Why You Can’t Quit

A good friend of mine and fellow author announced their first book deal today.  (I won’t link to it, due to the subject of this post, but you can bet I’ll give it a shout when the book is out.)

You may remember that a few months ago I wrote this post: Is It Time To Quit?

Part of the inspiration for that post was this friend who just signed their first book deal.  At the time, this person had an agent but the first book the agent took on didn’t “sell”.  (Technically, I guess the right term would be “license”, but sell seems the more common term to use.  Just be sure as an author that you understand the difference.)  The second book was making the rounds, but it didn’t look like it would sell either.

Six years of hard work and effort, finally getting an agent, and nothing was happening.  My friend was ready to throw in the towel.  They had one last book that they’d already written and then that was going to be it.  No more.  Done.  Time to move on.

I’m sure I’m not the only one that encouraged them to keep going, but I did encourage them to keep with it. As I would do anyone who has a passion for this.

Because the only way to fail at this is to stop trying.

(As is true with most things, but certain efforts do have time limits on them–like making the Olympic team in track, maybe?–whereas writing doesn’t.  As long as you’re alive, you have a chance at success with writing.)

Well, a month or so after that black moment of doubt, my friend found out that two publishers were interested in making an offer on the second book.  Result: a nice little two-book deal.

(Which meant it was suddenly time to write book 2 in that series…the fun never ends when you’re a writer.)

So for anyone out there struggling, chin up.  It may not happen today.  It may not happen tomorrow.  It may not even happen next year.  But if you keep working at this, it will happen eventually.

Give it ten years or so before you even consider throwing in the towel.

And, completely unrelated to this, but related to some ugliness in my chosen genre, be nice while you’re working your way up.  No one wants to finally achieve success and have it marred by all the nastiness they spread on the way there.

About M. H. Lee

M.H. Lee is a speculative fiction writer currently residing in Colorado whose stories are sometimes dark, sometimes funny, sometimes darkly funny, but hopefully always thought-provoking and entertaining.
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