Where do we get our inspiration? And once inspired, how do we persist, even when faced with life’s negativity that comes down, sometimes, like raindrops on our heads?

When you write something, you write from your heart. (If not, why is what you’ve written worthwhile?) This goes for everything you write, from a letter to a poem to a story to science fiction.

It’s difficult (or scary, terrifying, embarrassing, heart-stopping–take your pick) to expose your writing to someone else by turning around the work and letting other eyes read it.

And what if the reader doesn’t connect? They don’t like it, they scoff at it, they don’t get it, or what’s worst, they don’t even react to what you’ve written?

We can substitute “writing” for anything we do in life when we put ourselves out there: Look for a job, make a new friend, seek romance, try out for a sports team, join a club… So how do you persist in pursuing the goal, the dream, even if you aren’t hired, don’t connect with the person, get dumped, don’t make the team, don’t get invited to the club?

I think the answer is you just keep going. Keep at it and don’t give up. The world is full of people who give up. But not giving up is what separates you from everyone else. Maybe your writing isn’t perfect, but then again, nothing is perfect when it is first created. Come at it from another angle. See it from a new perspective. Maybe wake up at 5 am if that’s when you’re productive. Or maybe you’re firing on all cylinders at midnight instead. The point is that you must persist. Keep going, keep writing, keep pursuing the dream. Maybe you change gears and try another variation on the dream (first book idea not going anywhere? Try your hand at another idea, or topic or story line. Maybe circle back to the first one after a change of scenery.)

I think that’s why the most inspirational quotes by writers and artists and achievers talk about not giving up. That’s why we quote them, retweet them, share them, frame them on our walls and read them again and again, because they inspire us to also not give up. Success takes hard work, so why don’t we embrace it, and meet the challenge? Someday it may be your name quoted under the inspirational message.

Hard work, persistence, write from your heart. Go and go and go.

(I went to the interwebs and found a few inspirational quotes for you. You’re welcome.)

“Anytime you write something, you go through so many phases. You go through the ‘I’m a Fraud’ phase. You go through the ‘I’ll Never Finish’ phase. And every once in a while you think, ‘What if I actually have created what I set out to create, and it’s received as such?'”
Lin-Manuel Miranda

“If you are going through hell, keep going.”
Winston S. Churchill

“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”
Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”
Maya Angelou

“Should you shield the canyons from the windstorms you would never see the true beauty of their carvings.”
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

“I am a slow walker, but I never walk back.”
Abraham Lincoln

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.”
Mary Anne Radmacher

“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack in will.”
Vince Lombardi Jr.

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