This past weekend the Washington Romance Writers hosted Bob Mayer for a two-day workshop. The first day focused on career – what questions to ask and actions to take in order to get moving along your desired writing path. The second day focused on what questions you’d be wise to ask yourself before typing “Chapter One” at the top of the page.
My friend, author Maggie Toussaint, did a fantastic job of summarizing Mr. Mayer’s talk when he presented to First Coast Romance Writers. Her March 18 blog can be read here. Rather than try to improve on Maggie’s recap, I’ve decided to pull out one element of the weekend’s presentation that resonated the most for me.
Grit, Mr. Mayer says, is the determining factor for success. Perseverance gets you farther than innate talent. Grit is the key ingredient that takes you from “I coulda been a contender” to “I did it.” Grit makes me think of the chapter in Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers where Gladwell talks about the 10,000 hour rule. To become an expert in your field, you need to put in a minimum of 10,000 hours of practice. That is dedication. It’s determination. It’s a whole lot of grit.
I’ve trained for and completed two marathons and lived through a major kitchen renovation. I know I have perseverance and determination. I’ve got grit. But I’ve never brought my grit to bear upon my writing career – and it’s high time I did. I’ve got goals I want to accomplish. I’d like to move into the realm of “I did it” – or more rightly – “I’m doing it.” No more contending. It’s time to show up, put the hours in, keep an eye on the prize and get to work.
How about you – do you have the grit to go after your writing dreams? What does grit look like for you?