Patience and Perseverance

By Anju Gattani

No one said writing was easy. No one said publishing was any easier. No one said an M.A. or an MFA validates that you are/your work is suitable for publication. No one follows the rules of writing (there are none) in much the same way no one guarantees that you follow the rules (of writing) only to break them. And yet writers continue to write in the hope that they will one day be published. Why?

I thought about this for a long time while rewriting, revising and re-editing (sometimes all at once) the debut novel in my ‘Winds of Fire’ series, DUTY AND DESIRE. However, none of the ambiguity held me back because of the reason that propelled me in the first place – my love for storytelling. As far as I can remember, I’ve always loved to tell stories – tall tales were my favorites. However, after succeeding at writing (and being published internationally) in short fiction, feature, travel and parenting columns I knew the larger challenge lay ahead – writing the fiction novel. What I didn’t know—and am still grateful for—is the 9-journey to follow and the slam of rejections just waiting to sock me. I learned very quickly that rejections were aimed at my work—not me—despite the truth that I had poured my heart, soul and blood (me) in the writing of the story I learned very quickly to laugh at myself, pump a little humor in my writing life and build on friendship with others like myself who couldn’t not write. I learned to navigate the watery abyss of publishing and steer on with the one reason that propelled me in the first place – my love for storytelling.

As far as I can remember I’ve always loved to tell stories – tall tales were my favorites. So I continued to research, work with professionals from various industries (2 of India’s leading fashion designers, a Pilates instructor and doctor from the UK) and fill the story with details. I learned the art and craft of technique, style and honed my writing voice until I could no longer hear myself. I continued to flesh out characters so that they stole the show and moved their story forward. I learned to integrate plot, pacing and weave descriptions so that it all appeared seamless. And all this required patience. Years and years of patience and perseverance. But most of all it required an inner strength and determination to go on and believe in the story. How could I not? I had too many people, including my husband and kids, believing in me.

As far as I can remember I’ve always loved to tell stories – tall tales were my favorites. And now I’ve just told another one. However, this one, I hope, will encourage you to turn the pages of a novel… perhaps one you’ve written or one you have to read or better yet, one that’s a work-in-progress. It doesn’t matter. What does matter are the millions of stories out there that have already been told and millions still waiting to do so. It takes patience to write. It takes patience to read. But more so it takes patience and perseverance to believe.

Anju has lived in Singapore, Australia, India, New Jersey and Connecticut. She now makes her home in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband and two kids. Anju is a columnist for a multicultural magazine in the USA. She is also an avid guest blogger, who loves to share her experiences in health and fitness, food, self-empowerment and great fiction reads.

Duty and Desire is her first novel.

Visit Anju at

6 Responses

  1. Hi Anju. I enjoyed your conference. I attended a workshop by Bob Mayer this weekend at the first FF&P conference. It was held in New Orleans and I had a fabulous time. Mr. Mayer spoke about perseverance. How you’ve got to dig in and become a mule to make it in the publishing industry. Only the strong survive.

  2. No, the comments aren’t leveled at you, but they FEEL like they are. LOL Thanks for reminding me why I do this!

  3. Thanks for sharing, Victoria.
    Writing is hard enough as it is… the rejections don’t help but we keep on going. I guess we all do this for the same reasons – love of writing, right?

  4. I think every writer needs this reminder from time to time…thanks for posting!

  5. Hi Pamela,
    It’s true. It’s hard and rough and if you’ve written something that doesn’t fit anywhere – any genre… it’s even more of a challenge! Great to see you here and glad you enjoyed the conference!

  6. Hi Rashda,
    I need reminders like this myself. Starting a new book means starting all over again. It doesn’t get any easer. Hope you’ll continue to share this so we remember we’re all in this together! 🙂

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