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I once heard Denzel Washington give a speech where he said, “Fall down nine times, get up ten.” For any endeavor, I believe that’s true.

Whether you fall ten times, five times, or once on your chosen journey, each time will be a learning experience. I like to refer to those moments as ‘school fees.’ You put one step in front of the other, and each time you go down, you come back up, understanding something you didn’t know before.

In my journey to publication, I learned too many things to fit into a blog. But if I were forced to pick one thing, it would be the art of persistence. Learn it. Use it. Learn it again.

Persistence is what you need when you get to the end of your first draft and realize your plot is so full of holes you could drive an army of Mac Trucks through your story.

Persistence is what you need when the brilliant idea you had two months ago has lost its luster, and you want to quit because it’s difficult to put any words on the page.

Persistence is what you need when you have to tear your manuscript apart for the third time to make it coherent.

Persistence is what you need when your editor sends back more edits than there are pages in your manuscript.

And you’ll need an unrelenting push-through to run the gauntlet of the query process and get your manuscript sold.

But like the sun will shine tomorrow, if you persist, it will pay off.

I know because it did for me.

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