Wordy Wednesday: Tenacity

Welcome to Wordy Wednesday. As authors, editors, marketers and publishers, words breathe life into our passions, our thoughts, our images, and our feelings. They combine to create the books, the settings, and the characters that have emerged as important members of our extended families. Such is the love we bestow on even the smallest of words.

Each Wednesday, we endeavor to pontificate on the unique qualities of a specific word, a favorite word, and a special word, a global word or, well, any word. Are you ready to join in? Good.

Today’s Wordy Wednesday, is:

tenacity
[tuh-nas-i-tee]
(n.)
Definition: The quality of being persistent or of holding fast; characterized by holding together firmly; persistence.

I have been a fond of this word from my first reading of it in high school, mostly because I felt like it was a character trait I could identify with, a trait I possessed. I know for a fact I’ve been called stubborn on more than one occasion!

A man or woman with tenacity is someone who just won’t quit, someone who keeps trying in order to reach their goal, their dream, and their purpose. I want to believe that this word is a character trait family and friends would use to describe me, and regardless of how others may view it, I believe it is a positive description for a man or a woman. In fact, when a character in a book I’m reading is described as being tenacious, I know without having to go any further in the story that they are strong, determined, and ready to push forward. They are leaders, and I am instinctively drawn to those types of characters.

It may seem humorous as an example, but I see tenacity in the character of Woody the Cowboy from the Disney movie trilogy, Toy Story. Woody is the self-appointed leader of the toys from the first movie to the most current movie. He takes it on himself to make sure they have a home, that they are cared for, and that by the end they all stay together. He had tenacity. He didn’t give up on himself, and he didn’t give up on his friends, even when they doubted him, gave him a hard time, and at one point chose someone else to follow instead of him. The scene of Woody still clawing to get out of the trash filled inferno in Toy Story 3 plays out in my mind’s eye. Woody was a fighter; he was tenacious.

There are plenty of novel characters past and present who are examples of tenacity, including Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games, Sherlock Holmes from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Bilbo Baggins from The Hobbit. As readers we are drawn not just to the underdogs, but often more so to those who are actively strong, persistent and steadfast in their journey.

And, truth be told that is what God calls us all to be as Christians. We are to hold firm to our faith, to be persistent in our walk with Christ, and to never give up even when we face challenges (I Corinthians 15:58).

I hope today’s word encourages you to be tenacious. Most importantly, I hope you find the tenacity to conquer your fears, to walk out your faith, and if you are a writer, to submit your work for publication.


“Often it is tenacity, not talent, that rules the day.”
Julia Cameron, Finding water: The Art of Perseverance

I would love to hear of a time you were tenacious, a time when your tenacity helped you reach a goal or complete a journey. Please share in the comment section. Thank you!