By Sandra Elzie
There’s a very famous quote by Winston Churchill from a speech he made to the boys at Harrow School on October 29, 1941. The world was in a huge conflict…World War II…and this man was rallying the boys to stay on course, to never give up.
" Never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.'' Winston Churchill
Were his words only for a generation that is dying at more than 100 per day? I don’t think so. When a writer puts in time, energy, even blood, sweat and tears, to write the story that is inside the brain begging to be released, why do some of us then hesitate to let a friend critique it? Or maybe you got that critique…even if you paid $25 to some RWA chapter on the other side of America in their annual contest…but now you hesitate to send it off to a publisher or an agent.
Yes, I can understand the difference. In a contest, the judge doesn’t know your name. To that person, you’re just a number, but with a publisher, they send their rejection letter to you, (by name) to your home address. This is getting just a little more personal.
Aside from the fact that an editor in New York will never see you and the rejection is because your story isn’t for them and has nothing to do with you, it’s still difficult to get rejected, especially when you want something as badly as most authors want to have their work published.
But who is the enemy? In his speech, Churchill told the boys “…never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” Who is your enemy?
I’d venture to say that it isn’t that faceless judge 3,000 miles away, nor is it the anonymous editor in New York. Sad to say, but WE are our worst enemy. We can blame anyone or anything we want, but when the rubber meets the road; when we’re finally honest with ourselves, we have to admit that it’s our choices that make the difference. Do you set an attainable goal of writing (or editing, plotting or researching) every day or write whenever the mood strikes or you have nothing else to do? Do you choose to complete a manuscript or do you hop to the next one so that you end up with 5 half-finished books? (Surprise, surprise! Publishers only buy and publish completed manuscripts!)
Face it, the choices are in our control and we either exercise that control to reach a goal or we abdicate that control to the little voice in our head that says we’ll never make it, we’ll never publish, and we’ll always be a failure. My advice to anyone who has a loud “little voice”, kick the sucker to the curb and move on. If you have a story to tell, then make up your mind to not let anything or anyone stop you from telling it. WRITE YOUR STORY! Then when you succeed; when a publisher puts down the money and buys your book, you will be the one taking the bow… providing you never yield to the Apparently Overwhelming might of the enemy and if you NEVER GIVE UP.
Quote taken from http://winstonchurchill.org/