So there I was with nothing to show for three years of work and two years of waiting. And though I had started another novel, I began each morning by finding myself awake far too early and filled with dread. I started doubting my writing and my pursuit of the writing life.
At that point, I very easily could have abandoned my hopes for publication. Indeed, the idea was suggested to me on more than a few occasions. What saved me, I now realize, is that I believed deeply in the book and felt that I owed it to the story, if not myself, to keep trying. And I happen to think that that particular sense of debt I felt to my work was the key to my persistence. You must envision your novel as an entity in itself, a work that you, as its author, need to promote toward publication, no matter the obstacles and knowing full well that you might not get help from anyone else.
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