When people far smarter than me talk about the fight to keep going, very frequently they will share a quote that I have grown to admire by Jim Watkins:
"A river cuts through rock, not because of its strength, but because of its persistence"
I admire this quote for many reason, some of which belong to my love of nature and the offerings it has to our world, but primarily, I love this for the what it helps us to visualize. Power does not carve canyons through a mountain. Power does not shape the sides of a mountain. Power does not make our dreams a reality. Persistence and the unwillingness to relent the vision we have does.
It was two weeks ago that I left a mental reminder in my last blog post about what I wanted to write about next. And sure as the sun turns to moon, persistence is my solution to my own challenges I'm facing right now. Tonight, I found myself wanting to throw my computer across the room, delete all my files, and be done with publishing.
I have sat hours upon hours behind my computer, night after night, and I am still battling the same formatting complications. I yelled so loudly that poor Walter jumped awake. But no amount of yelling or throwing is going to solve my obstacle, truthfully, it will only make it substantially worse. After over 30 hours of formatting failures, I have resigned myself to being "at my wits ends, because if I cannot format one document correctly, what business do I have in this business?"
Luckily, you all should know that to write a blog post about persistence, you must have chosen to persist and that this is not my story of defeat, yet. I sat there fuming and reminded myself, why do I want to publish my own books? What is driving me to battle this out, night after night? What is the vision I'm working for?
I believe in the power of strong books for our young people and I believe in the power that Dreambuilt Books will have on the industry some day. So today, I must fight through the rocks and carve my path. It may not be a straight line and no one ever said it would be, but I reminded myself that I wanted this for far bigger reasons that my desire to write.
This is a common challenge of publishing and life. None of us are alone in the challenge to dig deep into the wells of our energy and find the capacity to push forward. I have said it once and I will say in many times to come; dreams are not for the weak of heart. However, if you want it bad enough, your dreams can be your reality. Persistence is part of wanting it bad enough.
Fight through the rocks and carve your path; it may not be a straight line, but no one ever said it would be. People don't seek out the spots where the river was stopped. They marvel all of the intricacies of the canyons they carved as they fought their way through the rocks.
Choose to persist. Choose to keep carving away, rock by rock. And don't forget to enjoy the moments you're spending carving those canyons, as a view of them uniquely yours.