Happy Tuesday!  Today is a fun day for me me!  First, it’s a snow day!  Yup, that’s right!  Snowpocolypse 2016 is supposed to hit my neck of the woods in the form of Winter Storm Kayla and dump nearly ten inches of snow on us.  Schools were cancelled early on Monday for Tuesday, and I’m so excited at the idea of sleeping in!  Of course, this also meant that  my trip to Florida got pushed back a day since I can’t be sure flights are leaving on time on Wednesday.  Send some positives vibes my direction that I have no significant travel issues as I head south for the balmy wea — um…er…to help my parents after their move to an assisted living facility.

The second really cool things about today is the release of my dear friend, Kelly Cain’s, debut novel, Altered.  Check out my post from earlier this morning announcing this release and, if you like new adult romance, give it a read.

Okay…now for the really fun thing!  The lovely Kirsty over at Kirstwrites Blog has graciously nominated me for the Liebster Blogger Award.  I’d heard of this, and I think many years ago I might’ve been nominated when this blog was called something else, but it’s been a long-long-long time so I thought I’d look it up, and what a fun honor!  Basically, it’s a pay-it-forward type of award where one blogger nominates another blogger as an expression of kindness or to say, “Hey!  I like what you’re doing!”  Very cool!  So Kirsty asks a question, I answer, and then I have the great privilege of nominating someone else!  How fun is that?

Okay so for starters, let me answer Kirsty’s question:

What do you think is the most important attribute of a successful writer?

Whoa.  That’s a tough question, and it may come down to one’s definition of success.  For my purposes today, I’m going to use the definition of “successful writer” as meaning someone who strives to see his or her work published and in the hands of readers.  With that in mind, I’d say the most important attribute(s) of a successful writer is determination and an unwillingness to quit.

I’m of the strong opinion that there’s a disparity between the number of talented writers out in the world and the number of those writers that actually get published.  In fact, sometimes I’ll read a book and end up scratching my head later asking, “How in the world did this ever get published?” while at the same time watching some of my very talented friends continue to hit brick walls.  I think the answer has to be sheer determination — that inner drive that refuses to allow some people to back down when it seems like everyone in the publishing world is against you.

Looking for an agent or a publishing house is not an easy process for most.  I know for a fact that I received well over  a hundred rejections for The Edge of Nowhere, and probably close to that for my current work that brought me to my agent, but I also know that I wasn’t ready to accept no for an answer. I was going to keep plugging along, revising as necessary and starting new manuscripts, until I got a positive response.

I’ve said this before in an interview, but it fits really well right her.  Randy Pausch, author of The Last Lecture, addresses this issue head on and relates it to overcoming brick walls. He wrote, “The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. The brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They are there to stop the other people!”

I love those words, and they’ve become sort of my own battle call. Learning how to overcome those brick walls may very well be what separates the “successful writer” from the others.

The next time you hit a brick wall, look for ways around it.  If you can’t go over or around it, maybe you get a shovel and dig a tunnel under it.  Be creative.  But whatever  you do, don’t allow someone else to decide for you when it’s time to throw in the towel. Only you can decide that.

Now I get to nominate someone else for the Liebster Award.  This is really hard!  Okay…I’ve got it!  I nominate Anthony Renfro, Writer and Blogger, as the next Liebster Awardee.

Anthony is a writer in his own right, and I can’t begin to tell you how helpful and supportive he’s been to me on this journey I’ve undertaken to see my book published.  I don’t know him at all beyond comments on my blog and occasional e-mails related to writing, but he’s always the first person to step up and say, “How can I help?”  I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that!

Kirsty’s question to me was “What do you think is the most important attribute of a successful writer?”  I answered that question, but now I’m going to tell you the answer to a more important question.  That question is “What is the most important attribute of a successful human being?”  The answer to that question is this:  a willingness to reach out and help another when there is nothing in it for you in return.  That’s what Anthony has done countless times these last several months, and I’m grateful to him for his support.

Malcolm S. Forbes said, ““You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.”  I think Anthony has proven his character, and I hope y’all will take a moment to check out his blog and say hello.  He’s a true gem!

To Anthony:  Now it’s your turn, my friend!  If you choose to accept this award, you should answer the question below and then nomination another blogger to succeed you.

Here’s your question:  Do you have a quote or motto that is meaningful to you in some way, or by which you lead your life? If so, can you tell us what it is and why?