Persistence

Hello, friends. I’ve been thinking this week about life’s important, meaningful, and really unglamorous lessons. Specifically, I’ve been thinking about that Thomas Edison quotation: “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.” Or, as John Ruskin put it nearly fifty years earlier, “I know of no genius but the genius of hard work.”

This all came to mind because at Kingston’s WritersFest this coming Sunday, I’ll be hosting a writing workshop given by Tim Wynne-Jones. Part of the hosting gig involves writing an introduction, and so I began reading a little more about Wynne-Jones. I don’t normally research authors; I’m more interested in their work. But maybe I should change my ways!

What struck me most forcefully is Wynne-Jones’s sheer output: by my count, he’s written 3 novels for adults, 17 picture books, 3 collections of short stories, and 9 novels for young people. (And that’s just the fiction. Wynne-Jones engages in critical writing, too!) If you think about how much practice he’s had in shaping a compelling story, it’s no wonder that he’s such an accomplished storyteller. He didn’t just have a gift for words or a particularly inventive mind: he took those talents and never stopped using them.

His is the kind of energy and dedication that might seem daunting, some days. Today, I find it deeply inspiring. I’m early in my career, a relative novice. So: persistence and practice. Those are my by-words this week.

How about you? What are you learning this week? What other unglamorous lessons should we think twice about?

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2 Responses to “Persistence”

  1. Thank you for this reminder. I collect these sorts of inspirational kicks in the proverbial pants to remind me, when I’m flagging: keep going, keep writing, keep on, keep on!

    Other unglamorous lessons? If you build it, they may not come. Oh wait, that wasn’t how that was supposed to go, was it? Maybe it’s because I’m not particularly inclined towards baseball, but I believe that even if they DON’T come, there’s still value in the building. For example, people have asked, why keep blogging if it isn’t “getting you somewhere”?

    ) how do you know it isn’t? and b) why is that the only worthwhile goal?

    Building. This week, my by-words are building and believing in the building. With a liberal dose of slightly annoying alliteration thrown in for good measure.

  2. Ying says:

    We all need encouragement, Christine! (Probably even TWJ.) And I think the blunt, short-term value people look for in blogging (I have 5000 followers! They are my steadfast army, ready to storm any city at which I point!) often misses the point. Blogging is an activity in itself, an act of writing, a commitment to diligence, an effort at conversation, and an exploration of voice. Thanks for commenting. :)

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