I was reminded of this in a recent post of mine, when Dan Holloway, whom I rely on to pick me up on any woolly thinking, suggested that I seemed to be over-praising perseverance. Since I can't find that now - though I'm sure he will! - I can't remember exactly what I said, but I do remember promising to blog about why perseverance sucks, because I agree with him. So, here I am.
Being rejected by one or eight publishers might just mean you sent it to the wrong one or eight publishers. So, yes, sending it to number nine might indeed do the trick. So, yes, of course, plain perseverance - dogged stubbornness - can work. And, indeed, you might have written something brilliant which silly publishers have so far failed to recognise. You could stick a pin in a list of publishers and send it out one at a time and eventually you might hit the right one.
Try that, if you wish.
But, there is a much more useful, important and clever form of perseverance: persevering to get it right. Persevere in trying to find out what you might be doing wrong; persevere in trying to write something better, or more marketable, or better honed, or more beautifully presented - any of those things. But don't simply persevere in sending your work out.
The mountain you are trying to climb if you want to be published is not "how to find a publisher"; it is "how to write a book with sufficient readers that it should be published." The difference between those two goals is sometimes small, but the difference in your approach to the goals will be crucially different. It will make all the difference to your writing and a great deal of difference to the length of your journey.
So, please, focus your perseverance on your book and yourself, not on the act of perseverance. There is a difference between intelligent determination and dogged stubbornness.