But Churchill only had to defeat the Nazis

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.


  1. JohnTabellione on April 27, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    Buzz – One of my favorite quotes that relates to your plight comes from Ray Kroc (and this is no crock): “Nothing, nothing, nothing beats persistence.”

    I have to say that it has worked for me on many occasions; however, I have not quite gotten off my deff to search for an agent or publisher for my two books in the making. Ciao!

  2. John Tabellione on April 27, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    BTW, Kroc was the persistent genius who took McDonalds from a small enterprise into the world-wide juggernaut it is today (for anyone not familiar with him).

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