When you hear the phrase “Never Give Up,” it is easy to brush it off as a cliché. But, successful people like Stephen King made it because they found the will to keep going even at their lowest points.
King’s road to success was as rocky as they come. As a writer, he struggled for many years before he found success.
Stephen King’s single mother raised him since he was two years old. They both endured great financial strain and often depended on relatives to get by.
Showing an early interest in horror, King started writing short thriller stories in high school. He avidly tried to sell them to newspapers and magazines but mostly got rejected.
While pursuing his English degree, King held menial jobs to support himself. He was a gas pump attendant, a janitor, and a worker in an industrial laundry.
After graduating, King struggled intensely to find a job in the field. Penniless, he lived in a trailer with his wife and child. Money was so scarce that he could not even afford a telephone.
King used the little spare time he had to write. He wrote three books, Rage, The Long Walk, and Blaze, but all three got rejected by publishers. Undeterred, he advanced to his fourth book, Carrie.
Carrie got rebuffed 30 times before Doubleday picked it. King got a meager $2,500 advance against royalties, and the book only sold 13,000 hardback copies.
Overwhelmed by failure, King became emotionally and psychologically distressed. He developed an obsession with alcohol and drugs.
Stephen King was nearing the end of his rope when he received news that the New American Library had bought Carrie’s paperback rights from Doubleday. Finally, his career was in motion.
Yet, King still had a tough choice to make. On one hand, he strongly believed that drugs gave him fuel to write. On the other, he knew he had to quit for the sake of his health, family, and future.
He battled his fear of writer’s block for months until he laid his foot down, sought help, and got clean.
Even after suffering a serious accident a few years later, he did not dive back into old habits. He kept on the right path and became the iconic author we know today.
Today, Stephen King is one of the greatest authors of all time. He has over 70 published books and is the only novelist in history with more than 30 No.1 best-sellers. The best Stephen King books you may know are It and The Shining.
Both It and The Shining are in the top 100 horror movies of all time.
King is a gleaming example of someone that did not let failure define him. He achieved success by not giving up on his dream.
Despite humble beginnings, a lack of financial privilege, and a mountain of rejection notes, he pushed forward and continued to hone his craft.
When his career gained traction, he knew he had to quit drugs to achieve his goals. He gathered the courage to seek help and got back on track.
So, are you feeling stuck between a rock and a hard place? Do you feel like you have given everything you can?
Let Stephen King’s triumph motivate you to keep going. Make those hard decisions to improve your financial situations, be they quitting destructive habits, canceling that expensive club membership, or cutting off unconstructive friendships.
The breakthrough you yearn for is right around the corner.
“Optimism is a perfectly legitimate response to failure.”