noun ef·fort \ ˈe-fərt , -ˌfȯrt \
1: conscious exertion of power
2 : a serious attempt
3 : something produced by exertion
4 : effective force as distinguished from the possible resistance called into action by such a force
5 : the total work done to achieve a particular end
source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/effort
   What are the odds that I will ever achieve my dream of becoming a published children’s book author?
   I think that not knowing the odds of that question allows me to continue persevering in my writing efforts. With effort comes hope. If I do my part, I can hope for the best.
   I am no golfer but Arnold Palmer said it best:
               “Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you. “
   To me, effort means giving my all no matter what. I have good days and bad days as a writer. Take writer’s block, for example. To recognize it and then proceed by stepping away from the story or by pushing through it takes effort. Sometimes my efforts in writing improve by doing something other than writing. For me it is running. It helps to clear my mind and let’s me reset. While running and writing are completely different activities, both require effort especially if there is a purpose behind it. Training for a half marathon forced me to plan, train, be mindful of my diet and sleep schedule during my preparation for race day. Writing in many ways is like training for a marathon.
 Image result for effort
   There are a number of odds facing writers that have nothing to do with personal effort and are beyond control:
     1. saturated market
     2. writing is a subjective business
     3. time constraints
     4. money
     5. market trends
     6. diversity
     7. the slush pile
   Deciding to write and share it is not for the faint of heart. Good writing takes effort. Querying takes effort. Submitting work takes effort. Pushing past rejection takes effort. Improving (your) writing takes effort. Anything worth doing is going to require effort.
   I am going to continue making a “serious attempt” in my quest to become a published children’s book author. How about you?


Amanda Kirkham, M.Ed., is an elementary school teacher, writer, and aspiring author. She is a triplet, a runner, and perpetual student. Her motto is “Never stop learning!” One of her favorite childhood pastimes was to read every side of the cereal box and digest the information. She lives in Georgia with her husband and four children.