Belief in yourself.
And now I know everyone is rolling their eyes. Thinking that I'm going into power of positive thinking territory.
Uhmmm... no. And let me mention one thing. If I ever say that I think that positive thought will create positive events on their own, you can shoot me. Because odds are that I'm rabid.
Because the way I see it (and I'm quite vocal about this) is that positive thinking serves to give you the determination to do what you need to do. But hey, there are people who think differently about positive thought, and maybe they're right.
Anyway... I'm digressing really - did you hear Margaret Thatcher died?- really badly.
The fact is, writing a book is only the beginning. That finished product has a name. A first draft. After that, you have a second draft (maybe) and revisions (definitely) and edits (ad nauseum). And then... then comes this terrifying and truly trying time of a writer's career. Querying and publishing.
Because you're probably going to get treated like your writing sucks.
So. To make a long story short, determination alone won't cut it. You need to believe in your abilities as a writer. In the beginning, you won't have that, but your confidence will grow as you learn. And then, you also have to believe in the potential of your story. Once you're really finished, you need to believe in the strength of it.
Because if you don't, you won't make it. This I promise you. If your faith in yourself and your skills isn't strong enough, you'll buckle at the first no you get. Or at the first bad review if you self-publish.
And none of us want that. Because it might mean that we readers miss out on some wonderful stories you wrote. Or could have written.
Don't lose faith when things take longer than expected. You'll get there in the end.
If you hang on enough.
Who of you veteran novelists were almost at the point of giving up when you got a "yes"? Any stories of determination from the self-publishing trenches?