I started writing a Young Adult novel in April 2008. I worked on it sporadically for several years until I found a way to flesh out the first and second drafts last year. I have worked on it every day this year except Sundays. Last night, I finally sent the first two chapters to a little group of reviewers, and I can’t tell you how good that felt after such a long gestation period.
This is the second novel I have written. I wrote another one in 1992, but I gave up on it, too soon. After writing it over a period of many months, I decided I didn’t like it and I gave up.
I have written a number of books. I probably have more confidence in my current novel than in any other book I have written. The reason why is I have confidence in mathematics, that is, with the process I am following, it is mathematically impossible to fail. I really believe that.
And what is the process? It’s simple. It’s not giving up. No matter what, you just don’t give up, not on the good things.
Some things are worth giving up, and should be given up, quickly. The sooner the better. I think and do things that I should have given up a long time ago. But there are some that you and I should never, ever give up on.
Never stop believing in God and never stop believing in yourself. Never stop hoping for a better life, a better world, and going to work to make your life what you want it to be.
Never give up on the people you love. You may not be able to be with them or live with them because of their bad choices or yours, but never give up on them.
Never give up on the beautiful dreams God has planted in your heart. He put them there for a reason. You may not be able to, hope against hope, imagine how He will fulfill your dreams, but He will. Be patient. Where agency is involved, especially the agency of others, you must be patient. And you must be patient with yourself.
Every day I work on my novel, it keeps getting better and better. Even if all the reviewers who are reading it now give it a thumbs down, it wouldn’t matter, I’ll keep working on it until it matches the vision God has planted in my mind and my heart. It might not feel that great if my readers don’t like it in its current form, but I will persist until I succeed. That is the way the math works. You work out the problem. Then you calculate. Recalculate. Recalculate. Keep doing that until you get the result you envision.
Apply this math to any worthwhile goal, and you will achieve it. Just don’t give up and you will succeed in anything worthwhile you pursue.
P.S. For those of you who are curious, the novel is a fantasy set in the modern West. A 15-year-old girl is forced to flee Chicago and seek refuge on her grandfather’s ranch in Nevada where she discovers that she can do things she never imagined—like drive a 3/4 ton pickup, break an unbreakable horse, talk to rattlesnakes, falcons and coyotes, and heal everything she touches.