I often tell people that the keys to publication are a willingness to learn and perseverance. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I understood that to persevere means more than enduring. You don’t simply put up with waiting until you are published, you must actively work towards it, improving your writing, contacting agents and publishers, and increasing your platform. Yet I never fully considered the meaning of the word until this week when it came up in a devotion from Oswald Chambers’s My Utmost for His Highest.
So what DOES it mean to persevere?
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary:
To persist in any business or enterprise undertaken; to pursue steadily any design or course commenced; not to give over or abandon what is undertaken.
To persist in a state, enterprise, or undertaking in spite of counterinfluences, opposition, or discouragement.
As you can see, the definition includes an understanding that that we will encounter difficulties that will tempt us to abandon our efforts. And if you’ve been writing for any length of time at all, you know this is true in the publishing field!
Oswald Chambers adds an additional element to the meaning. He states that it is “endurance combined with absolute assurance and certainty that what we are looking for is going to happen.” Furthermore, he adds, “Every hope or dream of the human mind will be fulfilled if it is noble and of God.” I think this is something that we, as authors who are Christians, can hold onto, as we should be seeking and doing the things God calls us to do.
Now armed with the full understanding of the word “persevere,” I will say again my oft-repeated statement in the style of the Amplified Bible:
The keys to publication are a willingness to learn and perseverance, steadfastly working towards your goal with an absolute assurance that it will come about.