Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Whatever it is you're doing, you're totally wrong.

by Stephanie Morrill

I'll never forget the time I shyly told a boy I liked that I wanted to be a writer. "And what will you do when that falls through?" he asked.

That comment, which I'll guess he put exactly two nanoseconds of thought into, echoed in my head for years afterward. With every failed manuscript, every rejection, every bump in the road. What will you do when that falls through?

Because I didn't know. If writing didn't work out for me, I had absolutely no idea.

Maybe that's why this wisdom from Ralph Waldo Emerson makes me smile: "Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong."



How true is that? And not just for risky careers like writing, for every aspect of life. Parenting and friendships and what you eat and how you study and what bands you like. There's always someone who wants to tell you why you're wrong. And if you can learn early on to ignore those who jump to tell you how wrong you are, you'll save yourself a lot of frustration.

Do you have a way of dealing with naysayers that helps you to ignore them?

15 comments:

  1. Wow. This is a great quote. It's going on a Post-It Note and on my computer table right now.

    I've had people tell me "You want to be a writer? That's not good for your life. Writers don't make any money." It hurts. But I write because I love to do it (and I believe God has given me a talent and I should use it for Him). I usually get over statements like these by just telling myself they probably didn't think what they were saying would hurt me and they have my best interests in mind. It helps to think like that and I get over the hurt more quickly.

    Thanks again, Mrs. Morrill, for the quote. :)

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    1. Linea, I deal with the naysayers very similarly. When I told my high school career counselor that I wanted to be a writer, he gave me a look like "uh, okay," then told me, "Well, let's talk about your real career." Ouch. Even my parents (with my best interest at heart) pushed me towards teaching, telling me it would be a great job to do and write on the side (um, let's see. All my friends who became teachers tell me it is a full time, committed job that you really have to put your whole heart into. Not a job for someone who wants to make a career out of something else!). But as I have found out, those people who accidentally hurt you because they have your best interests at heart will also be some of your biggest supporters in the end.

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    2. Thanks so much for your encouragement, Tricia. :)

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  2. That's a great quote! As for me, I find it quite hard to deal with naysayers, but as long as I believe in what I'm doing, I'll be stubborn ;-). If I don't believe in it, then it will be hard.

    arendedewit.blogspot.com

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  3. Wow... Your story strikes me way more than the quote, just because it kind of sounds like my brain. But Mr. Emerson is right... We can't depend on other people to see our dreams through.

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  4. Hmmm. I dunno. No one's really told me off about a career I like. But then again, I've sort of chosen a more sensible career to pursue with writing on the side. I'm not actually my family knows that I still write. I've also always been encouraged in my art, but I was kinda warned away from looking at an art degree and they have good legitimate reasons for advising no. Which I guess makes me feel worse for still wanting one. But hey, can't win everything.

    I have been kinda crushed a few times when I thought I was good at something and found out I wasn't. Then I always tried to step back and figure if they have an actual basis for saying that, whether they were trying to be mean or not, and then whether or not I should care what they think. I can't always resolve things in this manner, but the process at least helps.

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  5. Love this quote! I have had definitely had a few people question my decision to write, especially when I chose to homeschool in high school in order to pursue writing. The thing I have to constantly remind myself is that everyone's path is different. Of course they may not understand the path I'm taking, but that's okay! It's obviously not the direction that they are supposed to go with their own life.

    And often when people do discourage me, I have that much more motivation to keep doing what I'm doing and prove them wrong. =)

    Thanks for sharing this, Stephanie!

    Tessa
    www.christiswrite.blogspot.com

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  6. Thanks for posting this, Stephanie! I love that quote!

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  7. I've never really been told not to go for writing, so many of the people I know like doing it that I'd be surprised if one of them told me not to. I consider my future as writing plus a small side job to keep me going, but of course that might not work out. That quote is awesome, it reminds me not to be overconfident. I'm almost always overconfident.

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  8. I love this article. Everywhere online people are saying don't use a prologue, but I have a lot that I like that can be perfect when used correctly and for the right story. Thank you so much!

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    1. I meant to post this on the article about prologues, sorry :P

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  9. Since I was fifteen two years ago I've developed much more confidence in myself. I've become drastically more self-reliant (which, honestly, sometimes comes out as arrogance) and I know that, most of the time, I can trust my own judgement because I know myself and my abilities better than anyone else on earth.
    I also have guidance and support in un-matchable levels from God. His opinion is the one that matters most, so why should I care about what anyone else thinks or says if it doesn't match up with what God is telling me?

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  10. I don't tell everyone that I like to write for one. Really, I just know, that anything is possible with hard work :b

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  11. I'm not exactly sure if I want to be a professional published author. I do know that writing is my passion, and I'll never fall through. I plan to work with special needs children when I grow up, and I'll write on the side. :)

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