The Importance of Persistence for Writers & Artists [11 Top Tips]

a flower growing through the cracks

Key Takeaways:

  • Persistence is essential in overcoming challenges and achieving success in any creative field.
  • Make sure you build a supportive network and draw inspiration from people you admire – both can significantly boost your motivation.
  • Set realistic goals and believe in your own abilities!

What is the importance of persistence for creative people – such as artists, writers, and musicians? In our world of shiny objects, there is always something new to consume or enjoy – Netflix, video games, Instagram, YouTube, take your pick.

So, how do people in creative industries stay motivated to create their art? It’s not always easy to put down our phones and get into the zone where we work best as a writer, artist or creative.

I discussed this idea during a conversation with film director Dylan Pearce on my All Outta Bubblegum Radio Show. The following are our best tips to help creative people persist and achieve their goals and dreams as artists!

How to Persist as a Creative

Don’t listen to what anybody says except the people who encourage you. If it’s what you want to do and it’s within yourself, then keep going and try to do it for the rest of your life.

Jake Gyllenhaal

1. Persistence is Key to Creativity!

Being persistent is the secret to making any creative endeavor a reality! Obviously, if we abandon each song or screenplay before it’s fully written, or we don’t go back and finish that first or second painting, we will not fully succeed at our goal of actually having a story, song, or piece of art to share or sell!

Sometimes, we might think that the whole idea is a failure if we don’t finish it right away. As noted in this Forbes article, we sometimes tend to think that our best ideas should come to us right away or won’t come at all.

In reality, most people continue to get good ideas as they go along their creative journey. It is a myth that creativity declines with time, and that’s a great thing!

2. Choose Your Circle Wisely

There’s an old saying that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. To achieve long-term success as a writer or artist, it’s important to surround yourself with the right people.

Spend time with people who are already successful at what you want to do. These people can provide encouragement and mentorship as you work to achieve your own success.

Additionally, try to avoid spending time with people who are negative or dismissive of your goals. Surrounding yourself with positive, supportive people will help you stay motivated and focused on your goals, even when the going gets tough.

Now, that’s not to say that these people can’t give you constructive criticism! We all need a gut check or kick in the pants sometimes! If the people in your corner have your best interests at heart, they will give feedback in a way that will help you get even better at your craft and more motivated to succeed and achieve your goals!

With the right kinds of people in your corner, you’ll be well on your way to achieving success as a writer or artist.

3. Commit to Your Vision

When you truly believe in your creative work, take it all the way despite anything other people tell you. Make the decision never to give up, and good things will come to you!

Setting big goals regarding your artistic work can also be helpful once you have decided to continue, no matter what. Goal setting can keep you accountable for what you want most to achieve.

The Oscar speech by Jordan Peele in 2018 was brought up. In it, he mentions how hard it is to get new-idea films made in Hollywood these days and the hard work he needed to do to make his film. Once he figured out how to actually make it, it was so good that it won an Oscar!

4. Embrace Failure

It is not uncommon for people to give up on their dreams after facing failure. After all, it can be disheartening to put your heart and soul into something only to have it rejected. However, the key to success is often persistence and determination. If you want to be a writer or artist, you must keep working hard, even when facing setbacks.

It is important to remember that everyone faces failures at some point in their lives. The difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is that successful people don’t let failures define them. Instead, they view failures as learning experiences and use them to fuel their personal development and drive to succeed.

Take the example of Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs was one of the most successful entrepreneurs of our time. He was the co-founder of Apple, and his work helped to revolutionize the technology industry. However, Jobs didn’t achieve this level of success overnight. In fact, early in his career, he was fired from Apple.

This could have been a significant setback, but Jobs used it as motivation to continue pursuing his dream. He went on to be a founder of Pixar and eventually rejoined Apple. This story is an inspiration for anyone who wants to achieve success as a writer or artist. Like Jobs, you will face challenges and setbacks. However, if you are persistent and never give up on your long-term goals, you will eventually achieve your dreams!

Similarly, Dylan discusses a time when he made a bad deal with a distributor and lost a lot of money but also learned a lot in the process. If he had taken the failure as a sign to stop making movies, his directing and producing career would have been over before it began. Instead, he used failure as a learning experience and continued his creative journey.

If you want to achieve your goals, don’t give up when you encounter obstacles. Keep going, and eventually, you will reach your destination!

5. Unified Collaboration

Try to ensure that you and all of your creative partners are on the same page and have the same goal in mind. Different people will approach a project from different angles and with their own agendas. You must ensure everyone’s main goals align if you want the project completed and done well.

6. Pause When Needed

The most persistent people are not always the ones who never give up but the ones who know when to take a break. That might seem counterintuitive – shouldn’t the key to success be working harder and grinding through the tough times? But resting is essential to keeping your motivation high and your energy levels up.

When you’re stuck on a project, take a break from it and rejuvenate. Go for a walk, watch a movie, or read a book. It may seem like you’re wasting time, but taking a break will actually help you to come back to the project with fresh eyes and new ideas.

7. Seek Inspiration

Some of the most common pieces of advice for aspiring writers and artists is to find their own voice and to be original. While this is undoubtedly important, it is also helpful to look to the work of other writers and artists for inspiration.

After all, every successful writer or artist was once a beginner trying to find their way. By studying the work of your favorite writers and artists, you can learn what works and what doesn’t and develop your own style. This can be particularly helpful if you are experiencing writer’s block!

Additionally, seeing how other writers and artists have succeeded can motivate you to keep going when you feel like giving up. So next time you feel stuck, remember that your favorite writers and artists once were in your shoes. Draw inspiration from their work, find a new way to do things, and you may just achieve success yourself.

two men typewriting

8. Join Supportive Networks

Few things are more frustrating than putting your heart and soul into a writing or art project only to feel like you’re getting nowhere. It can be easy to lose faith in yourself and your work when you don’t see any progress, but it’s important to remember that success is possible as long as you don’t give up.

One of the best ways to stay motivated and succeed as a writer or artist is to find a supportive community of fellow creators. Being surrounded by people who understand your struggles and believe in your talent can make all the difference when it comes to keeping your head up and pushing forward.

So if you’re feeling lost or discouraged, seek out a group of like-minded individuals and remember that you’re not alone in this journey. With the right support system, you can achieve anything you want.

9. Set Personal Goals

All successful people have one thing in common: they set realistic goals for themselves, and they don’t compare their progress to that of others. If you want to be a successful writer or artist, you must do the same.

It’s not enough to just say that you want to be successful. You need to define what success means to you and then devise a plan to achieve it.

And while it’s important to stay focused on your goals, keeping things in perspective is also essential. There will always be people who are further ahead than you are.

The key is to stay motivated and keep moving forward. Create good habits, read books on success (such as anything by Napoleon Hill or Benjamin Franklin), and continue moving toward your dreams! If you do that, eventually, you’ll reach your goals and achieve the success you’ve always wanted!

10. Think Outside the Box

Don’t be afraid to experiment or adapt your vision as you go.

Do this, especially when you get negative or constructive messages about your project from others. Think of methods that you could use to complete your vision for a project differently. Sometimes, adapting is the best way to go.

Other times, it may be best to continue the same way, but stay quiet until the project is done!

believe in yourself

11. Self-Belief

Most successful people have one thing in common: they all believe in themselves and their ability to achieve great things. This may seem like a simple concept, but it’s actually very powerful.

When you believe in yourself, you’re more likely to take risks and push yourself outside your comfort zone. You’ll also be more resilient in the face of failure and more motivated to keep going even when the going gets tough.

If you want to persist and succeed as a writer or artist, the first step is to believe in yourself and your ability to achieve great things. With that foundation in place, anything is possible.

Final Thoughts

It is important for all of us who work in creative fields (writers, filmmakers, artists of all kinds) to think about exactly what persistence means to us. In our fields, the work we do is entirely subjective. When we believe in our work 100%, we must give it our all.

We build the connections with others that need to be built, we keep going even if we have met with a temporary defeat, and we know that in order to succeed, we need to make that decision to continue moving at all costs. We understand that sometimes we may need to adapt our course or work on creating new habits to make it to the finish line.

Persistence is the key to success in creative endeavors!

All Outta Bubblegum Radio Show

All Outta Bubblegum Neil Chase

Listen to the show at: All Outta Bubblegum on Sound Sugar Radio – Every Friday at 10am MST

On the show, I was joined by Dylan Pearce. Originally hailing from Windsor, Ontario, Dylan is a director and producer who now makes Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, his home.

Dylan Pearce

Dylan has directed and produced feature films, holiday movies, romantic comedies, and TV shows. He is also a leading proponent of 3D technology and cutting-edge virtual and augmented reality in movies and video games, using motion capture, green screen, and LED screen technology to further the fields and blur the boundaries between what’s real and computer-generated.

His work has been recognized by the Canadian Screen Awards, Alberta Film & Television Awards, and he is the recipient of the prestigious Lumiere Award, shared with other notable winners such as Ang Lee, Martin Scorcese, and Jon Favreau. 

importance of persistence

Connect with Dylan Pearce: Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | IMDB

Check out: Film and Video Arts Society of Alberta (FAVA) | Northern Gateway Films

A Frosty Affair (2015)

Christmas Cupcakes (2019)

Christmas with a Crown (2020)

For the Love of Pasta (forthcoming) – IMDB

Looking for more information about motivation for writers, filmmakers, audiobook narrators, and other creatives? Check out these other articles:

7 Ways to Find Inspiration for Creative Pursuits

4 Ways to Know Your Worth as an Artist

Examples of Themes in Books and Literature: Definition & Types

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