Anne Peterson

I write stories and goosebump poetry

If You’re an Artist, You Better be Stubborn…

There are not many times in life stubbornness is viewed as a quality. But stubbornness, the brother of tenacity, is extremely important.

As a writer, there will be days you don’t feel like writing. In fact, you’d rather watch every stinkin’ video on Facebook about cats and you don’t especially like cats. Sorry, all you cat lovers.

There will be times you feel as if your writing is not saying exactly what you want to say, and you’re questioning if you should even hit the submit button. You feel a shakiness, and all the doubts you ever had in your life come out and parade in your mind. But somehow you manage to hit submit. Phew!

Nothing to say?

And let’s not forget the times you just want to scream as you look at the blank screen and all the ideas in your head refuse to make themselves available to you. They pretend to be invisible and hide behind other words you’ve more than forgotten.

So what do you do then? You sit down and write. And if you don’t know what to write, then you write, “I don’t know what to write…I don’t know what to write…”

And believe me. After having a couple handfuls of journals with those opening lines, something happens.

It’s as if a magical door opens and all those thoughts are free. Free to not only float around in your mind, but to make their debut and to transport themselves into perfectly good sentences and paragraphs.

Some of my best poems were written in journals. And what would have happened if I had just given up? Come on, you know the answer to that.

Being stubborn pays off

I once did a research paper on poetry and read that poets rarely do anything with their poetry. If I wasn’t stubborn, I wouldn’t have seen that as a great challenge. And do I back away from big challenges? No. I mean, I learned how to drive a stick shift when I was first learning to drive. No, not in driver’s ed, but when I was in my 30’s. And there we were in Colorado, which is hilly to say the least, and the car would die again, and my husband would say, “I don’t think you’ll ever get this.”

Well, I showed him!

Yes, stubborness has its place in writing.

And there’s one more area where I think being stubborn is helpful. It’s in the area of waiting. You see, if you’re stubborn, you don’t give up. You just keep waiting, and waiting, and…

No matter how many fellow writers get published and make their name known. No matter how many other writers accomplish what you hope to accomplish.

You know that your turn will come if you keep doing the work. It has to come, you’re not giving up.

Anything of value takes great effort

I think back in my life to accomplishments I have.

  • Getting my degree 25 years after my friends graduated.
  • Learning to drive when my mother never did because she said she was too nervous.
  • Figuring out the program Mailchimp… kinda.
  • Writing 14 books and publishing them to Amazon.

Any accomplishments would not be on that list without great effort.

One of my biggest accomplishments was my books, I have to admit. But one thing I’ve learned in the process is that I had expectations that were not realistic.

I thought writing a book would make me famous. I was wrong. But once again, I’m stubborn. And that tenacity takes me further than anything else.

I’m determined. Determined to keep going. And if it takes me a long time, so what? Time is going to pass no matter what.

What about you?

I don’t know what you want to accomplish. Maybe it’s a book, maybe it’s selling your art. I’d like to recommend something to you.

If you get a chance, buy this book by Jeff Goins. Click on one of the stores and buy his book, Real Artists Don’t Starve.

And then just dig in your heels and make up your mind you are going to be stubborn.

And let’s see where that takes you. Come on. You know you want to at least try.

Note: This article first appeared on Medium.

About Anne Peterson

I write words you can feel, sometimes they rhyme. If I’m not writing, I’m telling stories from my head, to little ones who call me grandma.

2 Replies

  1. Hey Anne, Great blog post. I understand what you are saying her. I feel that way often too … but I’m still here

    1. Rod,
      Yes, we are still here. I’m very fortunate because I get feedback on my writing, whether we’re talking about my articles, or the poetry. There are people who never hear how their writing impacts others. I love the writing communities I’m a part of. There is a lot of encouragement.

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