Be the Chihuahua by Chris Redding

            My degree is in journalism and for about 5 months I actually worked in that field. Did I crave the hard news? Nope. I loved the feature stories, but I went at them with no less vigor than I did the breaking stories.

            Frankly, people’s jobs are interesting. I once spent a half an hour on the phone with a guy named Ted E. Behr (no joke)  talking about effluent. It was fascinating because he found it fascinating.

            What does that have to do with being a Chihuahua?

            Well I always warn my interviewee that I will keep asking questions until I either get an answer or understand what the person is telling me. I liken it to those little dogs that grab onto your pant leg and won’t let go.

            Gotta admire the little guy’s persistence. He’ll hang onto your pant leg and he only weighs eight pounds.

            And I think this is a great attitude on many levels for a writer.

            First you have to be persistent and finish the damn book.

            Then you have to learn all you can about writing and how to make your gem shine.

            And of course you have to submit. No matter how many rejections, you have to keep polishing and keep submitting. Until someone says, “yes.”

            You must write another book. And another. Until you write one that someone wants to publish.

            And when it is published, you have to get out there and network with your readers. You have to do signings. You have to do workshops.

            You have to be persistent.

            Especially because lots of people around you won’t be.  I’ve seen writers come and go and never get published. And it wasn’t because they couldn’t write, it was because they gave up.

            So be the Chihuahua.

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