Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Better Late than Never

My dad had a saying he used whenever we drove somewhere--"Better late than never." He was referring to our arrival to our destination. But sometimes I think the phrase can apply to our own lives. I'd rather be late than never arrive at the following destinations:

1) love
2) happiness
3) dreams
4) hopes
5) ambitions

It is better to arrive than to have never tried to find these things. It is better to keep pushing through despair, sorrow, pain, loss, and unhappiness by clinging to the belief that one day you will arrive at your destination.

What do you cling to and hope to arrive to one day? Do you believe it is better to be late than to have never tried at all? What drives you forward during the dark days when the engine seems to be stalling no matter how much gas you put into it? What carries you to pursue your dreams when the wind no longer lifts your wings?

We all have dark days. We all have low gas days. We all lose our steam. But the difference between those who never succeed and those who do is that the ones who do NEVER GIVE UP. There is an example of that kind of perseverance in our own midst. I am sending a HUGE shout out to Southern Magic's very own Carla Swafford!! If she can drive through the dark days of despair and disillusionment to reach her ultimate goal, then you can to!!

Share your stories of fortitude with me today.


Paula said...

I do think that the primary difference between people who success (even if belatedly) and people who don't is that the people who succeed never gave up.

At the same time, sometimes you have to reinterpret your dreams if you keep beating your head against the wall. One of my favorite things to say to writers who are questioning whether or not to give up is, "Do it. If you can quit, do it, because this isn't a business for people who aren't in it for the long haul."

But if you can't quit writing, then what choice do you have but to keep fighting, keep picking yourself up after falls, keep growing and learning and improving until you're prepared to reach the dream you can't let go of?

Paula said...

Okay, don't want to delete that whole thing, but I can't let a typo go unaddressed. :) That should be "people who succeed" in the first sentence.

Christine said...

Paula, I think you're right. Writing is not for the faint of heart and there are far more rejections than acceptances. I think I try to use whatever small success I have as a way of proving to myself that I'm not a fraud. And I do have days where I feel like one because of contest comments or scores or rejections. But then I'll get a final or a request and that emboldens me. I can't stop writing. Not any time soon. I don't want to give up on myself.

Thanks for a very insightful comment.

Callie James said...

I agree with Paula. Also, I think when you're hit with an overwhelming amount of hiccups in your life that it's important to take a break. Sometimes a long break. I've been at this for 21 years. I have three manuscripts on submission and no deadlines. Perfect time for a break.

Christine said...

Callie: that is great news about the MS on submission. Take a well-deserved break. I totally agree with taking time to rejuvenate and refresh oneself. I'm sort of taking a mini-break right now. I'm in "wait mode" regarding my R&R so there's not much to do other than play with a new story I want to write. So that's what I'm doing :-)

Lexi said...

I agree. It's not always the strongest, smartest, or most talented that succeed, but the ones who don't give up! I'm sure there are a lot of "I coulda been a contendahs" out there who may be better writers but less stubborn and driven than we are! A huge congrats to Carla, who kept reaching for her dream!

Christine said...

Amen Lexi!! And speaking of dreams, your debut novel is out, right? I'd love to host you on Digging Out of Distraction. I think the tornadoes threw me off my game--or blew me away to Kansas!

So excited for you about your successes!


Carla Swafford said...

Too funny. While I was reading your post, I kept saying to myself, "AMEN, SISTER!" I felt like you were talking to me and then BAM!you were. LOL!

I've entered numerous contests, attended bunches of conferences, met with dozens of editors/agents, sent in even more submissions (partial/full) and tried my hand at writing for category and single title publishing houses. I didn't leave a stone unturned (well, self-publishing was never in my thoughts).

Never give up if you really, really want it.

Thanks, Christine, for the shout out. Hugs.

Christine said...

Hi Carla, I am sitting here with a huge smile on my face because your comment made me so happy. I'm so excited for you about the "call" after all your hard work!!

Now, when you do debut that novel of yours I expect to have a visit on the veranda so we can celebrate :-)

Congratulations!!! You deserve it!

Gwen Hernandez said...

"Do you believe it is better to be late than to have never tried at all?" To that I give a resounding "Yes!"

When I get discouraged, either with my writing progress or my health and fitness plan, I try to imagine how I'd feel a year from now if I quit vs. continuing on my path.

If I'm trying to write 7000 words per week, but I'm only getting in 1000, won't I be glad I kept going next year when I have 12000 more words? Absolutely. It beats zero!

Christine said...

Way to state it Gwen. Just keep writing. Eventually the story will shake out. And keep on with the diet and exercise plan even after you falter. That's the only way to roll.