If you don’t recognise the quote, it’s from Ulysses, a poem by Alfred Tennyson. It’s a great poem, but today I want to focus on that final line.
Striving, seeking, finding, not yielding – it’s something we all look to do in life. Also, and this is what I really want to focus on, what we look to do in writing.
As writers, we are always striving to make ourselves better, to make our writing better. We should constantly be pushing boundaries in our writing, as well as in our skills and craftsmanship.
Whether it’s seeking a publishing contract, seeking the end of that novel, or just seeking new ideas – all can be incorporated into our writing.
Finding our passion for writing is crucial. Sometimes writing can be a stomach-churning, agonising pain (we all know the impact of writer’s block) but a lot of the time, it’s exciting and enthralling and fun. But in order to reach the highs, we first have to endure the lows and find the passion for writing which accompanies the joy.
And not to yield:
Basically – don’t give up. You might think your writing is rubbish. That might be true, that might not be true; either way, it doesn’t matter. Don’t give up. You will get better, but in order to do that, you will have to put in the hard work. Which is tough. But gather up your inner Ulysses, and persevere.
So the next time you’re struggling, or are just trying to find the motivation to write, take a tip from Tennyson. Remember the need to strive, to seek, to find and not to yield. Gather your courage. Then, all that’s left to do is get on and write.