On days when I grow tired of tilting at windmills (trying to find a literary agent)–i.e., everyday–I paw through the debris in my office in search of one of the many inspirational quotes I’ve left semi-buried for quick resurrection. Unfortunately, while I’m good at the burial part, I’m not very good at the unearthing part.
As a friend of mine pointed out, I’ve got a great filing system but a really crappy retrieval system. I could probably take a lesson from the neighborhood squirrels. They seem to be able to sequester away acorns in my front lawn and dig them up five years letter without missing a beat (or apparently even counting paces from the nearest rose bush).
But I digress.
Luckily for me, I’ve left one of my favorite quotes within view on my desk. It’s on a brass bookmark my wife gave me several years ago. It says: “Never, never, never quit–Winston Churchill.” (This is probably a paraphrased quote from a longer speech Churchill gave in 1941, but you get the point.) My problem is, I read the great statesman’s words and get discouraged again. All Churchill had to do was whip the German war machine, not land a literary agent.
An accomplished writer, Brian Jay Corrigan, whom I consider my mentor, has left me with other uplifting words. (I usually send Brain a whiny email every year or so and he always responds in a blare of heavenly trumpets.) Most recently he thundered from above: “Deep breath. Keep trying. And believe. It will happen.” Brian, were you and Winnie ever buddies at some point?
And I don’t know who told me this, because I lost my notes (nay, not lost, merely misplaced–they’re in my debris pile someplace), but it goes like this: “A professional author is merely an amateur who didn’t give up.”
Yeah, but Charlie Brown never gave up, either. And look where it got him. Kite always stuck in a tree. Lucy always yanking away the football. Baseball team perpetually winless.
I’ve got to stop reading “Peanuts.”
Photo: Sir Winston Churchill
Churchill was the British Prime Minister during the Second World War. He was famous for his inspiring oratory.