Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Winners Never Quit

By now, you’ve all heard that Trevor Bayne won the Daytona 500. Big deal. Don’t know him, don’t care. You’re probably thinking that only idiots drive around in circles anyway, and that’s fine. But it’s not the point.

The point is, he is only twenty years old. This was only his second NASCAR cup race. And to me, one of the highlights is that he was driving for a one car team, owned by the Wood brothers. He took advantage of the opportunity that was offered to him, and found himself in the right place, at the right time on the last lap of the race. And no one can ever take that accomplishment away from him, or the team.

His car isn’t owned by someone with the last name of Hendrick, Roush, or Childress with hundreds of employees and multiple teams to pull information from at his disposal. And his last name isn’t Earnhardt, Johnson, or Gordon, so he didn’t have multiple championship experience to draw upon. And yet, he still won what is considered one of the most important races of all time.

If he’d have spent a good portion of his time worrying about the competition, most likely, he would have quit a long time ago. Because the competition is much better funded, and simply has more of everything it takes to win available to them. But he didn’t. Did he quit because forty-three other guys going two hundred miles an hour wanted the spot he was in? Not just no, hell no. Because he had the passion, the drive to win, and most of all, he believed he could.

How much different is that from where we are as writers? Well, besides the going around in circles part.

Because of all the changes happening in the publishing industry, I’ve been seeing an inordinate amount of ‘woes me, the market is too tough, maybe I’ll quit writing’ posts. If you’ve got your sights set on the big six, you’re right. The market is tight. But not impenetrable. We’re still reading about new contracts every day.

However, it’s my personal opinion FWIW, that the market for writers hasn’t been this good since Nora published Irish Thoroughbred in 1981. And most of you know that history already.

I believe it’s the changes in the publishing industry that have made this possible. If your goal is to get your stories in front of readers, there are now more options than ever. Besides the big six, there are a plethora of Indie publishers, small ePresses, and let’s not forget that it’s never been easier to self-publish. Like it or not, ereaders are changing things.

It’s true most people don’t recognize opportunity because it usually does arrive disguised as hard work. And honestly, sometimes it is grueling. But if it were easy, you wouldn’t be reading this. You’d already be successful right? The window of opportunity won’t last forever. The market will become saturated and it will be much harder to get into any of these currently wide open venues.

If your writing career isn’t where you want it to be, maybe it’s time to take a moment and reassess your goals. Maybe they need to change, maybe not. Only you can answer that question.

Here are two things that Dale Earnhardt senior knew to be true. If you want to quit, quit. Nobody will kiss your ass and beg you to stay. There are a hundred or more people waiting to take your place, and they will step on you if they have to, to get where they are going. And the most important is this –

Winners Never Quit.

Ever. We can’t. It’s the only thing that separates us from the losers.

If you have the passion to write, the drive to be published, the belief in your work, you’ve got what it takes. Don’t let anyone tell you different. Now get out there, and win.


  1. Well said! I've got a "friend" who recently contracted a book with LPI. She's been writing a long time. Says she spent 6 months on this book (it was for a special Titanic-related project), whereas she's been trying to sell another book for 25 years. She's thrilled to have a contract someplace, though still a little shocked. And ya know, if she'd wanted, she certainly could've gone the self-pub route.

    I think anybody throwing up their hands at this stage in the game is crazy. LOL. But hey, makes more room for the rest of us... which you'd think would inspire some of them to keep in the game and not be willing to forfeit.

    Oh, and the Dale Earnhardt quotes kept making me think of Ricky Bobby's philosophy. LOL Which isn't at all applicable to the publishing biz: If you ain't first, you're last. But maybe that's what some of the "quitters" are feeling...

  2. omg!! LOL. Love Ricky Bobby. Makes me laugh every time.

    The sad thing is that it seems some people will work harder to justify their failures than they will at achieving success.