Give Yourself the Gift of Writing Resilience in the New Year
“Writing is so difficult that I feel that writers, having had their hell on earth, will escape all punishment hereafter.”—Jessamyn West, writer
Seasoned pros and aspiring scribes alike know the writing world is brutal—full of meteoric challenges, constant negativity, and devastating letdowns. How do you overcome crickets at book signings, your publisher going belly up, a lousy review, rejections of your second or third thriller, and the seismic rumble of your own torrent of self-doubt?
Most agents, editors, and publicists will tell you that the number one key to writing success—even more important than good writing—is perseverance, dogged determination in the face of opposition. A-list thriller writer John Lescroart said, “I’m not an overnight success. My early publishing history, through my first five books, was unfortunate in many respects.” And Steve Berry admits it took him 12 years and 85 rejections before he reached the bestseller list.
I, too, can attest to the long, hard journey. After my debut novel, Limestone Gumption, was launched, my publisher went out of business, and the novel was never promoted and collected dust for seven years. Then one day recently, an Emmy-award winning motion picture company approached me with financial backers and signed me to a film deal. I am currently working with a screenwriter for production in 2022.
The message is to never give up. You never know what’s around the corner. Rejection isn’t personal; it’s a part of the package deal. And while perseverance and resilience are part of success in anything we try, only the diligent survive the writing business. So let’s make a commitment to ourselves to be diligent and resilient, no matter the circumstances. Every time we get up and brush ourselves off, we boost the chances of our work getting seen and maybe even topping the charts.
Baseball great Babe Ruth, arguably one of the best ball players of all time, said, “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” You can use Ruth’s wisdom in your thriller writing pursuits by stacking your positivity deck and allowing setbacks to bring you closer to your literary goals. So keep swinging with that winning frame of mind until you hit your writing dreams out of the park.
Bryan Robinson is the author of over 40 books, including #CHILL: TURN OFF YOUR JOB AND TURN ON YOUR LIFE (William Morrow). He is a regular contributor to Forbes and Thrive Global. His award-winning murder mystery was published in 2014 and is being made into a short movie in 2022. He has appeared on 20/20, Good Morning America, ABC’s World News Tonight, NBC Nightly News, NBC Universal, The CBS Early Show, CNBC’s The Big Idea, and NPR’s Marketplace. He hosted the PBS documentary, Overdoing It: How to Slow Down and Take Care of Yourself and maintains a private psychotherapy practice in Asheville, NC.
To learn more about the author and his work, please visit his website.