Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Work Hard, Don't Give Up

Dang it. I've done it again. Just when I thought I could give up on this whole writing thing (did you see my post from yesterday?? That was me saying I was throwing in the towel), I was interviewed by a 9-year-old. That's right. A 9-year-old put me in my place.

So these fourth graders come to interview me. They ask me normal stuff like what I do at the school and how long I've been there. What I like most about my job, what I like least, yada yada yada.

Things are going great until one of the cutest 9-year-olds on the planet asks, "What advice do you have for us?"

The answer that came out my mouth: "Work hard. Don't give up."

What I was thinking inside: Oh crap.

So now I have to take my own advice. And it's a bitter pill to swallow, my feathered friends (the kids love it when I call them that *snarf*).

If someone asked you that question, what would you say?

37 comments:

Lisa said...

You said it! Don't give up. Because it's easy to do. I think I've given up on the writing thing a hundred times. But I always come crawling back...

Amanda J. said...

I'm with you, don't give up and always believe in yourself because sometimes you're the only person that will.

Eric said...

The only thing I would add to that is "Celebrate your successes and learn from your mistakes." Too often we forget to pat ourselves on the back for what we do right, and we beat ourselves up way more than we should. Glad to see you're still in the game though :)

Deborah said...

But writers do tend to stick together. We cheer each other on. Elana, I've seen you on other blogs all the time. You are always encouraging others to continue onward. You are our biggest cheerleader. Be as good to yourself as you are to us. Winston Churchill said "Never never never give up." We should all take his council.

Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought said...

Pray, do what you love and learn to laugh at yourself.
~ Wendy

Scott said...

Patience. It's all about the patience. If you don't have any, you better find some soon, because this crazy writing adventure were all on is one heck of a roller coaster ride, with lots, and lots, and lots of waiting.

I'm glad you climbed out of that hole you were stuck in yesterday. I knew you could do it!

S

Tess said...

Find joy in every day stuff. It's always amazing how unhappy 'successful' people are and how often very happy people w/ every day simple lives are. It's all in the attitude :)

And, cutie pie interview-er!

Marybeth Poppins said...

Enjoy every moment...it goes by quickly!

(that's my advice :)

Nisa said...

I'm not giving up, I'm just switching priorities. hehe! Okay, yeah, that would be a bitter pill to swallow. But you're right about not giving up because you're just too talented to waste your gift! Seen Tinkerbell lately? lol

Just A Girl said...

Elana, I am battling the same thing..sort of..mine is all in my head. I can't even bring myself to query yet because my manuscript is not "good enough". But I've started the upward climb back up after a fast spiral downward. I use music quite a bit to pump me up and I'd like to share my newest find with you!

http://lorettajokapinos.blogspot.com/2009/08/breaking-me-out-of-spell-i-was-in.html

PS-Thanks for sharing...it DOES help to know that I am not alone in feeling down.

TereLiz said...

Ooh, it stings when you have to take your own advice, doesn't it? ;)

My advice would be:
Don't lose sight of your dreams or they might disappear completely.

I stopped writing for too long, and I might not have picked it back up again if not for a life-changing experience. Now I know I won't give it up until the day I die.

Way to be a role-model for those fourth graders. Hopefully they'll learn the joy of earning something they worked so hard for.

Diane said...

Thankfully you gave a good answer and not jump off a cliff or something. :O)

B.J. Anderson said...

Yes, perseverance is the most important thing in the world!! Glad you're not giving up. :D

Abby said...

Makes me think of Galaxy Quest. "Never give up. Never surrender." ;D Love that movie!

Don't give up! You're awesome! How am I ever going to get to read your books if you give up? Hang in there. Things will be looking up soon. Now, if I could just take my own advice...

Jaime Theler said...

You gotta love those 9 year-olds! I love the Work Hard & Don't Give Up advice, but I would also add to take the time to enjoy what you're doing, too. Pull out a favorite book and get lost in the story, not in dissecting the structure or beating yourself up wondering how you can write something as good, but remember why you fell in love with writing in the first place.

Corey Schwartz said...

Aw, what a sweet post. I missed yesterday's so I'll have to go back and look! (Hard with the kids home.. no camp, no school)

My husband lives by the words from the play Rent: There's only us. there's only this. Forget regret...or life is your to miss.

jbchicoine said...

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: 90% of life is just showing up. Therefore, be sure to show up; the other 10% will work itself out on the way.

Rebecca Knight said...

Haha, I'm with Abby. I always love that Galaxy Quest quote :).

But seriously--I get that, Elana. We're all there at least every other day. But you can't give up. You absolutely have talent, and I for one can't wait to read your books for years to come!

I was feeling down the other day, and read on an author's blog something along the lines of "Climbing the mountain sucks and is really freaking hard, but when you finally reach the top, think how f-in amazing the view is going to be."

How many people get to see that view? It's worth the climb to be one of the few to stand on the top and say "I did it!"

You can do it :). We believe in you. Now put your hiking boots on and get up there!

Solvang Sherrie said...

That was the perfect answer!

dellgirl said...

You said it, "Work hard. Don't give up!" Yes, I have felt the need to throw in the towel many times!

However, when I get to the point of wanting or needing to 'give up'on something, what I really need is to change how I do what I do.

Great post, I love it!

Katie said...

FINISH STRONG!

ElanaJ said...

Thanks everyone! I feel so much better when I'm able to share my frustrations and you all rally behind me.

Abby! We must be twins, because I LOVE Galaxy Quest! Absolutely love it! Maybe I'll commission someone to make me a "Never give in! Never surrender!" badge. I need that, don't I? Yes, I do.

Thanks everyone. Your support speaks volumes to my query-weary soul. :)

Danyelle said...

Children have a wonderful way of cutting straight to the heart of things, don't they?

Love your internal thoughts. :p

It is a hard thing to do, especially when it can seem like you're running around in a hamster wheel, going full speed, but getting nowhere. >.<

My advice would be to take the time to find beauty in all good things. :D

kathrynjankowski said...

Fourth-grade was my favorite to teach!

My advice: follow your passion.

Although I do like the Galaxy Quest maxim. Great movie. Alan Rickman is a hoot.

L.T. Elliot said...

Don't you give up, Elana! You're too awesome to give up! I'll email you every day if I have to. You write and you write and you write and you'll succeed! 98 3/4 percent guranteed! (Dr. Seuss. Gotta love him.) And I'm taking the liberty of changing those percentages. 100%

I'm glad that nine-year-old asked you that question. Stick with it. You can and WILL make it.

Katie Ganshert said...

Just read your Monday post....I'm glad that nine-year old got you reconsidering your plans, because based on what I read from an excerpt you posted once, you've got some major talent, girl! Sorry the roller coaster is no fun! I'm glad you're working hard and not giving up, though. :)

What would I say? Do your personal best, try your personal hardest. Don't compare. What matters is that at the end of the day, you can be proud of your choices.

Kat Harris said...

As they said in the 80s: Busted.

That just means your towel isn't dirty enough to be thrown in yet. :-)

Jessica said...

I like your answer! How fun would it be to be interviewed by nine year olds. LOL I'm sorry you felt like giving up but am glad that idea got shot down. Ha!
Now I'm off to read the other post. :-)

Carolyn Kaufman said...

Hee hee. That's called The Universe telling you you're not allowed to give up yet.

My advice would be: You can do ANYTHING you want to. (or conversely, or inversely, or some mathematical term you know and I don't) Don't ever let someone else tell you you can't. You can.

And my word is "nourums." I think that would be "nourishing nummies," with nummies being tasty treats (just in case other people don't say things are nummy)

Must...stop...typing...

christine said...

LOL...told ya not to give up :D. I would probably say the quickest path around your fear is THROUGH it! Love ya!!!

Lisa and Laura said...

Damn 9-year-olds and their crazy interview questions! Ha! I'm so glad you've decided to take your own advice. You're one of the most inspirational writers out there, E. Seriously. I remember when you visited our blog the first time and I felt like you were a total celebrity. You are a rock star and rock stars NEVER give up.

beth said...

Oh. That is tres cute. Very very cute.

Sherry Dale Rogers said...

You said it girl and how often we forget our own advice. I would say "Never give up on anything you want to do, doing something is better that doing nothing at all."

Joy D. Wilson said...

Just nominated you for a blog award! I know you have so many but you deserve them all!

disorderly said...

Elana, this is priceless! Kids have a disconcerting habit of putting adults in their place on a regular basis, don't they? ;-)

Love your "words to live by." I've also always loved the advice, "If the enemy is in range, so are you." :-)

Mandy said...

Don't you dare utter those evil words EVER again! Give up, puhleeze! Don't forget... I've read your stuff! You can't ever give up! Pretty soon, thousands of people are going to be reading your work!

Dawn VanderMeer said...

You gave great advice that you need to follow! :) Everyone has doubts at times. Ride it out, and keep writing!

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