My section of the “race” is about never quitting or never giving in.
One of my favorite inspirational stories about never quitting comes from the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
It’s about the love a father had for his son, his injured son, who just wanted to finish his race – even though he’d lost all hope of qualifying for the next round of the 400m men’s race.
The athlete’s name is Derek Redmond of Great Britain and he and his dad, Jim, are great men.
The other night, I thought I was going to quit.
I was going to quit querying.
I was going to quit WIP.
Just quit writing.I was bone marrow tired and tired of falling asleep over the keyboard, my head snapping forward and back while trying to finish the latest query, chapter (or both.)
Annoyed at never seeing any tangible progress versus the amount of work I’ve done, I highlighted the master WIP file and let my finger hover over DELETE.
Sitting there in the near-dark, obviously frustrated, I reflected on the one new paragraph I’d written all week, and I was like, whatever, who cares. I mean seriously.Then, my phone buzzed, and it was the sweetest “Atta boy, you can do it” text from my wife (who didn’t realize how down I was feeling, but just wanted to send me some encouraging words.)
I put the safety back on, holstered my index finger and went to take a shower. (I have OCD and *have to* shower before writing J), then I returned to the keyboard.Powering up Pandora, the first song that came on was Hang On by Plumb.
“You… You’re very good, you,” I said, à la Robert de Niro in Analyze This.Spirits lifted by these random events, I got stuck into some good writing.
An hour later, I stopped, looked over the top of my computer and laughed for not seeing the irony in my wanting to quit WIP…
I’m co-writing the memoir of Donald Braswell, a former professional opera singer who lost his voice – his voice!! – in a 1995 hit-and-run accident.
I heard Donald’s story during his first audition on America’s Got Talent (2008.)
He explained how he never quit believing he could one day sing again on a professional stage.So, how could I quit, when Donald never gave up.
His story is so inspirational and I ain’t quitting, don’t worry. Donald’s story will soon see the light of day, and I’ll leave the rest in the hands of the Lord.
PS: If you watched both the Derek Redmond and Donald Braswell videos, you’ll notice that Josh Groban’s You Raise Me Up is the featured song.Random, huh? :)
And finally, as Winston Churchill once said:
Never. Give. In.