Success only flourishes in perseverance -- ceaseless, restless perseverance.
--Baron Manfred Von Richtofen

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

What Makes You a Writer?

If you've look over at my sidebar, you'll see one of my favorite quotes:
"Success flourishes only in perseverance, ceaseless, restless perseverance." That's from Baron Von Richtofen, aka The Red Baron. I remind myself of it often when I feel discouraged or like I'm just pounding my head against an impossible, unyielding wall.

My friend Jennie gave me a magazine article (I'm not even sure what magazine it is) written by Pulitzer Prize winning author Junot Diaz, where he talked about his years and years of discouragement at being unable to produce anything worthwhile though he wanted to so desperately. It was inspiring to me. Especially this quote at the end of the article.

"You see, in my view a writer is a writer not because she writes well and easily, because she has amazing talent, because everything she does is golden. In my view a writer is a writer because even when there is no hope, even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise, you keep writing anyway."

That, in my opinion, is a recipe for success. And, hey, he won a Pulitzer, so he must know something about it right? What do you think makes a writer a writer?

19 comments:

SarahAnn said...

This is so encouraging. And being presented with this perspective, I definitely agree. Aside from some magazine articles and a blog, I don't have much to show from my countless hours of writing...yet. But that doesn't matter. I write because even when I hate it I love. I write because if I don't put words down, I feel like they'll burst out of me anyway. I write because it's in my nature.

www.sarahnoelsmusings.blogspot.com

Nisa said...

He said it better than I could. Giving up when things get hard is the easy road. Persevering and having patience? Not so easy, but ever so much more rewarding.

Aubrie said...

It's good to know that someone that won a Pulitzer still has times when he doesn't like his own writing. Very encouraging.

Brenda Susan said...

Thank you for writing this! I am a writer because it's in my nature to write. Sometimes I write to find out what I think!

Danyelle said...

I agree. A writer is a writer because they write. Because they have to keep writing (internal drive) regardless of what happens externally. :)

Carolyn V. said...

Oh I love that quote! I think what makes me a writer a writer is because even if I say I'm finally throwing in the towel and going to quit, deep down I know I won't. There is a drive inside that just won't let me quit. That is why I am still a writer. Awesome post. Thanks.

L.T. Elliot said...

What a great, great quote. I'm glad to hear it. Every now and then, I need to be reminded to stick it through and that quote is exactly why.

WindyA said...

Thanks for sharing, Angie! I'm with Danyelle: a writer is a writer because they write. End of story.

Selena said...

Thanks for this inspiring post. I too am encouraged to know that a Pulitzer prize-winning writer struggled with writing at times. Maybe there is a glimmer of hope for me yet. ;)

ElanaJ said...

That's a great quote. And it's so true! Writer's are made of perseverance. And that's what makes us different than those who say, "I wish I could write."

Kasie West said...

What an inspiring quote. It tells me that no matter what, with hard work, I can achieve my dreams. This is definitely not a profession you can just fall into. It takes practice.

AstonWest said...

"You see, in my view a writer is a writer not because she writes well and easily, because she has amazing talent, because everything she does is golden. In my view a writer is a writer because even when there is no hope, even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise, you keep writing anyway."

Definitely a quote to post up on the office wall or computer screen!

Suzette Saxton said...

It IS so encouraging! Thank you for being my example of a dedicated writer. You inspire me every day.

tiff loves kent said...

you

Larry and CIndy said...

What an inspiring quote, Angie!!! I am not a writer like you are but I love reading your work and that of other great writers!!! I think this is your year and great things are coming your way. We were talking to our Bishop about you and your writing and he said "She should get ahold of Orson Scott Card...I bet he could help her." He is a great Bishop and he wants to read Consecrated and your novel! I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THAT YOU NEVER GIVE UP NO MATTER WHAT, YOU JUST KEEP WRITING AND THAT, MY DARLING DAUGHTER, IS THE SIGN OF A TRUE WINNER AND SUCCESS!!! There is not a doubt in my mind that you will be world famous...I just don't know exactly when. I Love You Angie, MOM

dellgirl said...

Thanks for sharing such an inspiring and encouraging post. It is good to hear that from someone who "made it". I write because it's second nature to me, like combing my hair in the morning.

Rebecca J. Carlson said...

A writer is someone who decides he or she is a writer. Long before the first publishing contract, you must say I AM A WRITER, and stick to it no matter what.

Angie said...

Thanks for all your comments. I'm glad you found the quote as inspirational as I did. I think we all agree: We are writers because we write! Or maybe it's that we write because we are writers. Either way... Thanks for sharing with me.

Melissa Sarno said...

"In my view a writer is a writer because even when there is no hope, even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise, you keep writing anyway." I definitely like that quote. Now if only I could get through The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao! Have you read the book? It's been a difficult read for me.