Monday, December 6, 2010

Monday Mulishness

Confession: I am the teensiest bit stubborn.

Okay, maybe "teensiest" is the wrong modifier. Fact is, when I dig in my heels, I can give a mule a run for its money.

Now, stubborn can be good or stupid, depending.

Examples: 

Good stubborn: "I don't care how much you beg me, you are not staying out past curfew on a school night." (Granted, this is from a parental point of view. Stubbornness is an essential attribute in a parent.)

Stupid stubborn: "Sure, I might have the flu, but no way am I going to bed, because the world will fall apart without me." (Trust me, you will fall apart long before the world does.)

There is, of course, a writing tie-in. (What? Like you're surprised.)


Good writing stubborn: I will keep working on this darn book until I get it right. I will keep querying until I find the right agent for me. (I can testify that this pays off.) I will take criticism without throwing a tantrum (publicly), and apply what I learn to my manuscript until I make it the best it can be. And if this book doesn't work, I will apply everything I've learned to the next book. And the one after that.

Stupid writing stubborn: This is how I wrote it, dammit, and this is exactly how it's going to stay, no matter what. These are words my muse fed me, and if people don't "get" it, that's their problem.

See the difference? I mean, there's persevering, and then there's banging your head against a brick wall, thinking eventually you'll bring the wall down. Something's gotta give. Clue: it isn't going to be the wall.

Oh, and there's one more category: Silly Stubborn. If you, say, refuse to see Titanic simply because so many people told you that you just had to see it, and then it becomes kind of a thing not to see it...well, that might be a little silly. (Guilty.)

So, any other mules out there? What kind of stubborn are you? Examples if you have 'em, please. :)

17 comments:

Patrick Alan said...

I've seen Titanic 30-40 times. I'm stubborn that way.

Elisabeth Black said...

Good differentiation! I'm the first kind of stubborn. I like to think of it as diligent.

Actually, I'm both kinds of stubborn. Just not when it comes to writing.

Teri Anne Stanley said...

Interesting that I am thinking about balance today, myself.

funny stubborn movie story...I had a boyfriend in college who refused to see the Wizard of Oz. Seems he'd had a bad experience with flying monkeys early in life. So he always pretended not to understand any cultural references to Wicked Witches and munchkins. Needless to say, since he didn't "get" wicked witches, he didn't get me.

Patty Blount said...

Happy to say I'm good stubborn all around... ! :)

abby mumford said...

i'm all sorts of stubborn in both good and bad ways. if only i could limit the bad stubborn part, i'd be flying high, or, could at least get out of my own way.

Summer said...

So I'm not the only silly stubborn on Titanic, then? Good! :)

Bess Weatherby said...

I like these categories. I'm hopefully the good-stubborn, although sometimes I do dig my heels in. For example, refusing to give up my southern accent even when I'm in New York. Stupid stubborn that, apparently, makes me sound stupid, too. Double whammy. Whoops!

Karla Nellenbach said...

I'd like to think that I'm good stubborn, but there have been times when I've played at being bad stubborn...and you're right. I did fall apart long before the world :)

And, silly stubborn, yes... that was me and the HUNGER GAMES, but I'm so glad I bit the bullet and read it. AWESOME book :)

demery bader-saye said...

Good guilty. Bad guilty. And silly guilty (if I'd listened to my friends telling me to read Harry Potter I could have experienced them as they were coming out instead of jumping on the bandwagon at the end of the parade... On the other hand I didn't have to wait until the next book was out b/c they were already published.)

Lenny Lee* said...

hi miss linda! im the kind of stubborn thats get me in trouble lots. sometime i just dont wanna do what im sposed to do and i say so. it that i say so part that get me in trouble. ha ha. mostly im not so stubborn that much specially with christmas coming up.
:)
...smiles and hugs from lenny

Tawna Fenske said...

Fabulous post! There's definitely a difference between being admirably tenacious and stupidly stubborn when it comes to writing. Nice job pointing out the difference!

Tawna

L. T. Host said...

Gah. My husband is in the "haven't seen Titanic, never will" camp.

I've pretty much given up on him, but maybe there's still hope for the rest of you!! Not that I expect to be able to change your mind(s). :)

KarenG said...

I'm not stubborn, I'm married to stubborn.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I am trying to be the Good Kind of Stubborn as outlined above -- instead of the Wimpy Kind of Fold My Cards and Go Home, boo hoo. Working diligently on it and keeping my chin up.

But what I really want to know is this: What kind of bad experience did Teri Anne's college boyfriend have with flying monkeys early in his life?? My imagination is running wild!

Trisha Leigh said...

Thanks for this. Turns out to be a timely reminder. :)

Linda G. said...

Patrick -- Okay. Silly stubborn it is for you. ;)

Elisabeth -- Diligence is good. You can be stubbornly diligent. :)

Teri Anne -- Uh...real flying monkeys? And LOL about not "getting" the you.

Patty -- Good! That's the best way to be. :)

Abby -- That's the trouble with the bad kind of stubborn. It always trips you up.

Summer -- You definitely have company here! :)

Bess -- Hey, I don't think southern accents sound stupid AT ALL. Of course, I was raised in Texas, and have lived in Virginia for most of my adult life. ;)

Karla -- Shhh! I still haven't read HUNGER GAMES. I'm not big on dystopian novels.

Demery -- Boy, that's a lot of guilt you're carrying around! ;)

Lenny -- Christmas has a way of taking the "stubborn" right out of a lot of kids. ;)

Tawna -- Thanks! Glad you liked it. :)

L.T. -- LOL! I dunnoh. It would take a lot to make me change my mind about Titanic. I mean, that's three hours of my life we're talking about.

KarenG -- Ha! I'm sure my hubs commiserates with you. ;)

Dianne -- Hang in there. :) And I'm with you about Teri Anne's college boyfriend -- what the heck? What on earth could have happened to him?

Trisha -- Glad it was timely for you. :)

Lola Sharp said...

I'm mostly not stubborn. Though, in my younger days, there may have been any manner of stupid (an ass more than a mule?), including some flavors of stubborn.
Well, actually, I take that back, I am 'good stubborn' in some ways, because I will work on something until it's finished.