Without effort, your skill is nothing more than what you could’ve done – but didn’t.
So says Angela Duckworth, author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. In positive psychology, grit is defined as trait-level perseverance and passion for long-term goals. Grit has been shown to predict achievement in challenging circumstances over and above measures of talent. In simple English, you possess grit when you are able to produce effort and show interest over a longer period of time until you achieve your goals, even in the face of obstacles and barriers to that achievement. With just ten days left before I launch my first fictional novel, Namaste Life, I do believe that I have showed grit to get to this point as a published author.
It all started back in 2009, after a few years of saying: I really want to write a novel. I enrolled myself in an online Novel Writing course and wrote the first manuscript of what was later to become Namaste Life. My tutor warned me that it would take years and many re-writes before I’d see my first publication. I didn’t believe her after I managed to secure a publisher after just two rejections (most authors receive at least a handful of rejections from publishers!) But she was right, and six years later, it’s finally time to introduce Namaste Life to the world.
I’ve been so caught up in the process of getting it right – from cover design to the blurb, to final re-writing, and editing – the list goes on. It was only when I broke the news to my tutor (whom I haven’t spoken to in years) about the launch and she was bursting with excitement (over email), that I realized just how much grit I have had to keep at the process. She excitedly shared my good news with the head of the writing school and exclaimed: That’s fantastic – well done for persevering with it, getting published is probably harder than writing a novel, so well done!
I could have easily thrown in the towel after the last batch of re-writes suggested by my editors. I simply did not have the time to mull over character’s thoughts on top of focusing on building my first start-up. But my perseverance to see it through to the end challenged me to get it done – if only to tick an item off my bucket-list! I see the invite going out on Facebook and Twitter and I hear people saying, Wow. But I kind of don’t know how to feel. Writing a fictional novel is a tricky thing – writers inadvertently weave part of their own life experiences and perspectives into their stories. I know I have certainly drawn on my background and early years at university to write Namaste Life. But I feel that I have grown as a writer and my next novel (Yes, I am thinking about the next one) turns popular beliefs about life and death on its head.
Let’s hope that it won’t take another 6 years before my next book meets the world. I’m sure my grit will play a role in achieving this goal. The soul in me acknowledges the soul in you – better known as: Namaste.