Persistence in Writing Yields Rewards

Writing Persistence Wins in the Long Run

Persistence is the key to success. Out of 100 people, only 50 will finish their writing project. Out of those 50, about 25 will quit after their first rejection. Out of the remaining 25, only 12 will follow the guidelines & submit properly. Out of that 12, only 7 or 8 will match their work to the proper source.

Your odds are better than you thought! Here’s the moral to the story:

1. Choose your market FIRST and then write the story/article to match the market. (Line up three markets at a time so that when [not if] you get your rejection slip, you can pop it into the mail to the next market)
2. Finish the project
3. Edit it properly
4. Read the market’s guidelines and follow them to the letter
5. Call the market and learn the editor’s name. Be sure to get the spelling correct. (Editors move around a lot. You may see the editor’s name as you research, but that’s old news. That editor may not still be there.)
6. Submit, submit, submit, submit
7. Keep your rejection slips. Frame them in gold. It means you went further than 93% of the writers did.
8. Pop it into the mail to the next market. If it doesn’t sell after three submissions, something is wrong. Ask a veteran writer to look at it and and give you an honest critique.

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9 thoughts on “Persistence in Writing Yields Rewards

  1. I like the facts at the beginning of your post. I think a lot of people would get very discouraged by rejection myself included.

    I haven’t even written my book yet but I am on the road and I’m very determined to finish my project and get it published. I know rejection is going to be part of the journey but journeys are never smooth.

    You can follow my journey into writing here

    I would also like to link this blog with mine if you don’t mind.



    1. Hi Carole

      I visited your blog. It looks very nice and I especially like the pic at the top.

      I’d like to invite you to visit My Writer’s Circle at Fill out your profile and then click on “Home” and “All the Write Questions.” You’ll find a lot of good things there that will benefit you. Another site that I recommend highly is You can post your work on both these sites and ask questions.

      For the sake of brevity, allow me to enumerate things that I think will help a lot.

      1. Learn to write articles first. (Even if you have zero interest in them.) Non-fiction writing writes easier, pays best and sells fastest. You can write for local newspapers and use your meager winnings to pay for a writing course. 2. Next, take Short Story Writing. One chapter of a book is roughly the equivalent of a short story. 3. In the meantime, add to your book. Outline it chapter by chapter, with maybe 3-5 sentences per chapter… just enough to help you remember what you want to address in that chapter. 4. Learning the craft of writing takes years, but you can cut two – three years off the learning curve if you do things in the right order. 5. To write a book now without the benefit of any formal training means huge rewrites later… one of the surest ways to be sure that book never gets written. Patience is the name of the game. I feel that book burning inside you. The question is – how to best approach it.

      Not everyone agrees with me on this procedure but I’ve founded two writing schools and tutoring is my business. I know the shortcuts that pay off. Almost all beginners want to start writing a book before they can craft a good short story. If you think about it, it doesn’t make sense. Take an organized approach. You’re on the right track!

      I’ll be happy to guide you along your journey. By all means, feel free to link to my blog. I would be honored.

      You can see my site at All the best,

      Deborah Owen CEO & Founder Creative Writing Institute


      1. Thank you Deborah for those tips I really appreciate it. I will take a look at your sites in more depth later after work.

        Interestingly enough I have gone back to the planning stages with my first book and am doing exactly what you said by outlining the plot and getting a clear picture of my characters. The first draft that I started is now obsolete!

        As far as writing articles goes, it isn’t something I have looked into as I live in the Middle East. Is there any where on online where I can pick up article writing jobs? I also work full time as a teacher so have had lots of experience writing reports etc! Not the same thing I know but takes a certain knack!
        I have also started a blog sharing short stories about my overseas experiences. Take a look, I think they might make you smile.
        Thanks again for your reply


        1. I’m sorry. I tried to reply last night – even had it all written out – then lost my Internet. I had surgery four days ago so I haven’t been in a hurry to get on yet tonight.

          Ah, yes, you do have writing talent – which I suspicioned, just by your letters. I have yet to see someone who could write a decent letter and not be able to write if they so desired.

          I would really like to help you, so if I might be so bold, may I suggest a few things?

          1. The blog is too hard to read. Black and white can’t be beat, but if you don’t want that, at least reverse the print 2. Don’t use adverbs that end in -ly. Editors won’t buy it and using such adverbs weakens the writing. 3. Don’t state the obvious. If the bracelet is “gold”, you don’t need to say it’s “expensive.” 4. No more than 1 exclamation mark per every 1,000 words. 5. Stifle small rhetoricals. Carry the meaning in dialogue and Show, Don’t Tell. (Do you know what that is?)

          Yes, you can sell articles online. You won’t make much out of them but the main thing is to build up your writing credits. Try or Search “free writing directories” and you should turn up more.



          Creative Writing Institute


          1. Hi Deborah,
            I hope you are feeling a lot better now and are well on the road to a speedy recovery.

            Firstly, thank you for your positive comments about my writing. I know I can do it but just lack a little ‘know how.’ I cannot express how much I appreciate you trying to help me. I have never done a writing course but have read widely about ‘how to’ and as you can see by my blogs am trying to get some experience, however limited.

            Can I address your points.
            1. I like the blog as it is, I like the colours and the print itself is black on white so that is easy to read so I think I will leave it. The other alternative colours for that design I do not like and I can’t reverse the print on the side bars.
            2. I understand about the adverbs but sometimes I really struggle to think of another way of putting things. I guess experience will rectify that.
            3. Fair point about stating the obvious, I didn’t really think about that but I will now.
            4. I do tend to use too many exclamation marks. I just can’t help myself!! LOL
            5. I undersatnd and know about ‘Show Don’t Tell.’ It links back to the adverb point which again I understand but struggle to put into words. Again, like everything in this life, the more you practice the better you get.

            I think I may try to re-write the gold story when I have time in a slightly different style and see how I get on.

            Do you think it would be beneficial to do a writing course? My first novel is for children so would a general course be better or something more specialised?



            1. Hey Carole,

              Thanks for the good wishes. I can use all I can get. It was so hard to take time off work and now I can’t get going again.

              Let me ask you a question. Are you a quarter horse or a mudder? Personally, I’m a quarter horse. I’m fast out of the gate but long term planning is not my strength. On the other hand, I’m learning to be a mudder – just keep putting one foot in front of the other. A mudder can never become a quarter horse, but a quarter horse can become a mudder. The strength of your answer will quite possibly determine your future in writing. You might need to think about it.

              This business takes years to learn. If you can be happy doing something else, do it, but if you have a serious writing bug, it will have to work itself out and you’ll never be content without dabbling in it.

              I’ve never known anyone who made it the easy way. The path is strewn with bones of wannabe writers, but few people will tell you the truth about the trade. But if you’re driven, you might as well get to learning. There is no end to the learning. As with any art, you will get as much out of it as you put into it but you’ll never plummet its depths. You may become a published writer and you may become satisfied with who you become, but there is no end to the learning. But what an exciting journey it is! … To learn to say more by saying less. To hone your words to a fine point. It doesn’t take a lot of talent to be a writer – just a lot of persistence and a willingness to invest in yourself.

              I can already see that you have spirit. Fight usually goes with spirit. They make a wonderful combination. When one lets you down, the other will keep you going.

              Re: your blog – I saw it as a chocolate brown page with black print. It was barely legible. I don’t know what the problem could be, but now you know why I advised you to change it.

              Here’s a little exercise for you. The scene is a man who is insanely jealous because he saw his wife talking to the male neighbor. He confronts her.

              “You drive me insane!” he said angrily.

              Now, get rid of the exclamation point… and the adverb… and *show* his anger. It should take about thirty words to do this. Showing always takes more time than telling. Two hints – use action and dialogue.

              And to answer your last question about taking a course or where to begin: Begin with non-fiction writing, even if you have zero interest in it. Non-fiction writing sells fastest, learns quickest and pays most. There’s always a market for non-fiction and it’s a great way to earn money to take writing courses.

              All beginners want to write a book. I was no exception. I wish someone had told me what I’m telling you. It would have saved my dream book. I don’t have the years it would take to rewrite and market it now. There’s so much I want to tell you but it will all come in time.

              For now, I’ve given you plenty to think about. 🙂

              Deb Creative Writing Institute


              1. Hi Deborah,

                I have had plenty to think about so thanks for the tips.

                Firstly, and I did not have to think about this, I am definately a mudder. I have to say that is a very odd term which I have never heard before?

                I think there must have been a problem when you downloaded my blog. It has a burgandy blackground and the actual text is black on white. I have since posted another very short story if you would like to look. It will make you laugh.

                In my break at school today I jotted down around 30 words for your task.

                Fire ignited in the pit of his stomach as he spotted her flirting with him. His lips tightened as he stormed towards them. “you drive me insane,” he yelled.

                As for your dream book. Let me ask you a question. If you do nothing then in 10 years time where will you be with your book?
                No matter how long it takes you should start taking small steps towards the completion even if you only edit a page a week. If it is your dream then you should go for it. Never lose sight of your dreams.

                Hope you are feeling better today?



  2. Hi Janie – I don’t disagree with you about query letters but don’t you think that’s pretty much a thing of the past? I’m of the opinion that most editors will receive and review short stories without the queries. What do you think?


  3. Those are great motivational tips, Deb. If you come up with a great idea, it is good to ‘shop it around’ before doing the research and actual writing. Create dynamic query letters to sell the article.


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