The Power of Perseverance

photobucket image by jlight73


Writers serious about securing an offer of representation or a publishing contract need it if they’re to achieve their goals.

The path to publication is, for most of us, a journey that will span a number of years. There will be dead ends, disappointments and delays. We can fall prey to doubts and discouragement.

What keeps us forging ahead when progress seems slow and our goals elusive?

A steadfast determination to succeed.

Many dream of selling a book but give up when they encounter hardships. Those who stick with it, keep writing despite the rejections, and hold out hope when things seem hopeless are often the ones rewarded in the end.

Perseverance Pays

This week I was overjoyed to celebrate with my friend T. Anne Adams. She received an offer of representation from her Dream Agent (and mine) and is now my agency mate.

T. Anne shared the story of what led up to Rachelle’ Gardner’s offer of representation in a heartfelt and honest post on her blog, White Platonic Dreams.

I was struck by T. Anne’s perseverance. Here are the facts:

  • She began writing in 1996 – 15 years ago
  • She signed with an agent in 1998 but found herself without an agent two years later when other clients sued the agent for nonpayment
  • She completed 13 novel-length stories before receiving Rachelle’s offer
  • She received over 150 rejections, including three from Rachelle
  • In May 2010, T. Anne won a phone call with Rachelle in an auction to raise funds for the Nashville flood victims and received a request for a full
  • In June 2010, Rachelle said she wanted to discuss representation when she wasn’t as busy
  • T. Anne waited seven months for the offer to be finalized and announced her BIG news on Monday, January 10, 2011
  • A cyber celebration ensued

photobucket image by jchcramirez

T. Anne is an example of perseverance personified, but she’s not alone. I’ve interviewed over 200 novelists and am encouraged by their tales of tenacity. They believed in their dreams and didn’t give up. We can choose to follow their lead.

Here are two great articles from Rachelle’s blog that address the importance perseverance pays, which I found inspiring.

Perseverance Really is Key

Where the Rubber Meets the Road

(Since T. Anne and I live in California, I chose images of climbers on Yosemite’s majestic Half Dome.)

About Keli Gwyn

I'm an award-winning author of inspirational historical romance smitten with the Victorian Era. I'm currently writing for Harlequin's Love Inspired Historical line of wholesome, faith-filled romances. My debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, was released July 1, 2012. I'm represented by Rachelle Gardner of Book & Such Literary. I live in a Gold Rush-era town at the foot of the majestic Sierras. My favorite places to visit are my fictional worlds, other Gold Country towns and historical museums. When I'm not writing I enjoy taking walks, working out at Curves™ and reading.
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7 Responses to The Power of Perseverance

  1. T. Anne says:

    Thank you so much Keli for sharing my story. I’m so humbled to be a part of your wonderful post. One of the reasons I chose to share my journey is because I feel it is the norm rather than something unique to me. It’s a nice feeling to know we’re all in this together. And even when the going gets tough, light can be found at the end of the tunnel.

  2. Sherrinda says:

    I read T. Anne’s story and was amazed! Wow! Perseverance is definitely key. Write, write, write. Edit, edit, edit. Submit, submit, submit. 🙂

  3. So excited for T. Anne!!! Her story is inspiration for us all to keep at it.

  4. Thank you Keli. This post and your links to Ms. Gardner’s posts are the reason I keep coming back. It is so wonderful to read about how people made it against the odds, inspite of the road blocks, and so many carrying family and jobs with them to the finish line. Congratulations T. Anne, yours is a great story 🙂

  5. Susan Mason says:

    Wow! Perseverance personified!! Congratulations T. Anne! Hope to see an announcement of your first sale very soon! After all, since you had to wait so long for your agent, it’s only fair you get a QUICK sale! Especially after all that polishing!

    Thanks for sharing inspiring stories like this one, Keli!



  6. Lori Benton says:

    Congratulations T. Anne. Our stories are similar. I began writing in 1991, and though I had a little break midway in there for health reasons, I mostly kept at it until I was finally signed by an agent last spring.

    I think there has to be a crazy high level of love for the writing process, for falling in love with characters and being moved ourselves by their stories, to keep plugging away at this novel-writing gig so long. And a sense of being called to it. Over the years I’ve done many soul checks to be sure this is what God STILL wanted me to do. Every time I’ve been able to answer yes, and so I pressed on… with a very patient spouse/enabler (or “patron of the arts,” as I recently heard such spouses called). 🙂

    Blessings on your journey, T. Anne!

  7. Donna L Bolk says:

    I so agree, this isn’t an easy road, you really have to love it to stick with it.

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