by Kathy Harris
A few weeks ago, award-winning Hollywood director Alejandro Monteverde stood in front of a small gathering in Nashville, Tennessee to celebrate an advance screening of his film “Little Boy.” Monteverde told the audience that he had initially expected to complete his screenplay in three months. But, he confided, since the birth of the project he and his team had faced ‘the impossible.’ Indeed, five years transpired from beginning to end, but ‘the impossible’ happened. In April, “Little Boy” released to more than 1000 box offices across the U.S.
Hundreds of miles from Nashville, nearly a decade ago, Howard Worley, who is a retired Navy pilot and rancher, decided to try his hand at writing. Mr. Worley was only a few chapters away from finishing his novel when he suffered a devastating stroke. More than a year passed, but with the help and encouragement of his family and medical caregivers, he finally typed “the end.” Mr. Worley celebrated the publication of his novel on his ninetieth birthday.
Two men with very different dreams. One set out to write and release a major motion picture. The other wanted to write and publish his first novel. Both experienced setbacks and, at times, reaching “the end” seemed nearly impossible. But both succeeded. No matter how many times they might have thought about quitting, they persevered. To the end.
I recently took an informal poll, asking writer friends how long it took them to write to “the end” of their manuscript. For many, the answer was ‘years.’ For one, it was a decade. Some draft books in a few months. For others, reaching “the end” is still a work-in-progress.
The only thing that matters is that we don’t quit. I wonder how many times Monteverde reminded himself “it takes courage to believe,” which is the theme from his movie. How many times did Howard Worley doubt he could succeed?
We can all come up with a myriad of reasons not to persevere to the end. I’m not good enough. I don’t have time. I’m blocked. Maybe learning the craft has challenged you as a writer. Maybe you’ve had more than your share of personal problems lately. Staying focused to “the end” can be a challenge. It not only takes courage to believe, it takes special courage to believe in yourself. In your possibilities, not your impossibilities.
Just ask Alejandro Monteverde and Harold Worley. Better yet, let them inspire you.
If you don’t do it for yourself, do it for those you will one day inspire. Have the courage to follow your dream. Because when you write “the end,” it’s really just the beginning. Sending your dream into the world may very well inspire others.
If you want to learn more about “Little Boy,” the movie, log on to the official website. If you want to learn more about Howard Worley and his book, The Stagecoach Murders, read his daughter Rebecca DeMarino’s feature in this month’s Guideposts.
Kathy Harris is an author by way of a “divine detour” into the Nashville entertainment industry. Her debut novel, The Road to Mercy, released in 2012. She is represented by Julie Gwinn of The Seymour Agency. Read her blog, follow her on Facebook or catch her on Twitter.