Tenacity despite the odds

“If you will it, it is not a dream.”  That’s such a crappy platitude! It suggests we can achieve anything if we want it badly enough but reality shouts otherwise. There are some circumstances we simply can’t change. Does that mean we shouldn’t try?


Consider Terry Fox* and Jeneece Edroff**. Consider Albert Einstein***. Each faced significant obstacles but still achieved great things. If they allowed the negative aspects of life to tempt them into a fetal position where navel-gazing was their main preoccupation, none of their accomplishments would have materialized.


How does this apply to our writing? Whether or not a person will be a writer is not something determined by anyone else. A writer is someone who writes, someone who transfers thoughts into written words. Dreaming about writing won’t get anything written but reaching for the pen (or keyboard) will, because every journey begins from where we are and proceeds one step at a time. Tenacity keeps us moving.


I try to remember this when the words won’t come or seem trivial and I am tempted to give up. 


* “Terry Fox was only 18 years old when he was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma (bone cancer) and forced to have his right leg amputated 15 centimetres (six inches) above the knee in 1977. While in hospital, Terry was so overcome by the suffering of other cancer patients, many of them young children, that he decided to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research… To date, more than $400 million has been raised worldwide for cancer research in Terry’s name.”


**  Jeneece Edroff lives with neurofibromatosis, a rare and painful genetic neurological condition. Despite her own medical obstacles, she has a desire to help other kids who have special challenges. With the help of friends and family, she organized a penny drive, which has spread across the province. In 2008, the province-wide campaign raised over $600,000 all of which stayed in B.C. Since starting the coin drive, Jeneece has raised over $1 million.”


*** In 1896 Albert Einstein entered the Swiss Federal Polytechnic School in Zurich to be trained as a teacher in physics and mathematics. In 1901, the year he gained his diploma, he acquired Swiss citizenship [but] was unable to find a teaching post, [so] he accepted a position as technical assistant in the Swiss Patent Office…
During his stay at the Patent Office, and in his spare time, he produced much of his remarkable work… Albert Einstein received honorary doctorate degrees in science, medicine and philosophy from many European and American universities… In 1921 he won the Nobel Prize in Physics.” (From Nobel Lectures, Physics 1901-1921, Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam, 1967)


Published by Carol

A freelance writer of fiction and non-fiction living on the West Coast of Canada.

3 thoughts on “Tenacity despite the odds

  1. Excellent post, Careann. What drove these exceptional people to succeed despite having so much going against them is truly an inspiration for the rest of us. I think of my fears & I’m embarrassed. But I’m also encouraged by the tenacity of people like you’ve mentioned above.

    I wrote about this subject today in a round about way: Facing my fears. That’s twice now that we’ve linked over cyberspace. I’m taking it as a good omen. .

  2. Hello Carol,
    I was looking for information about Jeneece and found this page. I really like the quote about Terry, Jeneece and Albert. I’m in the process of writing Jeneece’s story. Would you be interested in contributing this quote to her book? This book is totally for Jeneece’s needs and the charities she supports. I couldn’t pay you for the use of the quote. Sorry. I find your words very motivating.


I'd love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s