You may have seen a post on Facebook from my overly proud husband, Roger, that my first book, Rough Ride, published by Camel Press, is going to be available after May 10th. The response was amazing and heart-warming.
Those who knew me for a long time remarked on my perseverance. I won't bore you with the details of my long road to publication, or the many friends who helped me along the way, though I'd like to share some things I learned on the way.
I have thought a lot about a quote from the philosopher Seneca: "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity."
I'll use writing as an example, but the premise is still valid no matter what your goals are.
It's no secret that all writers get rejections and though it is difficult, the best choice is to allow yourself a little grieving time, like 10 seconds if it was a cold query (just a sample and /or summary called a synopsis that wasn't requested) or a rejection after a request for a whole manuscript rejection, which will take a little more time to get over. It is not a road I would recommend for the faint of heart.
After the mourning period, you need to get back on the horse that threw you. Keep writing and sending stuff out. Go to classes and critique groups and keep working on your craft. Ignore the little voice in your head that says, "Why bother?"
One day, the clouds parted, and God smiled on me. A friend mentioned that Camel Press was looking for novels set in the west.
I had done the preparation, and my friend showed me an opportunity. Miracle of miracles, they liked my writing and wanted me to sign a three book contract. What a rush!
The point is, never give up, no matter how tempting, no matter the dream. Whatever your goal, keep pursuing it. You never know when your break may come.
There are billions of stories about people pursuing their dreams despite failures. My favorite is Thomas Edison, who kept failing to create a filament that would burn brightly and last a long time. He said, "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."
Edison also said, "Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."
Failure is an attitude. You choose.