The Daily Insider: Wise words worth repeating from SA’s famous novelist

Am indebted to BizNews tribesman Simon Ellis for a cutting from my Money Meandering column of a decade back for The Witness, our local daily newspaper while we farmed in the KZN Midlands. This one was written shortly after I’d interviewed SA’s famous novelist Wilbur Smith, 78 and “feeling immortal”, then still at the top of his game.

Smith, who passed away three weeks ago, told me he had a regimen of working really hard at a book for six months and then rewarding himself with a two year break where he went “salmon fishing in Russia and Iceland; dove shooting in South America; and following the classical music circuit in Europe.”

Worth repeating his answer to my question about the secret of his success: “Know yourself. Know what you’re capable of and don’t attempt anything that you know in your heart of hearts is beyond your God-given talents. But when you do it, do it with all your heart and soul. And realise it’s not going to be an overnight success. You have to stick to it. You have to keep to it until it happens.”

In other words: self-analysis, persistence and tenacity. RIP oh wise one.

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