Edison’s Reminder to Never Give Up


“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”


~Thomas A. Edison


Thomas Edison knew this truth more than most of us. He had hundreds of failures before he successfully invented the light bulb. What if he’d decided gaslights were doing well and no one would appreciate electric illumination. He believed in himself. Pressing forward until he succeeded. Even without a college degree he managed to create things that changed the world. He surrounded himself with experts in a variety of fields who aided him in achieving his goals.

My Writing Journey

I have discovered on my writing journey it is easy to give up. Easy to naysay to my heart. Easy to find something else to do. I am realizing the need to fight that discouragement. Inspired by this quote success is just around the corner. I’d almost given up on my first novel. I’d gotten side tracked when my youngest sister died of cancer. She had read the very rough first draft, and I hoped to get it published before she passed. A tribute to her faith in me as a writer. As her illness lingered I got this weird idea that the longer it took to get published, the longer she would live. God had given her five years rather than five months before the liver cancer took its toll. She passed and my manuscript remained unpublished.

I had become discouraged with the process and told a few friends at a writer’s conference a few months after my sister died that I needed to either throw this manuscript in the circular file or keep pressing in. I repented of using the unpublished manuscript as a talisman to keep my sister with me a little longer. How lame was I as a woman of faith to hang on to that thought. I’d already had the thing rejected numerous times. I cried and prayed with writer friends at the conference. At the closing banquet my manuscript was chosen to receive the editor’s choice award. Since then, I’ve been working with editors to get it whipped into shape.

Taking Edison’s Advice

I follow Edison’s example, I have surrounded myself with experts through writer’s blog, books, conferences, critique groups and editors. Steps taking me ever closer to publication. At this point failure is not an option. I have no excuses to comfort my soul regarding this unpublished tome. It comes down to me and my manuscript going the distance. And like Edison I’m working on more ideas. My second novel is coming together, and these blog posts keep my keyboard active. Other ideas simmer on the back burner of my writer’s heart.

Many obstacles continue to trip me up and rob my writing time. As I shared in a previous post, my parents are declining and require my time. My grandchildren are an intricate part of my life. Self-doubts never stop plaguing me.

However, I know God has gifted me with the desire to use words to share truths and spin tales of hope. So, buoyed up once again with the reminder that success is just around the corner, I press on. Each new edit and encouraging word brings me another step closer to seeing my story in print.

Are you fighting with self-doubt? What keeps you pressing forward?


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