By: Jeanine Englert
This is my twentieth year of teaching. I know, you should shudder at the thought of how many of my cultural references don’t work anymore in my classes. But, over all of the years I have been teaching, the thing that moves me most about my students is their persistence. Most of my career I have had the privilege of working with students with learning disabilities, mostly language based learning disabilities. The way they walk into class each day and keep on doing the hardest thing every day, which for them is school, every day, week after week, and year after year moves me to my core. They are one of my greatest inspirations.
And the moment years ago when I truly realized that I wasn’t being as persistent and as courageous as they were being, it changed my life. I stopped giving myself excuses. I put myself into the arena, as Brene Brown calls it in Daring Greatly, and started taking more risks in my life and my writing. It turns out rejection isn’t the end of the world. Hearing “no” also isn’t so horrible. Getting knocked down steals your breath for a second, but you can get right back up.
The only times I truly feel bad is when I don’t try. When I allow myself to be my own worst enemy and give into the soul sucking doubt that meanders around the head of every writer and every person. Sure, I’ve wallowed for a day or so after rejections and eaten my fair share of chocolate, milkshakes, and/or my body weight in Swedish Fish after disappointments, but I always get up, dust myself off, and try again.
Because they do.
So, when “Persisters” was in the running for our 2018 Golden Heart ® Finalist class name, I could not have been more excited. And, now, I have a group of women who are my Persisters to add to the band of supporters I have in my life, such as my husband, my friends, and my writing tribe. They remind me to keep trying, never give up, and cheer me on despite failures. They also send me virtual chocolate and hugs when I need it.
I challenge you to find your own band of “Persisters.” They might be family, friends, pets, or other writers, that will encourage you to persist in all of your goals. . . no matter what they might be.
And if you need a physical reminder of your promise to yourself to persist, find one, or two, or three. My 2018 Persisters Golden Heart ® pin is one of my favorite new reminders. So is my purple rose “first sale” pin from my home writing tribe, Georgia Romance Writers, that I was given in the fall of this year by my critique partner. So are the faces of all of the students I teach every day.
So, who will you choose to support you and encourage you to persist? And what will serve as your physical or visual reminder to never give up this year?
Jeanine Englert is a teacher by day and writer by night. After years of writing in secret (despite having a master’s degree in writing), she joined Romance Writers of America and Georgia Romance Writers in 2013 and has been an active member ever since. She writes Scottish Highland historicals and historical romantic suspense novels. When she isn’t wrangling with her characters on the page, she can be found trying to convince her husband to watch her latest Masterpiece or BBC show obsession. She loves to talk about books, writing, her beloved pups, and of course mysteries with other readers on Twitter @JeanineWrites, Facebook, or at her website www.jeaninewrites.com, where you can sign up for her newsletter.
Her debut novel, Lovely Digits, will be released on June 12, 2019 by Soul Mate Publishing. It is a Victorian romantic suspense that won the 2017 Daphne du Maurier Award and was named a 2018 Golden Heart ® Finalist for best unpublished romantic suspense.