Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Secret Revealed

Persistence matters. You hear that all the time as a fledgling. Generally you hear it from the lips of established writers. In fact you get kind of tired of hearing it, right? Well, take heart; I've recently learned that persistence isn't really the secret to writing success.

What is the secret?

The secret is persperistence. Established writers don't want you to know this because they would then have to compete with you head to head. In fact, it's been suggested that persperistence is the most closely Right-Guarded secret in the writing world today.

But, what is it? you ask (again, you point out).

Let me tell you what persperistence is not.

Persperistence is not writing the same story again and again, making the same mistakes. That process can certainly yield a similar scent, but the resemblance ends there. No, writing the same story again and again, making the same mistakes is called insistence. It comes from the ego not understanding that writing isn't all about it, but is rather an orgy of cooperation between id, ego and superego.

Persperistence is not writing a different story every week, making the same basic mistakes. That's called resistance. It comes from the id not understanding that rules are not playthings, but guidelines developed by a union of egos and superegos with the specific intent of developing a common language called story.

Persperistence is not writing a different story each week, then setting it aside for the polish that will never come. No, that's called perfectionistence. It comes from the superego not understanding that it's okay for id and ego to exert their rather raw voices into the world from time to time. Not every nonconformist thought need be suppressed, not every "i" dotted twice. Effective writing is not all about everyone else.

So, what is persperistence? you ask yet again. (How persistent of you!)

Persperistence is an acronym for a process so powerful I ask you to memorize it and then burn the memory completely from your mind.

P is for placing butt onto chair
E is for energy
R is for rejection
S is for sucking it up
P is for putting it out there
E is for energy (don't let it flag)
R is for rejection (again!)
I is for indulgence (candy works)
S is for selling your soul
T is for taking charge
E is for energy (almost there!)
N is for never giving up
C is for calculating word count
E is for ending 52 weeks with 52 stories!

Now that you've been anointed, now that you understand, I'm sure you see why persperistence is the best kept secret in the land. Use it well, Grasshopper.


  1. Amred with truth and humor, may we all go forth and perspersist.

    Although, there is one more thing you need: a baseball bat, for beating that voice down when it tells you your not good enough, because it just needs to be driving away. :)

  2. It sounds like it comes from perspicacity :O)

  3. We've got to have some T-shirts made!

  4. Yep, keep that bat handy. Writers can be really tough on themselves and it's not always (or even usually) a good thing. I read somewhere that we should strive to get to the point where we laugh about mistakes we make (and correct them, of course) rather than beating ourselves up over them. Hey, that sounds like a good resolution.

  5. I'd love a persperistence t-shirt. ;)

  6. I know I'm late, but yes, it is a little like H. G. Wells. There are a lot of really good books in the steam-punk genre, but it's also a pretty decent sized sub-culture. There is a lot of underground type steam-punk stuff.

  7. And heeeer we go! Let's make 2011 an unprecedented year for short fiction, shall we?

    Happy New Year everyone. A t-shirt in every kettle and steam-punk all around.