Today I was going to talk about three things that could mark you as a newbie, but then I realize that stubbornness would do the trick. Newbies are stubborn. Tell them to write “Wanda said” instead of “said Wanda,” and they’ll get uppity. What’s the big deal? “Said Wanda” is grammatically correct, isn’t it? Well…yes…
Or you try to talk to them about adverbs. They get defensive. “What’s wrong with adverbs?” the argue. “Famous-Author-So-n-So uses plenty of adverbs. They add punch. They add flair. They’re descriptive!”
And on and on.
I admit, sometimes stubbornness is necessary. If we weren’t stubborn, we would give up after our first rejection, or first harsh critique, or the first time our parents gave us that skeptical look and asked how we really planned to make a living. Stubbornness is what makes us believe in our story.
We often start out stubborn, then we learn to quench it. This is good and necessary: what agent would sign a person who refused to revise? What editor would publish someone who demanded this kind of cover art, publicity, and typeface? It wouldn’t work. You can’t be stubborn like that and make it anywhere.
But there’s always that point when I wonder – what if I’m not being stubborn enough, if I’ve lost pieces of myself that I should have kept?
What happens when you stop fighting?