5 Things Outlander Teaches Authors About Persevering

Posted by Arthur Gutch
Published On Sep 27, 2014

When it was first published in 1991, Outlander became a worldwide best seller. This romantic tale of a woman who fell through time and the Scotsman she falls in love with is filled with authentic details of 18th century Highland life. Fans have followed the pair and their lives for well over 20 years, devouring each new book in the series as it's published.

Author Outlander Persevere

The story of Claire and Jamie is one of perseverance. As a modern woman and a distinctly traditional man, they aren't exactly a perfect match. But their love is stronger than any forces that may stand in the way of their happiness. Whatever life throws at them, Jamie and Claire never give up, stubbornly standing until they reach their goals. Writers have a lot to learn from Claire and Jamie, and some of the most important lessons have to do with sticking to their goals, or perseverance.

Hit the Ground Running

You've got a goal, so gather yourself up and start strong. Claire lands on the ground in the middle of a battle, and literally is running for her life within two minutes. You may not be in danger of being shot by a Redcoat, but a strong start will give your day energy that can help push you closer to your goal.

Accept the Inevitable

The only way Claire can escape the clutches of the evil Black Jack Randall is by marrying Jamie, so she accepts her fate and deals with it. When your job changes and you have fewer hours to write, when your children get out of school for summer, when something happens to your writing situation that you simply can't change, accept the inevitable. And then do what you can to adjust your work around it.

Use Your Knowledge

Claire finds herself living in a castle and has to do something to prove herself useful. She uses her hobby of learning about plants to transform herself into an herb women: someone who can doctor people with medicinal herbs. Use your own knowledge when you need to get through tough parts of your book. Is your character being chased? Does she have a difficult decision to make? Add a scene or two that only you could write with your own particular knowledge. You'll add a touch of authenticity to the book, as well as getting through a tough scene that was stuck in place.

Learn to Adapt

Claire learns to live 200 years in the past by adjusting and adapting her actions to fit in. She uses her knowledge and skills in ways that would seem natural in the 18th century, and she learns to enjoy the life she's created. You can adapt your lifestyle to accommodate working toward your goal by changing your schedule, changing your favorite hobby from television watching to writing, and even taking advantage of small breaks to get in 100 words at a time.

Never Give Up Your Goal

Claire falls back through time at the end of the first book and comes back to modern life. The second book opens 20 years later with her putting her plans into place to go back to find Jamie again. In the years between the two books, she's given birth and raised Jamie's daughter. She waited until the daughter was grown before acting, but she never gave up her goal of moving back through time and reuniting with her one true love. Keep your determination just as strong. If you have to write your book 100 words at a time, that's what you have to do. Life is never perfect, and every project gets hit with at least one or two bumps. Keep your goal in mind every day and you'll eventually reach the finish line, those lovely words: The End.

Keep the Faith and may the Force be with You!


Topics: self publishing, writing tips, author marketing, time to write, book writing tips, finding time to write, book reviewers, audiobooks

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