Monday, April 25, 2011

Never Give Up

Okay, so this isn't a new topic around the blogosphere or anything. I've sort of had it as my motto for a while. Those of you who've been here for a while know how many queries I sent out. *cough, cough*

Anyway, this concept was just reinforced on my trip to New York. I was walking down 5th Avenue, and I saw some swim shorts in a display window, and I veered right into the store. (Not for me, obviously. For my son.) I started talking with the sales guy, and snapping pictures to text to my kid to see which ones he liked. (Technology = win.)

I'm wandering, texting, picturing. My mom, meanwhile, is chatting up the salesman. A few minutes later, he comes over to congratulate me on my forthcoming novel. (Thanks, Mom.) He says he's a writer; I ask him some questions, and the conversation comes down to "Never give up."

Then he shows me his forearm*. He actually has it tattooed there.

Never give up.

I shoulda snapped a picture of that**.

I think sometimes I need a reminder of this. So today, I salute Luka (no lie! LUKA. Who's singing the song right now? "My name is Luka. I live on the second floor." Come on, you know this one...right?) for his tattoo reminder to never give up.

What's your motto? (Nothing. What's the motto with you? Okay, #lame) Will you give up? (I hope not. I also hope this is the end of my parentheticals. Jeez.)


*This was not as creepy as it sounds.

**This would've been totally creeper behavior. I may or may not have twitched toward the camera on my phone.

63 comments:

kiperoo said...

Haha, this is an awesome story. And the Luka song is totally in my head.

Claire Dawn said...

Luka = best name ever. Love that song :)

There are all sorts of writing mantras out there, but at the end of the day, it all boils down to an essential few concepts.

Never give up!

Natalie Aguirre said...

I love that motto. It reminds me of "Never give up! Never surrender!" from the movie Galaxy Quest. It's a great motto. I hope I keep it. Though I do have those really dark days sometimes.

Sarah said...

What a great story, and a great motto. (Also, I'm addicted to parenthetical notations, so I sympathize. Perhaps there needs to be some sort of 12-step program for that.)

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Love the motto.

'Kay, would love to know the story behind the tattoo. Surely he didn't get it to remind himself to never to give up on his writing. Why did he need a tattoo to remember him that motto? (Though it is a more useful tatto than one of Thumper on his butt (like I've got)) ;)

Theresa Milstein said...

There's that cheesy 80s song, "Never Surrender". That's not my motto, but the song popped in my head while reading this post.

Cool to meet a writer so dedicated he got a tattoo.

Because I did the manuscript I just finished this weekend in bits because of my busy schedule, I hope it's cleaner than when I've rushed through previous first drafts (While still holding onto my panster crown). So my new motto is, "Slow and steady wins the race."

Laura Pauling said...

Yes, I love that song. And no this isn't creepy, it's kinda cool. Go mom!

Jen Daiker said...

I'm scared. I'm slightly creeped out.

Just kidding!

How fun! I love when mom's take over and share with people just how awesome you are. It sucks at first but then you realize you often become more encouraged and proud then you were to start off with.

I'd say right now my motto is all about patience. 'Good things come to those who wait' after querying I'm sure that'll change but for now that's the level I'm at.

Bish Denham said...

Now that's determination. If I have a motto it's, "Do or do not, there is no try." (Yoda.)

Christine Fonseca said...

Love Bish's motto...and man, you had a GREAT time in NY!

Kelly Bryson said...

Haha. If he's ready to flash you his forearm, I'm sure he wouldn't care about a little picture!

I also have a tat of my motto- on my low low back it says "Don't Crack."

Julie said...

I love this post! And his tattoo.

For me, it's "Everything could go right tomorrow."

At some of the darker times, I've loved this one by Ovid (a friend shared it with me), "Be patient and tough; one day this pain will be useful to you."

Glad you had an enlightening trip. :)

Gina said...

Any time I think about giving up, I remind myself that even Harry Potter was rejected by 38 or so publishing houses before it wound up in print. I mean, HELLO, Harry Potter! It allows me to convince myself that it's them, not me. Whether or not it's true... I have no idea.

Wen Baragrey said...

I wish I had a real motto. The only one I can ever remember is "Don't eat the yellow snow."

I think "Never Give Up" works much better.

Marisa Hopkins said...

Never give up - that's a pretty great motto. :) I shout ONWARD AND UPWARD! at least once a day, in order to get over life's hurdles.

Wendy Paine Miller said...

Right before my kids have a game or some sort of thing they are scared to do I say, "Go get 'em, tiger." That's my motto to myself today.

~ Wendy

Miriam Forster said...

My motto is "Work hard and be nice to people" but "Never give up, never surrender" is a close second. (GalaxyQuest FTW!)

:)

Anita Saxena said...

Nope. Not ever giving up. Not an option.

Kristi Helvig said...

Oh, that's one of the saddest songs I've ever heard--cool name though.

And no, I wouldn't have stayed up revising til after midnight the past 4 nights if I had any intention of giving up. :)

Jamie Manning said...

That's so cool that you walk into a random store and meet someone with a love of writing. It just proves that the writing community is much larger than we can imagine. Thanks for a great post!

Ishta Mercurio said...

Great story! I love that he had "Never Give Up" tattooed on his arm. Everyone needs that kind of grit at some point in their life.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Thanks for the inspiration and reminder to never give up. I keep thinking that some day it'll happen but you get so down in the trenches and despondent sometimes it's tempting to succumb to the unthinkable.

lbdiamond said...

LOL!

Tha motto works.

Jonathon Arntson said...

I want that tat.

Hm...I've been ready for a new one for a while now.

I wonder how cheesy it would be to get the a tattoo that says inhibitions.

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

my motto is "this, too, shall pass". It's a reminder when things are going bad, that the bad things will end. It's also a reminder than when things are great, that they'll pass as well.
It keeps me grounded

Kelly said...

Wow! That is so cool that you gave him that advice and it was actually tattooed on his arm! If you explained about your blog, I don't think it would have been that creepy to snap a pic of his tat. He probably would have been honored!

Summer Frey said...

Mine is a mixture of "this too shall pass" and "just keep truckin'/swimming." Probably a reflection of the difficult year I've had, but that's okay. The seasons change with or without me.

Matthew MacNish said...

Love it.

John Sankovich said...

That is one of many motto's for writers. I think its a good one because perseverance is key to making it in this industry.

I also think another good thing about the writer community is how supportive of each other. This makes it much easier to never give up when you have a cheerleaders urging you forward throughout the process.

Tere Kirkland said...

LOL, I totally remember Luka. Actually, that song is kind of creepy, now that I think about it.

When I hear the words "Never give up," for some reason I always think of Galaxy Quest. Never surrender!

Glad you had a fun and enlightening trip to NYC.

lynnrush said...

My writing motto? Write on. It's along the lines of never give up. Just keep writing. Don't ever stop. :) My life motto? Hope, Faith, and Love. The greatest of these is LOVE. I pretty much live by that. And yep, I have that tattooed on my arm, too!

Great post!

Kelly Lyman said...

Great story. I love when stuff like this happens. My motto is similiar: Don't Quit. In fact, my dad gave me a poem long ago titled Don't Quit by Edge A. Guest and whenever I"m in one of "those moods," I reference it. I've posted it twice on my blog.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

That is awesome story, Elana! And a reminder I can never hear enough. :-)

Lesli Muir Lytle said...

My tattoo would have to be

Piss or get off the pot.

Nicole L Rivera said...

Never give up....I also like: Succeed or die trying. Same diff though. Awesome story :)

Shallee said...

I've got to admit, I've always secretly wanted a tattoo. And one that says Never Give Up might be just the thing. I think my motto would be Never give up, and keep working hard.

Douglas Brown said...

I tried like heck to come up with a motto but I give up. All seriousness, nice article.

Sara B. Larson said...

I love that this is your motto, and it really should be anyone's who has a goal they're trying to achieve. You rock!

Stasia said...

Okay, thanks alot. Now I'll be humming "Luka" all day. Great post, though. Too true!

LTM said...

mine's about the same: Just keep swimming. I guess since I'm such a beach bum, I should have it tattooed somewhere. But it's kinda long... maybe JKS.

Anyway, Hooray for Luka, and hooray for you~ :o) <3

Taffy said...

Luka and Hakuna Matta songs all in one post! :)

My motto this year: Enjoy the Journey.
I have to remind myself being published is only a step. There are a thousand others to get to my goal.

Jemi Fraser said...

Luka is such a haunting song. Beautiful.

Never give up is a good motto - pretty much sums up my bull-headed attitude on most things :)

Donea Lee said...

"I live upstairs from you...
Guess I think you've seen me before..." :)

Never give up is a great motto! I keep telling myself "Tomorrow is always fresh..." to keep me going most days.

Marsha Sigman said...

Love this. Great motto and I guess mine would be the same.

Dream big and never give up.

Holly Ruggiero said...

It never hurts to hear it again.

Lenny Lee* said...

hi miss elana! wow this was the most best post for me today cause i just got started back on chemo again. ack! some times i could feel like giving up but reading your post and having lots of cool blogger friends for sure keeps me going. im not gonna give up! and im not giving up on my writing neither.
...hugs from lenny

Donna Weaver said...

Love the post, Elana. I guess the fact that we keep hearing it must mean we need to keep hearing it.

Lydia K said...

Such a great motto for all of us writers.
I still think you should have taken a picture of that tattoo!

A.E. Johnson said...

So how is that more creepy than taking a picture with a waiter you think is attractive?

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Elana -- You forgot the second half of that quote!

"Never give up. Never surrender." ~ Jason Nesmith

It's right up there with:

"Well that was a hell of a thing." ~ Fred Kwan

I've had plenty occasion to use both of those.

BTW - Don't you love it when family members act as free publicity shills? They can get away with so much more than we can ...

Karen Lange said...

Good words to live by! Inspiring AND motivating. :)

Chelsey said...

A. I was on Fifth Avenue today!

B. I live upstairs from you. yes I think you've seen me before.

C. It really does boil down to that, doesn't it?

Heather said...

That's a wonderful motto. Mine is similar to it. Mine is to keep improving until they can't say no.

Michelle said...

Thanks for the reminder... and now I'll be singing LUKA all day...

Melanie Stanford said...

Never give up is totally my motto too. It almost has to be when you're sending out queries and hoping that someone, somewhere, will actually want to read your book!

Leslie Rose said...

You can't hear "Never give up," too many times. It always works, tatoo or not tatoo. My motto is... "Leap before you look."

Ghenet Myrthil said...

That's a really great motto to have!

Dawn Simon said...

That's my motto, too. I have a bookmark pinned to the bulletin board behind my computer that says, "Never, never, never quit. -Winston Churchill." Love it.

Jack LaBloom said...

When I saw writings that had been on a cave wall for thousands of years, I wondered how large a reading audience that person had. Was it a community of people living near the cave? Was it just two or three families living inside the cave? Or maybe it was only the person’s family who read those writings, when they were first put on the wall. That scribbler of symbols and drawings did not have any way of knowing that thousands of years in the future, people would be trying to read and interpret those writings.

My Motto: If that guy could do it, so can I, assuming I can find myself a cave.

ali said...

Dude, you shoulda totally gotten a PIC!! I'm positive Luka wouldn't have minded!

And you already know my motto.

NEVER GIVE UP. NEVER SURRENDER!

(thank you Galaxy Quest!)

Shari said...

Thanks for the reminder. I need to hear it occasionally, or every day, whichever.

LReneeS said...

Great post, and it's so true. We can't give up or we won't be able to get to what we've been working so hard toward:)

Melanie Hooyenga said...

I hadn't declared it, but I think never give up has become my motto as well. It's slooooooowly starting to pay off.

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