It took seven years to sell my first book. Back then, I used to think that if I just sold one, everything would change. I'd be "in" the industry. I pictured it as one giant hurdle I needed to scale, and once I got over it, the hard stuff would mostly be over.

I'll wait a minute while you finish laughing...

Okay, we all know that life doesn't magically change because you sell one book--or ten. It doesn't change once you get awards. You still have daily ups and downs, rejections, disappointments.

Just keep going.

And having a popular or well-received book doesn't magically change the world, either. The next book might get negative reviews. It might not sell.

Just keep going.

You have bad interviews that don't go your way. Your publisher doesn't push your work. You might feel overlooked. Wonder if your readers are out there.

Just keep going.

Because here's the thing: underneath all the disappointments and the nearly-non-existent paychecks, underneath the rejection and the struggle, there's this:

There is just nothing in this world--nothing--that is quite like sortytelling. There is nothing like writing and literature and reading. It's something I don't want to ever, ever, ever lose.

So I keep going.


  1. Some of the best and most practical advice is the simplest. Part of the learning curve for me has always been (and was, especially, at the beginning) about demystifying some of this stuff -- about learning through experience that persistence is everything. Or at least, most of everything :-)

  2. Excellent advice and a wonderful mantra to remember! Thank you!

  3. Great mantra: "just keep going." Three such small words with so much power.


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