Writer Motivation via Edgar Allen Poe

Just a quick post today about not giving up. Lately–in my Twitter feed–I’ve noticed several peeps mentioning quitting writing. It’s understandable. I’ve been there. Writing isn’t an easy task for most, especially those just starting out. It requires time, focus, study, creativity, strategy. It occupies much of your brain space and when things aren’t working, it can feel like you’re wasting precious time. But I hate to see people so down that they’re ready to just pack up and move on.

A couple weeks ago, I had the privilege of hearing a speaker recite the poem Eldorado by Poe. He recited it over and over. And each time, its words left a mark on me. Why? Take a read. Take maybe two 🙂


Gaily bedight,
A gallant knight,
In sunshine and in shadow,
Had journeyed long,
Singing a song,
In search of Eldorado.

But he grew old – 
This knight so bold – 
And o’er his heart a shadow
Fell as he found
No spot of ground
That looked like Eldorado.

And, as his strength
Failed him at length,
He met a pilgrim shadow – 
“Shadow,” said he,
“Where can it be – 
This land of Eldorado?”

“Over the mountains
Of the Moon,
Down the Valley of the Shadow,
Ride, boldly ride,”
The shade replied – 
“If you seek for Eldorado!”

Now that might do absolutely zilch for you, but for me it said one thing: If writing is your bliss, never give up. Even when it’s hard. And miserable. And making you want to hurl things at your laptop.

No matter what your personal Eldorado is, whether it’s finishing a book, publishing a book, or seeing your name on the NYT Bestseller list, hang in there. 

Persistence is key. You cannot succeed if you give up.

Good luck, everyone 🙂