Perseverance and persistence

Perseverance and persistence

I have a friend — Vicky Nolan — who was a blind paralympic rower for Team Canada. I knew her before she got all Olympic-y and everything, so I got to watch her transformation from start to finish. And the biggest thing I’ve learned from watching her transformation into an elite athlete, is this:

Don’t give up.

It sounds straightforward, doesn’t it? But it’s one of those things that is far easier said than done. I mean, I watched her for years, summer after summer, living away from her young kids, her husband holding down the fort, and sometimes I thought in my head (*what if you go through all of this and don’t medal?*). Also, (*is a medal really this important?*). But the medals were important to her. Winning medals was something she envisioned for herself, and — here’s where the learning from watching her comes in — she refused to believe that she wouldn’t win a gold medal. It was like she put noise-cancelling headphones over her ears to any negativity, and she just kept putting her head down and grabbing that oar and pulling for all she was worth all day long. For years. And over the years, she won bronze, silver, and finally, a gold medal. She achieved what she wanted, but it was far from easy.

Thanks magazine.utoronto.ca

Thanks magazine.utoronto.ca

I have another friend, Bryan. I’ve also watched Bryan put on those imaginary noise-cancelling headphones, but for a different goal. Bryan is a life-long entrepreneur. We were sitting around his kitchen island (peninsula?) one day, and he floated this idea to us. He wanted to work in the wine industry, and he said it was dumb how everybody buys wine based on the price and the label. He wanted to start a website that took real reviews of wines into account, and he wanted it to be his full-time business. For the first few years, he had to spend a lot of his savings while his wife worked. I thought in my head many times (*maybe Bryan should just get a job*), but he put his head down and sat in front of his computer all day long, met with people, convinced wine critics of his plan, chased advertisers, and now, he runs the number two wine website in Canada after the LCBO. Had it been me, his successful business never would have made it. But he persevered, and works in an industry he loves now, because he refused to give up.

Thanks winealign.wordpress.com

Thanks winealign.wordpress.com

So now it’s my turn to want something. This week, I prepared query packages for my latest book that I want to see published — it’s for a younger audience than my last one, so a totally new market. Querying is a tiring process — agents and publishers take forever to get back to you, and it can be discouraging when they say, “Not for me, thanks,” when all you want to do is say, “But keep reading, kids will love it!” So I need to put on those noise-cancelling headphones. I bought forty envelopes yesterday, and I’m going to keep filling them and talking to people until I see that super-awesome book cover that makes my characters feel even more real.

What is it that you want? And are you willing to persevere until you get it?

Thanks izquotes.com

Thanks izquotes.com

1 Comment

  1. Awesome – whatever happens just keep problem solving/thinking outside the box and getting support until it becomes a reality!

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