This is my newest piece on The Huffington Post. It is about the most important virtue one must have to be successful. One of my favorite examples of someone who never gave up is Susan Boyle.
A few years ago, at a local dive, I ran into a few girls I had gone to middle school with. One of them was a local actress. We spoke about our artistic pursuits. Both of us, about 22 at the time, had reached some sort of slump. Acting was such a tough business to break into that she had finally decided to enroll in a local state college to study psychology.
And just a few nights ago, I watched from my living room as she performed on the Tony Awards.
It turns out that not long after our meeting, she got her big break when the producers of “Hairspray” needed to replace the headliner. She was perfect for the lead, and since “Hairspray,” she has continued to go on to bigger and better things.
The worst thing you can ever do is give up, especially if you are bluffing and intend to eventually go back to what you started. As a writer and artist, I received many rejection letters over the years. After I got rejected from MFA programs, I was so discouraged that I stopped writing for six months. The road had been bumpy even before the subsequent MFA rejections started to come in. Before finishing my undergraduate degree, I began asking my professors to write me letters of recommendation. When I asked one of my professors, one that I respected the most, for a recommendation for MFA programs, he laughed in my face. I told him that I wanted to be a professor. He told me not to bother and to “just go teach elemetary school or something.”