Wednesday, April 11, 2018

A Writer's Perseverance by Sharee Stover

Do you ever see words and cringe because you know there’s a lesson behind them? For instance, the word perseverance for me conjures images of slogging through quicksand while carrying an oversized backpack. Okay, that might be a tad dramatic, but you get the idea. Perseverance means you keep on, keeping on when it’s tough and you want to give up.

Writing takes a lot of perseverance. On those days when I’m staring at my computer screen, desperate for some semblance of brilliant words to flow through my fingers and nothing happens. When all I can hear is the clock ticking away precious quiet moments before my household is crazy with everyday life. When my calendar is so full I wonder how I’ll ever get anything done, and the introvert in me wants to hide under the bed. When the demands on my time and schedule are more than I can bear. Those days demand perseverance and, if possible, having a cheerleader doesn’t hurt either. My cheering section is packaged in my 100-pound German Shepherd, Niko.

Can dogs be life coaches? Therapists? I’m not sure, but Niko is quite brilliant in his non-speaking sort of way. He communicates great messages without saying a word. Either that, or my overactive imagination finds ways to fill in the blanks. Regardless, Niko’s given me important lessons in perseverance, usually on our daily walks.

Niko keeps me walking. Every. Single. Day. He doesn’t mind if it’s 10 below zero outside, or if the wind is blowing 50 miles per hour. He doesn’t care if it’s snowing, raining, or any combination of the two. He loves his walks. So, we have a daily tromping through the neighborhood to an area where he can run off-leash and play fetch. It’s his favorite game, and even if I don’t have ball or stick for him to chase after, he’ll find his own and carry it around. 

The problem is, Niko has no concept of taking on too big a challenge. He doesn’t mind if the stick he’s trying to play fetch with is as big or bigger than him.

He doesn’t understand that I can’t possibly throw that enormous thing. He sees the stick and thinks “time to play”.

Writing is like that. Some days it’s a huge undertaking that seems impossible. Against the voices of critics, bad reviews, rejections from publishers, agents, or editors, we writers must keep on keeping on. Maybe we don’t notice how big the stick is because we’re determined to get to the other side, plunging forward, even when it seems impossible.

Perseverance is something we either have or need to refine as writers. Like Niko, we’re determined to reach the goal and obtain the prize. Sometimes that means trudging through the snow, aiming for things that seem beyond our reach, and hoping past our current reality. But when we get through…when we get that prize—it’s so worth it, and we’ve become stronger just by not giving up.

Do you have that cheering section that encourages you to keep on keeping on when it comes to your writing?


Colorado native Sharee Stover lives in Nebraska with her real-life-hero husband, three too-good-to-be-true children, and two ridiculously spoiled dogs. A self-proclaimed word nerd, she loves the power of the written word to ignite, transform, and restore. She writes Christian romantic suspense combining heart-racing, nail-biting suspense and the delight of falling in love all in one. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America and Nebraska Writer’s Guild. Sharee is a two-time Daphne du Maurier finalist and the winner of the 2017 Wisconsin Fabulous Five Silver Quill Award. When she isn’t writing, Sharee enjoys reading, crocheting and long walks with her obnoxiously lovable German Shepherd. Visit her at