Thursday, September 13, 2012

Writing and the Rewards of Persistence

A writer’s journey begins with small steps.  Mine started when, as a high school student, I wrote poetry that was excessively maudlin.  That is, my verses were so syrupy I could pour them over pancakes.

I realize that today.  At the time, though, I believed that my writings were manifestations of sheer genius.

That, however, is how a writer's trek begins.  In our fascination with the act of writing, we pour our hearts onto paper, relishing the outcome but disregarding quality.

Still, this self-inflated view of one's talent typifies a writer's early development and, soon, because of this, the fantasy of publishing a book emerges.  Before long, however, reality starts to weigh one down.  We awaken to a daunting truth Chaucer expressed over six centuries ago: “The life so brief, the craft so long in the learning.”

At this point, the fainthearted abandon the dream.

I did.

Although the experience of setting my thoughts on paper still mesmerized me, I had given up on the idea of ever becoming good enough to produce a book worthy of publication.  Yet I never gave up on the written word and I chose, instead, to study the works of masters. 

Even when I completed my doctorate—in literature—to write and publish a book seemed far beyond my grasp.  I believed that only the truly gifted and blessed were destined to see their words in between bound covers.

I continued to write academic articles, but this medium soon grew too confining and ceased being fun.  Just as I was beginning to despair over my relationship with the act of writing, I was lucky enough to stumble upon an idea that attracted a publisher.  That’s when I decided to devote the rest of my life to learning the craft—little by little, step by step.

Eventually, persistence triumphed, and the rewards of placing my trust in the hands of a dream have slowly been accumulating.