A to Z Challenge: P is for Persistence

a-to-z HEADER [2015] - aprilGood morning. It’s Saturday, and I’m ready for some rest and recreation. Later this morning, I’m attending a mini comic book/sci-fi convention. I won’t be in costume, but my grandkids will. I understand there’ll be Batman, Green Lantern and two clone stormtroopers.–Tonio was adamant about the clone part, so it should be lots of fun.

Badage linkedI wasn’t quite sure how to approach the A to Z Challenge today. I wanted to talk about how dismal I am at promotion, but as I was getting ready to do so, a poster one of my friends  gave me convinced me to that what I needed to write about was persistence.persistence-quote-600-x-3441

What exactly is persistence? I Googled for synonyms, and in them, I found my answer. Persistence means the same thing as: constancy, backbone, bulldog courage, continuance, endurance, perseverance, tenacity, doggedness, continuity, pluck, grit, stamina, indefatigableness, resolution, steadfastness,  pertinacity, game, permanence, singleness of purpose, patience, pertinaciousness, pluck, indefatigability, firmness, stability, tenacity of purpose.

PWow! What a list! But as I looked at the words, I realized that I really am a persistent person in some ways, but fall short in others. When it came to my job as a teacher, nothing stopped me from achieving my goal of helping my students be the best they could be. I had more patience and constancy than I’d have thought possible, and although I’d heard similar things before, last night brought it home to me.  M husband is the social butterfly in the chicken outfit. Dropping in at his usual after work watering hole, he met a man I taught over thirty years ago. This guy went on to be a math teacher, and today is the Math Department head at one of the local high schools. Both he, and the man he was with, are friends of my eldest son. The first thing he told my husband was that, hands down, I’d been the best teacher he’d ever had. English had been a difficult subject for him–language usually is with math-inclined people, left-brain, right brain, and all that stuff.–but I made him understand how to write an essay, and he never forgot the lessons I’d taught him. He probably wouldn’t be where he was without my help.. Powerful testimonial, totally unnecessary, no one was going to say, “How did you like Mrs. M as a teacher?” and yet he felt the need to say what he had. It didn’t get him anything, but when my husband came home and told me about it, it made my evening.

I was asked recently what I’d like to be remembered for, and I realized I probably can’t do better than that, but I’m persistent. As much as it’s great to know that the 30 plus years I spent teaching weren’t wasted, I want to be remembered for my writing, because that’s where I see most of my persistent qualities.

In the fall of 2012, I decided to try my hand at writing, something I’d always wanted to do. I’d written poems, and short stories, some of which were published in the local paper, and curriculum documents for the Ontario Ministry of Education,  but since I loved to read, I wanted to write a book, too. I’d taken a writing course and finished a novel through it years ago–that novel sits on my computer in the’ to be edited for publishing some day folder’–I may have gotten an A in the course, but believe me when I say, it needs lots of work!

As I said, I wanted to try my hand at writing and decided to participate in the So You Think You Can Write Contest sponsored by Harlequin  each year. I plowed through, and finished my first novel–a historical romance, called The Price of Honor. The book didn’t win, (although it’s since been published by another publisher), but I joined a number of online Harlequin groups on the Harlequin website, and kept plugging away. The opportunity came up to pitch a novel to the editor for their Intrigue line, and I got into a smaller group of hopefuls. I wrote Fire Angel, my first romantic suspense novel. Harlequin turned it down, but I pitched it to Crimson Romance, and the rest is history.

Today, I publish books with five different small publishers and I’m working on my fifteenth novel, one that’s pre-sold and will be released in the fall. And how did I do it? Persistence! I may be lousy at promotion, but I am tenacious when it comes to my writing. Each day I sit at the computer for at least 8 hours and crank out my minimum number of words–some days I’m writing, some days I’m editing–on the worst days, I’m promoting, something at which I truly suck!

Maybe someday, the world will find my books and one of those fifteen or the next one I write will become a bestseller. For now, I’ll soldier on, one day at a time, persevering in my steadfast goal to write the best books I can for the entertainment of all.

Sorry to be so long-winded today, but I persisted until the end!

Don’t forget to click on the sunflower and visit more P blogs. 

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4 thoughts on “A to Z Challenge: P is for Persistence

  1. What a fantastic post, Susanne. I love the graphic with the Calvin Coolidge quote. Persistence is a key ingredient to success. Like you, I have it in some areas, but not others. Not a fan of promotions, but it is necessary to this business, especially when you’re going indie. So thank you for this fantastic pep talk this morning. Just the thing I needed. Oh and congrats on the praise from your former student. That must have been so rewarding!

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