Being a writer is tough. It takes a lot of hard work, a lot of time, and a lot of courage. Because it’s not just the rejection or the feeling that people don’t like your writing, but it’s more about the work you’re putting onto paper before anyone even gets to read your stuff. Writing a first draft, which sometimes can be a very daunting task, then rewriting, editing, changing parts, adding or removing, and doing this over and over again can be frustrating.

And, sadly, perfectionism kills everything in this art. Given enough time, nothing’s quite ready. Camilo Jose Cela said that even after twenty or thirty years since the publication of his novel, The Family of Pascual Duarte, when he read it he found parts he wished to change. But you need to know when to let go, because no story is ever going to be perfect. You just publish it, or submit it to a magazine, or do whatever you want with it, and then you don’t ever have to read it again. At least that’s how I feel sometimes; I can’t wait to finish a story and never have to read it again. That’s particularly true when you’re editing and no matter how much you change, nothing seems right.

Then there’s the constant fear of rejection. You work hard on a story, and no one likes to waste time and energy on an useless endeavor. But Bradbury found a fix for all this. Writing one story every week and submitting it to a magazine.

I strongly believe that one of the surest ways to write something good is to write a lot. Not have a one hundred page lump sitting on your desk, and you constantly adding one more comma, or re-arranging chapters for six-seven years before you’ll finally find the guts to share it with the world.

Yes, time makes things better, and it’s always better to distance yourself from what you wrote. At least a month or so, but I’m just saying that it’s a good idea to always write new stuff, even if it’s crap.


41 thoughts on “Perseverance

  1. I’m new to blogging and no it is’t like writing on a larger scale. I sit and plot my posts and I write them and each time I submit one I never know what the reaction is going to be. So, for a writer trying to make a living it must be at times unbearable.


  2. Cristian, I loved this post! I can easily sense how much you love what you do by just reading your words. I completely agree with you. You know, the fear you mention, also relates to other activities. Mine, for example, where we have to expose ourselves every day and hope for the best to happen.

    Thanks for sharing this :)
    María Paulina Mejía


  3. I feel the same for my Graphic Design field. You brainstorm, design, refine, and refine again. It’s a challenge but I love the thrill of staying busy all the time. Love this post!


  4. A new subscriber, I am enjoying your blog very much and have found much inspiration in your writings for my own travel blog. I will be putting some of your many helpful, concrete tips into action, like ending a post with a question.
    Mollie Mandell


  5. So true. Seems the more you edit, the more you question whether you’re editing enough. Sharing your work and asking others for their opinion is not always a good idea. Too many cooks over salt the soup.

    Just gotta keep on writing as much or as little as you can … And yes, perfectionism needs to be kept to a realistic minimum. There is no such thing as perfect, except we all are the perfect me, you, she, he.

    Writers are god – we can make it rain, we can provide readers joy, we can provide them grief, we can kill and we can bring it all back to life.


  6. Christian,
    I agree that you have to get your work out there. I love how Ray wrote and kept trying despite the rejections. His ego kept him going. Let’s allow those little hopes–the single sale, the positive feedback–feed that ego so that we truly reach the stage of beautiful writing.


  7. Good post, great points. No work of ‘art’ is ever finished, it just reaches a point where you leave it alone because of some imperative or another. Lots of writers revise later editions of books, and what the hell is a director’s cut if not the same thing? You change and so your perspective on the work changes.


  8. I like this, to keep trying and trying and trying. I can see how it helps you improve your craft — and get past the works that don’t make it out there in the world. There’s the enjoyment of each new project, along with the hope that it will make it.


  9. The fear of rejection has always been something that’s been holding me back but I’m slowly starting to conquer that fear. This just showed me that I am indeed moving in the right direction. Thank you!


  10. What did Bradbury just say? “Our ego keeps us going” Something like that! How true it is – however could we persevere without our many delusions intact? I loved this post! You got me right in the pocketbook :)


  11. Thank you so very much for your dedication to sharing bits of inspiration for all of us. Your efforts have an impact and they make a difference. I want to let you know you are appreciated Cristian Mihai. : )


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