The one trait every successful writer must have.

If you're a working writer, by which I mean a writer who creates and submits their finished work on a regular basis, then you're familiar with rejections from publishers and or editors. Even if we self publish, no sales is the same as a rejection, only now it's readers rejecting our work.

Rejection from readers or publishers could be viewed as the wind that separates the wheat from the chaff. For the working writer rejection is just another part of living the writer's life.

We've read about the rejections famous writers endured when they were first starting out.

Frank Herbert's Dune was rejected 22 times.

James Patterson's first book was rejected 31 times.

After years of rejection The Chronicles of Narnia are finally published.

What we don't read about are the writers who gave up after being rejected. Those nameless people who finally surrendered and focused their energies on pursuits other than writing.

What is the one trait Frank Herbert, James Patterson, C.S. Lewis and a host of other best selling authors all possess?


It was persistence that drove Frank Herbert to submit Dune the 23rd time. Had he given up after 22 rejections, or even 10 for that matter, the world would never have known about sand worms, spice, and the house Atreides.

It was persistence that drove Stephen King to write another book after Random House rejected The Long Walk. And look where that got him.

It was persistence that pushed Louis L'Amour (one of my favorite writers) to keep trying even after he was rejected 200 times. Finally Bantam decided to take a chance on him.

It is this same persistence that daily pushes thousands of other writers we've never heard of to send it out one more time, to write that other book, or to keep putting them out there. It is this same persistence that will be looked upon as a necessary trait when they do find their success and look back at their careers. They will see those defining moments when it could have gone differently had they not been persistent.

Are you persistent?


  1. I don't know about persistence, but I am too stubborn to give up.

    1. I would say stubbornness and persistence go hand in hand.