Laura Haley-McNeil

3/18/18, Never Give Up!

Hello, Everyone!

Now that we’ve switched to daylight saving time, spring seems imminent for me. I read about the atrocious weather in other parts of the world and I feel fortunate to live in a state where the sun shines nearly every day. I hope you’re enjoying lovely weather in your part of the world.

I’m sure most of you have heard about Winston Churchill’s famous quote, “Never give up!” if you haven’t, there’s a 23 second audio clip on that’s worth listening to. I’ve posted the link here:

That quote made such an impression upon me when I heard it. When I first heard it, the man who was quoting it was very theatrical, but no matter how it’s said, it’s true. There are times when it seems that efforts will never come to fruition. I know you’ve heard the same assuaging comments as I have: it takes time. We live in such a fast paced world and are reading about overnight successes, we believe that we should have our dues. Who knows why some achieve success more quickly than others, but I belive the key to everyone who has achieved that success did so because they never gave up. They wanted something so badly they couldn’t stop trying to achieve it. They wouldn’t let other factors interfere with what they wanted.

Many years ago, I was determined to be a romance novelist. I quit my job and spent three years writing. Unfortunately, I ran out of money before I achieved my dream and went back to work…and quit writing. This was when self-publishing was considered the scourge of the industry. I had written several novels, all rejected by Harlequin because that was the only romance publishing house that published the type of novels I was writing. I knew I could never write what publishers wanted to buy so I deleted all these novels from my hard drive and tossed all my manuscripts into the trash and didn’t write for many years. I wasn’t married then, but dated someone who didn’t understand why I wasn’t getting those bi-weekly paychecks anymore. He thought that becoming another John Grisham or Michael Crichton, different genre, I know, but those were the books he read, was like going to work every day. If I wrote every day I would be paid for what I wrote. Explaining that wasn’t how writing worked wasn’t worth the effort. Needless to say, I broke up with him, but didn’t return to writing. When I married my husband, I told him I wanted to be a writer. He looked at me as if to say, “So what’s stopping you?”

What was stopping me? I didn’t know how to write and work a day job. In other words, I was lazy. It took some effort, but I realized that my social life would have to take a back burner and I would have to spend free time writing. My husband was and is very supportive and helps with cooking and cleaning and yardwork and shopping so that gives me more time to write and I realize I’m very fortunate in that respect. He teaches piano and when his students don’t practice he is stern with them. He was stern with me, in an adult way, and I realized he really wanted me to do what made me happy and writing made me happy. I was able to conquer that first battle—I could work a day job and write. Many people do it. I’m no different than they are. I now write every evening and most weekends. Also, we don’t have children so we’re not planning activities around them, which also gives me more time to write. I realize that my life isn’t like other writers, but convincing myself that I could work full time and write took some rethinking, but I finally conquered it. If you’re wondering how you fit in your pursuit of something you desperately want, it may take some thoughtful consideration and maybe even talking to someone who is good at time management, but the important thing to remember is to never give up. It won’t be easy, but anything worthwhile never is. I know you’ve heard it all before, but I know that if you put on those blinders and focus on the prize what you want will come to fruition. I wish I knew when, but there’s no pat answer to that question.

Have a fantastic week, and remember, even if you are devoted to succeed at something, you have to have some fun times, too. Just keep your goals insight and never give up!