rocket-ship-for-blog-postIn the movie “The Martian,” (based on the novel by Andy Weir), the Mars base of a 6-man crew of astronauts is about to be hit by a super-storm* which threatens to breach the Hab** (their living space) and tip the MAV*** (small rocket ship). If the Hab ruptures, they die. If the MAV tips, they can’t launch and, you guessed it — they die. Their most important goal is to return to Earth safely, so they are forced to scrub their exploratory mission and escape the red planet. Something happens (I won’t spoil it for you) to delay their commander from boarding the ship. As the relentless wind pushes the MAV beyond its point to regain balance, threatening to tip, the pilot repeatedly urges her to climb aboard. She insists if they tip, he should launch without her. He persists, refusing to abandon her, and pulls one last trick to support the MAV in combating the force of the wind — he fires up the OMS**** engines. It’s risky, yes, but in doing so he gives the ship, its crew and their Commander the chance to launch and survive.

As aspiring writers and illustrators, one of our main goals — our “Earth” — is a book launch — to become traditionally published. It can be a trying mission, to say the least, often becoming very difficult to weather the ravaging winds of rejection after rejection. Our writing ship keeps threatening to tip yet we continue kicking on the engines to fight those torrential blasts rather than lean toward toppling in defeat. But sometimes we need outside support to keep our OMS engines running — a tanker for refueling when we’re running on fumes. Many times that fuel is in the form of words. Meaningful words. Whether they’re the “keep going, you can do it” cheers from family, friends and colleagues, or words of wisdom we’ve read or heard somewhere, they can be the resonating fuel we need.

Recently I came across a great quote mentioned by author Lori Mortensen in an interview with Henry Herz. I’ve heard the sentiment phrased many ways, but this one by Calvin Coolidge really hit home. I found it so perfect, poignant and inspiring, I wanted it IN MY FACE, especially when I’m waning away from that persistent path. Naturally, I wanted it on my desktop, the thing I see every day at the start of each day, so I composed an image for it! And since I KNOW I’m not the only one who needs a little extra “persistence” support, I thought I’d share it with you*****. If you like it, you can copy the large image for printing to prop or hang for your personal use, or the small image for your desktop (well, you can print that too, if you want it small).


…because in this pursuit to be published I want to lean toward persistence. Don’t you? 😀


* Due to the fact that Mars has super low atmospheric pressure, in reality, a  storm of any kind is impossible.

** The Mars Lander habitat.

*** Mars Ascent Vehicle

**** Orbital Maneuvering System

***** It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: this work is copyrighted so is meant for your personal use only, as described in this blog post, and cannot be used or shared in any other way without permission. Thank you!

14 thoughts on “UP!–It Pays to Be PERSISTENT!

  1. Great post Donna Marie! The attribute of persistence or “stick-to-it-tiveness” (a colloquialism I first heard in high school – I believe) and it stuck with me. After reading this post, and GREAT graphic, thank you – it dawns on me that my perspective on persistence equates to life in this way…

    Persistence is life. Life is persistence! The two are actually one.

    As is our breathing, our heart beat – our inner spirits yearn for us to strive – always strive forward “Up!” (as in your blog name). Without our very personal (internal) fanning of this fire, often during the darkest moments of ones journey – our furnaces would grow cold and our spirit wither. Persistence is the ultimate “hero’s journey” of which life and spirit beckons.

    I have found no replacement for persistence, just as there is no life without breath. If I don’t persist – I would somehow cease to “exist” in a “meaningful way”.

    One way to leverage persistence, and make best use of energy output is by honestly assessing one’s strategy and “flight plan” – and then applying creativity and chutzpah (audacity, guts) to “pivot” and realign (re-orient) the direction of thrust based upon the messages our “winds” carry.

    Winds can fan or extinguish a spark. Therefore wind to me is not merely resistance and force. What I’m saying here is… “there is wisdom in the wind!” – guidance to be garnered. It is for each of us to interpret and intuit their message, by applying our unique gifts, in creative ways, to navigate (re-orient) toward our destination. Sometimes this prompts us to change destinations mid-stream, if that is the message we hear. Some of the greatest successes have come after a pivot (this may be a compelling followup blog topic?) The courage comes in the form of self-trust to listen and then follow the wisdom in the wind (sometimes our strongest headwinds are internal).

    To that point… what I’ve found most intriguing and valuable – is to clearly articulate ones ultimate “destination” by persistently answering the ultimate question of “Why?”. Answering the Why? question with authenticity and brutal honesty takes courage and insight. When we get our “Why? right – then the internal furnace will perpetuate.

    Without a doubt… as you’ve described above – the right timing of a supportive word, phrase, or cheer – sometimes even a jeer can be just-what-the-doctor-ordered to spark the spirit and jumpstart the engine! Up! Up! and Awwwaaaaaaaayyyy!!!!

    Huge appreciation for your fine works – and persistence!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wow, Chris, great comment! I hope others take the time to read it, too 🙂 Lots of good points! It also brought to mind that just as words can be a positive force, they can just as easily be a deflating force, taking the wind out of our sails. They aren’t called “the winds of change” for nothing!


      • Yes negativity can have that affect. This is where resilience and self trust must prevail (never let others steal YOUR power). In fact, they cannot – that power resides inside – always. Too many people succumb to a victim-hood by saying “others did this or that” and it can be true for sure that they did. It is what happens next that matters – resilience and self trust to overcome negative winds.

        This is how thoughts have power. I recommend we all eliminate / avoid increasing negative power by refraining from writing it… if it feels uplifting – go with it. if it is deflating – better left unsaid, unwritten, etc. The alternative is self-defeating. Up! Up! And Awwwaaaaaayyyy!!!! ;D


  2. I’ve just saved your quote and will share it with my creative writing students (AND keep it close to my writing desk). This is so important to remember. We can’t give UP!! In fact, I just gave one of my classes the assignment to write a story with the word “UP” in it at least five times (amazing how many ways “UP” is used in the English language). Not Giving UP (ie, persistence) will be my main theme. THANK YOU. xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pam, that makes me so happy! That makes the post valuable, I think—useful 🙂 If you think they’d like it, certainly give them the link to the post and they can use the image if they want. Yay! 😀 😀 😀 We really can’t give up on our passions and dreams 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Aw, thanks, Sue 🙂 I love pretty much everything about the movie, giving it leeway for the improbabilities for sake of plot. I love the “science” of it, and just found everything about the story appealing. I bought the novel for my son though I don’t think he’s had a chance to start it yet. I hope you find the quote inspirational. I know I do! 😀


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