takes perseverance to keep on trying when rejections come knocking on your door and editors aren’t loving the work you’re doing. Perseverance is what keeps you going when you entertain thoughts of quitting. It’s perseverance that tells you the next book, the next story might be the one. So here’s a quote or two about stiffening your writer’s backbone and continuing to write what you know you must.

“The whole duty of a writer is to please and satisfy himself, and the true writer always plays to an audience of one.” …William Strunk

“Men fail much oftener from want of perseverance than from want of talent.” …William Cobbett

“Even the woodpecker owes his success to the fact that he uses his head and keeps pecking away until he finishes the job he starts.” Coleman Cox

I’ll be in West Virginia at the Book Fest on Saturday, October 11 at 10 a.m. Hope if any of you are in the area you’ll come on over and say hi. I just found out my oldest WV granddaughter has a volleyball match at noon, so there goes my one sure attendee. The rest of the grandkids are a little young to care about hearing grandma talk about developing characters. They’re too busy developing their own characters. So wish me luck and a few interested participants in my workshop. I’ll be sure to catch you up on the good and the bad (hope there’s not much of that) of it all on Sunday.