On the virtues of boneheaded stubbornness

The difference between a published writer and an unpublished one is that the published writer didn’t give up. If you want this enough, if you work at it and focus on improving your work, you can succeed. I’d also urge people to write what they enjoy. If you create the stories that speak to you, that you really feel, your strengths will shine through.

Annie West, author of Girl in the Bedouin Tent

 Or as Trish Morey so eloquently puts it, what we writers need is a good dose of “pure boneheaded stubbornness”.

Personally, I find this eminently desirable vice works best when I turn it into a habit. That is, I do my damned-est to write every single morning. Sometimes I have to be pig-headed just to squeeze out 100 words before work, but at least then I’ve done something, or so I tell myself. Then I have to cling (stubbornly) to the belief that those 100 words I’ve produced are not unadulterated drivel – or at least that they are redeemable. Somehow.

Of course, the situation isn’t always so dire. But I never know until I sit down at my laptop whether the morning will bring a deluge of sweetly effortless words or a meagre spatter of drivel. Without carefully cultivated stubbornness I would never find out.

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