The Power of Perseverance


[pur-suhveeruh ns]

1. steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.

Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained. — Marie Curie

Photo credit: tricky (rick harrison) / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Photo credit: tricky (rick harrison) / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Yesterday I received some wonderful news about one of my close friends from my college / theatre days. Joe Calarco was hired as a resident director and director of new works at the Tony-winning Signature Theatre in Washington DC. I realize most people who follow this blog are readers and writers, so let me emphasize that this type of position at this theatre is HUGE. This announcement moved me on many levels. The first being pure joy for my old friend. He has put in his time as a freelance director-playwright having directed his first musical with Signature back in 1998, plus countless other productions across the country and abroad. Prior to that I remember the days when he was writing, adapting, and doing whatever it took to find venues for his own work. Nothing would stop him. It is a lesson in perseverance I greatly admire, one I’m sure came with many sacrifices along the way. As stated in the article, this will be Joe’s first full time job since high school. All those years of sowing the seeds, working constantly in a freelance capacity, earned him a reputation of excellence in his field which brought about this hard earned opportunity.

It made me think of not just my theatre friends, many of whom are still out there, pounding the pavement, knocking on doors and WORKING in a relentless field, but my writing friends as well. It is hard to work in a field where rejection is paramount such as the theatre and publishing. We have to develop thick skin as writers. Back when I received my first publishing contract one of my writing friends said, “I always knew you’d be published. You never gave up on your goal.”

Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other. —Walter Elliot

In many ways now that all three Brothers of Audubon Springs books are out, I feel like I’m back to a place where I’m starting all over on my path to publication. I have my list of lessons learned from my publishing experience, and three new series I am actively writing at the moment. While working on all these projects at once makes me feel like I have writers ADD, until I decide on the absolute best route and project for my future, I’m not willing to let any of them go. Just as I’m feeling overwhelmed about the RoseAnn DeFranco, Author 2.0 path, and questioning “Do I have the energy to do all this?” I’m reminded of Joe’s success, as well as the success of many of my author friends. None of it would have been achieved were it not for the power of perseverance.

What are the things that keep you charging onward in the face of a long uphill climb? Do the successes of others inspire you as they do me? Is it the support of family, your writing circle? What gets you through…other than chocolate, a writer’s best friend, of course!

Leave a comment


  1. This is a great post, RoseAnn, and it came at the perfect time. Writing isn’t an easy profession and it’s riddled with rejection. But I do agree that perseverance is key. It’s something that has gotten me through so far. My writing friends inspire me. My family supports my dreams. It all matters. Thanks!

    • RoseAnn DeFranco

       /  September 16, 2014

      It is always great to have a support system. Glad to hear you do!

  2. JB Schroeder

     /  September 15, 2014

    Roseann, kudos to your friend & to you, too! I agree that perserverance is key–not only do you have to work to make your dream come true, you have to keep working at it. I especially like that quote: we have to keep the long run in mind, but we can’t slack off after the short races either! As for me, I admit that there’s a monetary aspect that’s motivating. As for support from my writing friends, I feel the need to earn that support, you know? Another motivator. Thanks for the great post!

    • RoseAnn DeFranco

       /  September 16, 2014

      What is that saying…it’s not the destination, but the journey? I guess all those short races help you get there. We all have to keep plugging along, regardless of the various paths and goals. You are a very supportive friend.

  3. Excellent post, Roseann. Bravo to your theater friend for his achievement; there is definitely a lesson in that for all of us. I rely heavily on my writing friends as well as my BFF (who reads multiple drafts of all of my books) to keep my going. But I also LOVE writing and am so grateful to be on this journey. I guess, ultimately, it is the passion for writing that keeps me going. That and, you know, I’d like to make enough money at it to one day quit my day job 😉

    • RoseAnn DeFranco

       /  September 16, 2014

      Money would be great at the end of the tunnel, for sure! Your passion shows with how quickly your churn out fabulous stories. You are so lucky to have a BFF to rely on for reading all your drafts.

  4. At least once a week I think, “It would be much easier to just let everyone else write the stories.” But what else can we do except keep going? I love it too much to ever quit!

    Hooray for your friend! That’s a great theater.

  5. Congratulations to your friend, RoseAnn. A career in the arts is difficult. But when you’re passionate about something, you don’t give up. I rely on my friends and family to encourage me. It also helps to celebrate the success of other people in the industry, which validates that perseverance pays off.

    Years ago, I found a poem on a greeting card that I’ve framed. It’s called “Always Have A Dream” by Amanda Bradley. I pasted a link below.

    The words touched me and I still look at it from time to time and think about my journey, both successes and failures. It gives me perspective. I like to think of where you are as a new chapter in the best selling book of RoseAnn.

  6. Jaye Marie Rome

     /  September 22, 2014

    This is such a timely post, RoseAnn, as I’ve been in a funk with my writing lately. After this month’s NJRW meeting, I’m re-energized. I think knowing I’m in the same boat as so many others helps me to persevere (or gives me a kick in the pants when needed). Of course, having so many supportive writer friends helps, too.

    You and I are really gluttons for punishment, aren’t we? Choosing theatre, then writing, as our careers? Sheesh!

  1. The Power of Perseverance | Tinseltown Times

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