Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Writer Hell and Chutzpah

by Michele Young-Stone

Michele is the author of THE HANDBOOK FOR LIGHTNING STRIKE SURVIVORS and the forthcoming ABOVE US ONLY SKY (Spring, 2015).

A good many years ago, a dear fellow writer friend sent me a quote that I keep above my desk.  "Talent is cheaper than table salt.  What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work."  Stephen King

Ain't it the truth!

Last night, I visited with a wonderful Mommy and Me book club, and I remembered having met one of the members two years ago.  She said to me last night, "I contacted you about visiting my other book club, and I never heard back from you."

Me?  I would never do such a thing.  Then, the hard work bit about writing came back to me.  When I met this wonderful woman, I was in writer hell, deep in the woods of a novel I thought I would never finish.  Now, the hell is practically a distant memory.  My final pass pages for the novel, ABOVE US ONLY SKY, will
be here this month.  The hard work is over for now.  I am starting something new, but just remembering the depths of that "hard work" brought tears to my eyes.  I had considered throwing my hands in the air and giving up.  I was in a deep depression trying to find the voice to render my story.

'It is the hard work and the perseverance that gets us to the finish line.'  Not talent.  Not genius.  Chutzpah!

So, to all the wannabe published novelists out there:  Don't give up!!!  Never.

Talent really is cheaper than table salt.  I write this with gratitude and love to my family, friends, and fellow writers for supporting me when I am lost in that deep dark forest of creation.


  1. That's an awesome quote! I've never heard that before! And I sympathize about the book club - I've done that too. We need to put money into cloning!

  2. Lovely blog. And fitting for me as I mourn Maya Angelou -- the lady who saw her way through everything and never lost faith.

  3. I bet we've all missed an opportunity to speak somewhere. Persistence and a thick skin help, but not having a personal manager telling me where I have to be when leaves it all on my shoulders.

    I can't wait for your next book. I loved The Handbook...