Two for the Road is a hangout for mystery writers Tammy Kaehler and Simon Wood to chat, reminisce, gossip, speculate and argue about all things motorsport.

Monday, March 10, 2014


by Tammy

Something I've learned in life is that persistence will bring you success, no matter what. I've particularly found it to be true of writers trying to find publishing success—in my own case and for many others. This weekend proved it's true for NASCAR's favorite son also. Dale Jr. almost won at Las Vegas, finishing second after running out of gas on the last lap.

Junior made a comment (reported on Twitter and probably elsewhere) about everything the team has worked for paying off so far this year. So I'm stopping my Junior bashing for the week to give him kudos. I know it's only three races into the season, and I'm not tipping him to win the championship just yet, but so far, he's got a win (at the Daytona 500) and two seconds so far for Junior.

Persistence. Perseverance. Not giving up, no matter what.

We all face challenges that make us want to give up. My most recent one was struggling to finish my third book. Along the way, there are always the same moments: the panic of "I should just give up," the moments of realizing "that's so obvious, I should have fixed it" too late to do anything about it, and the daydreams of overnight bestseller status tempered by preparing for this to not have been my best literary effort.

I'm not fishing for compliments. I'm simply talking about the emotions of one persistent person when facing great odds. And yes, I suppose I'm comparing myself to Junior. A little. Me? I toil in greater obscurity than Junior does, obviously. But that means my lack of success (relative to authors who are household names or national bestsellers) isn't as public as his. He's been not quite achieving his dreams on a much bigger and more public stage.

But he's been persistent.

Time and time again, I've seen people who aren't the most talented, who aren't the most charismatic, who aren't the most connected, who still manage to find success. Great success, sometimes. Because they keep at it when others give up. So I'm sticking with this writing thing. I don't expect to quit my day job soon (maybe ever), but I do expect more readers and more success if I keep at it. Just like Junior.

How much do you accomplish just by sticking with it?

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