With every fall of every foot, you will sing this song to yourself. And it will keep you going, even when the air grows thin and cold. It will push you forward, even when the mountain peak rises high above you.

Persist.

When the pages trickle by, when you have no time to put your pen to paper, when you are dehydrated and covered in the unspeakable substances that issue from your own offspring. When all your stories lie locked inside your head, with seemingly no hope of ever getting out. When you stumble in a haze of sleep-deprived weariness. When you are unsure of your own name, let alone what that word is for someone who demonstrates a lot of knowledge. (It’s ‘erudite’ by the way.)

Persist.

When even those measly paragraphs that you do eke out feel more like dry bones than the living, breathing story in your mind. When you know you will revise all this, and take out more than you keep, and re-write it all again. When you aren’t sure that you can even write at all, anymore.

Persist.

When you see your own mistakes laid out, bold and clear in front of you. When you know you have so much further to go, and so much more to learn than you ever imagined.

Persist.

When you are drained and filled with self-doubt as you grapple with yet another revision. When you must rest, so that you can take care of yourself and the people you love, know that the next morning you will rise and whisper the song to yourself.

Persist.

When the feedback is good. When the words rise up, one after the other, certain and true and right. When you see all your ideas falling into place and everything fits better than you hoped, sing your song aloud.

Persist.

You may rest. You may work. You may despair. You may feel like your heart is hollow, or like it is clad in iron, or filled with sun-warmed air. No matter how you feel –

Persist.

Let this song be the only one you sing. Let it greet you in the morning, let it soothe you at night, let it be your constant companion as you go on this journey. It is a battle cry, it is a sustaining ballad, it is a weary hum. It will take you everywhere you need to go.

There will be writers who get published before you do. Cheer them on, knowing that this is their song, too. There will be setbacks. Take comfort, knowing that this song will get you through every challenge. There will be things you don’t know. Go out and seek the knowledge, from books, from those who are wiser, from your peers, from your friends, because this, too, is part of the song.

There will be victories. There will be moments when you progress forward in startling leaps, and this will be because you remembered, all that time before, to sing.

Persist. Persist. Persist.

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