Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Perseverance: A Writer's Best Friend: A Guest Post by Gayle M. Irwin

"Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th."
~Julie Andrews

According to, perseverance is a noun that means a steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.  

And here is what my guest, author Gayle M. Irwin, has to say about this trait, which is especially valuable for writers, and which also plays a part in her new book, Walking In Trust : Lessons Learned with my Blind Dog


Perseverance: A Writer’s Best Friend
A Guest Post by Gayle M. Irwin

Writers need perseverance.  Whether we hurdle fear of rejection, bump into the wall of writer’s block, or navigate the time-sucking venue of social media, we writers must be persistent in our endeavors just like a farmer who plants and harvests – we know there are many obstacles, and layers to the process, yet what an incredible harvest we will reap when we persevere!

People are starving, and not just for food.  They want information and entertainment.  Writers today are fortunate to have a variety of outlets for their words and thereby feed a starving society.  There are numerous options that twenty, even ten, years ago were hardly even considered, various venues through which writers can express themselves.  Blogs, editorial newspaper pieces, letters to the editor, magazine articles, and online commentaries are just a few of those added venues.  Even book publishing has changed dramatically: there is Kindle, other types of e-books, and many self-publishing options in addition to the traditional book publishing path.  No matter what publishing avenue a writer pursues, however, the common ingredient needed is perseverance.

I am fortunate to have witnessed many examples of perseverance and not just among writers. For more than ten years, I shared my life with a blind dog named Sage. There were many challenges, for both my blind dog and for me.  Sage walked into things, like furniture, hedges, and trees. Yet, she did not cower in a corner or sulk in defeat on the living room rug.  She persistently ran through the backyard in pursuit of squirrels she heard and smelled.  She navigated stairs in the house and walks through the neighborhood.  Sage was the catalyst for my book writing: The longtime dream I had of writing a children’s book blossomed as I witnessed numerous lessons – especially about courage and perseverance – from my blind dog.

My first book was published in 2007, a work I used in classrooms and libraries when Sage and I would visit such places, encouraging children to also be brave and persistent in life.  I have since published short stories about Sage in editions of  Chicken Soup for the Soul and my first adult nonfiction book, Walking in Trust: Lessons Learned with my Blind Dog was released recently by Cladach Publishing.  Though the journey has not been easy, it has been rewarding.

Chicken Soup for the Soul received 123 rejections, according to Jack Canfield, co-creator of the beloved books.  And Harry Potter received more than 10 rejections before being picked up.  These stories have inspired and entertained millions of people around the world, including myself.

I am thankful for the example set by writers and others (including my blind dog).  Something or someone inspires you.  Don't let that inspiration lie dormant.  Never give up.  Keep on going like a determined blind dog, sharing your words of wisdom and entertainment with the world!


Thank you for this inspirational guest post, Gayle!  Walking in Trust: Lessons Learned with my Blind Dog sounds incredible--I hope to read your stories before too long.  As a blogger, I've discovered that perseverance is paramount to success.  As an animal lover, I'm aware that our pets can teach us so much, if we're tuned into them.  Presently, we have a ginger-colored Persian cat with some health issues, Mugsy.  He's affectionate and communicative--and very cute--and we absolutely cherish him.  On a different note, as a child I was in awe of my friend's father, who was completely blind but went running and cross-country skiing--nothing stopped him from living life to the fullest!  His positive attitude was terrific and inspiring.   It's remarkable what can be accomplished through perseverance!

Reader comments welcomed.


  1. Thanks for this insightful post Makes me sad that sometimes I whine. Some people (and creatures) really have something to whine about Good lesson on perseverance.

  2. This guest post is so true! I'm glad there are so many writers with perseverance out there.

  3. I loved this post, and it's affirming and positive message! It's so nice to read a post about how perseverance really does do the trick. Thanks for bringing this to us today, Suko! I am glad that you shared your space with Gayle today!

  4. I had a dog that was blind for a while too. She was pregnant and she got hit by a car. Since she had not been born blind, it wad really hard on her. Thanks for the inspirational blog.

  5. I had a dog that was blind for a while too. She was pregnant and she got hit by a car. Since she had not been born blind, it wad really hard on her. Thanks for the inspirational blog.

  6. I lack the perseverance it takes to write. This was such a lovely post. Thanks for interviewing Gayle.

  7. Such a wonderfully heartwarming post, my thanks to both you and Gayle.

  8. Wonderful and uplifting words. Something to remember.

  9. Thanks for the great post, this book looks so lovely!

  10. Don't pets enrich our lives so much? I don't know what I'd do without mine! Thank you both for sharing about Sage and Mugsy! :-)


  11. I appreciate all the wonderful comments, and learning about others' persevering, inspirational pets (and people!). As we are so close to Thanksgiving, we can be mindful of those blessings, those inspirations, and the opportunity to write about them.

  12. Gayle, thank you very much for this terrific guest post!

  13. I love that quote from Julie Andrews. What a great guest blog - persevering is important in so many aspects of life.


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