Friday, September 20, 2013

Naysayers

          Naysayer, a person who habitually expresses negative or pessimistic views.  How many times does a naysayer come along and thwart our dreams if only for a moment?  I remember when I was a little girl playing the board game Risk.  I must have been in about fifth grade.  A couple of the countries names I struggled with pronouncing correctly.  Looking at the board today, I haven’t a clue which name I struggled with, probably Paraguay.  The naysayer made the comment that I would never be able to do any career in foreign affairs.  Even at that young age the comment fired me up and I had the fleeting thought of proving this person wrong.  Now, I never had the desire to go into that line of work, but I loved history at an early age and ended up with a history degree.  Yes, I still struggle with pronouncing names when first introduced to them, but once I get the hang of them, I love how the sounds roll through my mouth.

          As a young adult, a family friend gave me grief about going to college to get my MRS degree.  I had heard the comment before, but this person I respected and the comment hurt.  In reality, I did get the MRS degree before my BSED.  The fact haunted me and drove me to overcome some pretty big obstacles until I did get that second slip of paper.  The funny part is I have continuously used my MRS degree for the past 24 years.  I really only used the BSED for three years.  I so love irony in real life.

          From the time spelling entered my life, I knew it would be a handicap for education.  I studied and studied and failed and failed.  In third grade, I was introduced to Little House on the Prairie.  I wanted to be just like Laura when I grew up.  I wanted to write.  I can’t even begin to remember all the people that said my spelling was so horrible that I couldn’t go into an English field.  In fact, one teacher wouldn’t sign off for me to take College Prep English.  But how can you deny your heart’s desire?  I loved to write.  I loved playing with words either in my daydreams or on the page creating scenes and characters.  Did I listen to these people?  Heavens no!  I talked with my guidance counselor.  She gave me permission to take the class.  I also invested in a pocket dictionary.  My second degree on my certificate is English.  I also worked in the writing lab of the college I attended.  I taught English and journalism for three years.

          The latest naysayers in my life now make comments about me publishing.  I have written four books and ten short stories.  I technically started the process in 1993.  My first rejection threw me into a major case of writer’s block.  I actually listened to a naysayer.  Luckily a couple of supporters kept nudging me to write.  In the last six years, I have written 592,857 words.  I have been rejected three more times.  In that period, I have read a lot of books and blog sites about writing.  In the past two years, my fiction writing has improved a good 50% or more.  I am so excited.  I have struggled through the pathways of traditional brick and mortar publishing verses e-publishing independently.  I have chosen e-publishing for the time being, but this entails more work.  I am learning more then I could ever imagine in all areas related to publishing:  formatting, sales, promotion, uploading, and book covers.  This all takes a great amount of time, a little bit of money, and a ton of patience.  I am getting closer though, I can feel it.

          Thus, the latest comment about me still not being close to publishing really annoyed me.  I have two short stories that are done in the area of writing.  My third story is being read by 2nd readers.  My fourth needs one more run through and it will go to my 1st readers.  My fifth story needs a complete edit as does my first book with my readers giving more perspective.  These six pieces of writing will then need to be formatted.  I will need to work out publishing pages, blurbs, pricing, book covers, and promotions.  These last tasks I am learning how to do while I am still writing and editing.  This is a huge amount of work.  My goal is to have them out by this next spring after taking four various classes that should help in the process.

          So, what do we do about these negative comments that are thrown our way whether in all seriousness or in jest?  Definitely, don’t take them to heart.  I try to use them as fuel.  I blow at them coaxing them along.  Soon, the comments turn into an inferno that will create success.  Best of all though, listen to all of the coaches out there.  I am very blessed to have quite a few supporters.  I rely on them when I struggle with the naysayers.  Oh, and at times, I can be the worst of all naysayers.

          “I have the strength for everything through Him who empowers me.”  Philippians 4:13.

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