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?


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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 www.shareestover.com.





21 comments:

  1. Hi Sharee - I'd sure like to meet Niko. I used to call my cat Jake my "mews" before he passed on. He would sit in my lap every day and my choice was to either be rude and dump him off, or sit and write. Easy to do the BIC part as long as a big cat is in my lap. Point being, animals can be great sources of encouragement. If nothing else, they love everything we write simply because they were a part of it. Thanks for sharing about Niko. What a great writing (and walking) partner you have!

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    1. Good morning Cindy! oh my goodness, how cute is that?! Your MEWS. I'm so sorry that he passed away though. Our pets are family and I love that they're accepting no matter what. Praying you a blessed writing day!

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  2. Good morning, Sharee! Excellent post. Perseverance is such an integral part of the writing life. I need to strengthen mine, but I do have it. I'm blessed with a sister who cheers me on even when I think my writing stinks. And dogs definitely teach you life lessons. My two Westies refuse to give up when they want something.

    Congratulations on Secret Past!

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    1. Good morning Terri!! Isn't it funny that some days when you want to give up, you can't? I mean really can't. Writing is an addiction for me. I love that your sister cheers you on. What a blessing to have that family support. May our dogs keep us keeping on!

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  3. Sharee thanks for sharing your photos of Niko! Dogs are such profound life companions and they do teach us many lessons. I have an 80 know golden retriever who’s getting an arthritic right hip so our walks aren’t as far these days. But you’re so right about how a dog’s perseverance can teach us how to keep going with our writing. Sometimes our human brains need to get back to “simple” thinking! Congrats again on your new book!

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    1. Laurie, you're so right! We over complicate things!

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  4. Good morning, Sharee! I love Niko! He sounds like quite the companion. Our fur-babies do keep us on the straight and narrow.

    So true about perseverance. It's something writers learn early! (And we hone it as time goes along.)

    Congratulations on YOUR perseverance and the release of SECRET PAST. Woo-hoo!

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    1. Ah Cynthia thank you!! Perseverance is definitely a muscle we have to keep working.

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  5. Great post, Sharee! Thanks for the encouraging words, and for sharing your pics of Niko - what a beautiful animal!

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    1. Laura, Niko's a shameless flirt too :)

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  6. Sharee, congrats on your debut! What a great book! I can't wait to see what comes next for you as you keep on keepin' on.

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    1. Karen!! High five to writers who never give up!!

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  7. You really have persevered, Sharee and I'm so proud of you. I heard today is National Pet Day so it's appropriate you shared Niko with us today.

    This week I've tried to be more disciplined in my writing, and I think that goes along with perseverance for me.

    Congratulations on Secret Past! You are definitely one of my encouragers. Thanks!

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    1. Jackie, what a great day to recognize our furry friends! What a blessing you are my friend! As long as we don’t give up, we’re persevering!

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  8. Sharee, Niko is a wonderful name for a wonderful dog. Pets are such a great conversation starter as people who love them all seem to be able to unite and talk loads about their pets. They are also such a blessing. And yes, they teach us so much about love, perseverance, and faithfulness. I'm so glad I "met" Niko today. And congratulations on the release of your debut novel. Yes, I'm very fortunate to have a great CP, a great online writing support group with some of the sweetest writers out there, and a totally awesome RWA chapter in my corner.

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    1. Tanya, how awesome that you’ve got all those cheerleaders! Writers need community and it sounds like you’re blessed all around!

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  9. Sharee, what an encourager Niko is for you! Taking on the enormous sticks without fear! Thanks for your thoughts on perseverance during the times it feels like we’re dragging a big log along the way.

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  10. Sharee, what an encourager Niko is for you! Taking on the enormous sticks without fear! Thanks for your thoughts on persevering during the times it feels like we’re dragging a big log along the way. I love how your perserverance has been blessed!

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    1. Sherida! Is that a great visual! I picture the military training where they carry those telephone pole sized logs. Sometimes it feels that way!

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  11. Great post, Sharee! And congrats on your debut. You have definitely persevered. I love the pics of Niko, BTW.

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    1. Preslaysa! Thank you for stopping by! I do love taking pictures of Niko and most of the time...sometimes...actually rarely does he pose. Giggle.

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