Saturday, April 2, 2011

The 4 Vital Ps for a Writer

Passion.  Persistence.  Perseverance.  Patience.

Each of the above are just as vital as the others.  Let's break them down individually and find out exactly why.

Passion
Defined as:  a powerful emotion, such as love.  Also boundless enthusiasm.

Right away we can see the importance of this P.  Without passion we would never have enough drive to fuel us through to complete a work.  We might start with the goal of completion, but we'll never see the end unless we love what we are doing, love the characters, love the plot.  Simply put without passion, there isn't success as a writer.

Persistence
Defined as:  the quality of persisting, tenacity

As writers, we must be persistent, tenacious, when it comes to our work.  We need to believe in it.  Only by combining our passion with persistence with our work see a polished conclusion.  Persistence motivates us to refine a first draft, polish it to a fine gem.  When one is tenacious, they don't let anyone or anything divert their course.

The persistent will find ways to make their writing a success.  They'll reach out to other writers for help and to grow.  They'll read books on the craft, and approach others to beta read their work.  They won't let a few rejections (or possibly many) stop them from reaching their goal of publication.

Perseverance
Defined as:  steady persistence, adherence to a course of action, belief or purpose; steadfastness.  Also continued steady belief or efforts withstanding discouragement or difficulty.

As a writer, we experience ups and downs, highs and lows.  If we persevere, we'll find a level ground.  We'll start to believe in ourselves, in our writing.  Even when harsh critiques might force us to reexamine our work, or fill in plot holes, we'll maintain our vision, our focus and keep moving forward.

We also need perseverance when it comes to the querying process.  It's not for the weary or timid.  You will face rejection before you meet with success.  Are you prepared to accept that?  If you are, then you won't let anything deter you.

Patience
Defined as :  tolerant and even-tempered perseverance.  Also defined as long-suffering, forbearance, resignation

When you start out with your first book, you polish it up, and send it out into the world.  You think wow, the agents are going to love this.  You keep your cell handy, you check your email often.  And...either nothing, or the dreaded rejection.  Do you give up?  No way!  Remember passion, persistence and perseverance.

You'll need to pull on patience when waiting to hear back from agents.  Even when you start getting requests for material, you'll find out quickly the publishing world doesn't spin on your timetable.  Now what?  Do you get angry about it?  Tweet about it?  Blog about it?  Absolutely not!  Respect the industry, respect the agents who are busy, and keep busy writing a new book.

So, in conclusion?  To be a successful writer, we need to be mindful of our P's (okay bad joke), but you get the idea.  Remember them, make note of them, live them.

Passion.  Persistence.  Perseverance.  Patience.
Can you think of any other P's us writers need to have?