Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Fowler on Persperistence

Milo James Fowler, one of the brave souls behind the Write 1 Sub 1 campaign, explicates a nifty neologism over at In Medias Res. Excerpt:
When a story survives 14 rejections over 2 years to finally find a good home, I can't help but feel awash with relief.

According to fellow writer Steve Ramey, perspiration + persistence = persperistence, and that's the formula necessary to succeed as writers. We can't give up on our stories, and we can't lose faith in ourselves, no matter how long it takes for our work to be published.
Read the whole thing. We often talk about the necessity of perseverance -- excuse me, persperistence -- here at ISLF, but I don't know if we've ever asked a concomitant question: Why bother? After all, unflagging effort doesn't guarantee success. Plenty of worthy writers struggle for the acknowledgment they deserve. Well, the simple answer is that it's the only part of the process that we can directly control. Literary and genre darling Michael Chabon admits as much in a recent article from Writer's Digest: "I like to say there are three things that are required for success as a writer: talent, luck, discipline. … [Discipline] is the one that you have to focus on controlling, and you just have to hope and trust in the other two."

(Picture: CC 2010 by Ame Otoko; Hat Tip: Brandywine Books)


Guilie Castillo said...

Persperistence--how utterly cool. Yes, it's all about staying on it, isn't it? I hate to think of the gazillion wonderful stories that never got told because a writer gave up after a few rejections. It takes stamina and... yeah, persperistence :)

Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the shout-out, Loren. "Never give up. Never surrender!" - Galaxy Quest

Loren Eaton said...


I think that's a big part of it. Well, at least it's the irreducible part. We may not succeed with it, but we certainly won't without it!

Loren Eaton said...


Thanks for stopping by! I really need to watch Galaxy Quest sometime.

Scattercat said...

Mmhm. Come back when you've got 21 submissions over almost four years and still no takers. :-P

Keepin' on keepin' on, I suppose.

Loren Eaton said...

Yes, but once they realize how cool your stuff is -- and it is super cool -- you won't be able to sub fast enough.

Scattercat said...

That story is just the perennial bridesmaid. It's gotten more "almosts" than almost anything else of mine, but nobody likes it enough to publish it.

Loren Eaton said...

I think most of us have one like that, a story that everyone loves, but one that we just can't seem to sell. Painful.