During my short time as an author, I have had many conversations with people within the publishing industry. They send along one universal piece of advice. Be persistent. While that is true in all walks of life, it seems to be most prevalent to authors. There is story after story of people becoming best-selling authors but only after receiving rejection after rejection. I have to tried to absorb the advice into every area of my life.
I suffered through another example this week of persistence. After spending many hours writing, I decided I needed to go for a walk to clear my head. It had been a while since I had walked the Ellicott Creek bike path but this felt like a good day for it. I dressed comfortably for the walk and got down to what shoes to wear. Not wanting to get blisters for the five-mile walk, I selected my Adidas Sambas. They were my indoor soccer shoes and had to be over twenty years old so they were well broken in.
The plan was to start at the Niagara Falls Blvd end and walk two and a half miles out and then back. I was just short of the turn-around point when I felt an irritation growing on the sole of my right foot. Not wanting a blister, I decided to take a seat on the bench coming up and clear whatever is causing the irritation. I sat down, lifted up my foot and attempted to pull off my shoe. As I did, the sole of the Samba became partially separated from the rest of the shoe. I decided to start heading back a bit early, not knowing how long the shoe would hold out.
I put the shoe back on and starting walking. To my chagrin, the heal section of the sole started flapping loudly with each step. Yet I persisted. After twenty or thirty steps of flapping, it stopped but it felt worse. I turned around and looked back at the blacktop trail and saw the entire sole of my left Samba laying fifteen feet behind me. I probably made it a hundred or so yards when the remains of my left shoe totally blew up, coming apart at the seams. Yet I persisted. I sat on the next bench and removed both shoes, stuffed my white low-cut socks in my pocket and walked barefoot on the black top.
Over a mile and a half to go. I said goodbye to my beloved Sambas at the next garbage can, with a moment of silence, and kept walking. After about a half a mile, I realized blisters were no longer an issue but burning my feet was. The black top was unrelenting. I alternated between the grass and the tar but the grass offered images of circling yellowjackets and mini piles of goose droppings along the way. And yet I persisted.
See writing Gods, I can be persistent. I can do it. I have what it takes to become a best-selling author, right down to the soles of my feet. When my fourth book is done, sometime this month, I will do whatever it takes to get it into the hands of my loyal readers and create new ones. I will persist.
What about you? When the goal you set stands just out of reach, when the plan you made seems unattainable, what at will you do? Success will not seek you out, will not knock on your life’s door. It may take one more try, one more step, shoe or no shoe, but your victory remains in your hands, right where it’s always been. You chose! Persist!