A to Z blogging Challenge: P is for Perseverance



P is for Perseverance

Perseverance – doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. (Oxford Dictionary)

Writers need it. Characters need it. We all need it. Nothing gets done without it.

Our stories would fall apart if the challenges we threw at our characters made them give up on their goal. And we would never complete our stories without perseverance.

“He conquers who endures.” ~Persius

Now, our protagonist might turn away from the “call to adventure” at first, but something must happen that forces him or her on the journey. And we as writers might face difficulties for a variety of reasons, and we might feel like giving up every now and then too. But we can’t or our story won’t be told!

“Nothing great is ever achieved without much enduring.” ~St. Catherine of Siena

If you are a writer, you’ve probably experienced writer’s block. How do you get through it?


A few tips for conquering writer’s block:

  • Stuck on a scene? Try switching gears. Work on research instead.
  • Do you have one part of the scene in mind but can’t see how it unfolds? Focus on the part that comes easily. For example, skip all other details and crank out dialog only.
  • Play games with words, keeping it somewhat related to your story. For example, make a list of the sensory details that characters might experience in a scene (use all five senses). Or create a list of similes and metaphors that might works somewhere in the story to describe a character’s mood or a situation.
  • Free-write without worrying about grammar, tense, person, or anything else. Simply get the words down!
  • If lack of character development might be holding you back, write a character interview or a scene from the character’s past (even if you’ll never use it).
  • Take a walk or stretch out on the couch, and let the scene play out in your mind. Make sure you have a notebook handy.
  • If none of these things help, take a break. Pray and evaluate whatever is on your mind. Maybe you have other responsibilities that require your attention at this time. Don’t feel guilty about it. God gave you the gift of writing, and He can give you the gift of perseverance too.

“We must pray incessantly for the gift of perseverance.” ~St. Philip Neri

Writers need it. Characters need it. We all need it. Nothing gets done without it.

This applies to every aspect of life, and especially the ones that matter most.

In the words of novelist, poet, essayist, and writer, Robert Louis Stephenson, “Saints are sinners who kept on going.”

And a final quote from a favorite saint, who was also a writer:
“Though the path is plain and smooth for men of good will, he who walks it will not travel far, and will do so only with difficulty, if he does not have good feet: that is, courage and a persevering spirit.” ~St. John of the Cross

Keep on writing! And thanks for stopping by my blog.
If you are a writer, what is your secret for conquering writer’s block?