Stubborn is good

Driving home from school pick-up the other day, my son asked me if it was ever a good thing to be stubborn. I suspected someone had perhaps called him that, so I hesitated to give my first answer, which was no. I said, ‘yeah sure, perhaps sometimes.’ Fortunately, he didn’t expect any examples from  me, because at the time, I couldn’t think of any.

It occurred to me three days later,  as I sat stubbornly, like a pit bull, in front of my manuscript, daring the muse to  ignore me one more time, that being  stubborn, being bloody-minded, being aaarghh-I-will-do-this was a necessary trait for a writer.

Writers need to be not only determined and persistent, they need to be stubborn too. When the rejection slip comes in.  When you can’t write the ending. When the sun is shining and calls you outside. When your friend/partner/blog feels neglected. When cleaning the bathroom suddenly seems more appealing than writing dialogue.

Be stubborn.




Filed under blogging, books, fiction, I should be editing right now, tips for writers, writers, Writing

35 responses to “Stubborn is good

  1. Of course, being stubborn is good sometimes. I agree–it’s like we are the controller of where the horse drives us, not the other way around!

    Disclaimer: This is in NO way that I am insulting you, Muse. Neither am I comparing you to the horse. Er. Yeah but, okay pl don’t be rude when I call you next time (which is always)!

    Great ideas Lisa!


  2. I think stubborn can be good. I’ve found that persevering has its value and indeed if applied in writing it is a must.
    I know I’m stubborn. I keep showing up and letting the muses whisper a few lines. I found it does work. 🙂

  3. hah! How I agree with you, Lisa!
    Sometimes it gets all too testy eh!?
    And right then, all you wanna do is, take it as a challenge, stick to it, get over with it! So that, later, you can do your regular ‘IN YOUR FACE!” routine! 🙂
    Hell yea, being stubborn is good at times!

    Your posts keep me motivated, girlie! xoxoxo

  4. Agatha82

    Stubborn is good! I say this as one person who’s had years experience at being stubborn 🙂
    I am the most stubborn sign in the zodiac…Taurus. If I wasn’t stubborn, I would not be writing still. The reason stubborn people get a bad rap is because we are also seen as closed minded/set in our ways. Sure, that can also work negatively towards you but I am glad for my strong stubborn streak and trust me, it is legendary amongst my friends. They know they cannot budge me on something if I don’t want to.

    • That’s so funny because my son is a Taurus too. I admire the bull’s ability to dig the heels in when necessary, I really do. Just mustn’t let my son know that. I am a little to easy to budge. But fortunately not when it comes to my writing. Everything else though, I’m a pushover.

  5. When I find myself scrubbing bathroom floors intead of writing…you know things aren’t going well.

    I like to give my muse ultimatums. It’s like playing “chicken” in front of a speeding train. Get a frim grip on that muse’s arm, and don’t jump. If you’re still standing at the end, the words WILL get written. Even if they’re horrible. That’s what revisions are for.

  6. Jillian

    Yup – stubborn can move mountains. 🙂

  7. I couldn’t agree with you more, Lisa! Write even when you know that what you’re writing is not up to par. You can always go back and tweak it a little here and a little there, and voila, it’ll be one more scene in your MS done :).

  8. I am so with you on this one dear girlfriend!! So identifiable…thanks for motivating us! Much love xx

  9. I find that being stubborn can be very useful sometimes

  10. Sharmon Gazaway

    Hi Lisa! Can’t believe I haven’t dropped by before now–I see you on all the blogs I hop to :-). I think your blog name subconsciously put me off–I nursed all 3 of my sons and actually had mastitis (commonly called milk fever down here in the Southern US) and it is not happy memories!! Anyway, speaking of those 3 strong-willed boys, I almost daily muttered between grinding, gritted teeth, “You can’t out-stubborn me.” It served me well and now I mutter it quite often over my novel MS.
    Great post!

    • Hi Sharmon, thanks for getting past the Milk Fever memories (ouch) and stopping by. It’s great to have you here. Boys certainly know how to be stubborn. Luckily we mums learn how to cope. Makes for a lot of fun, and gritted teeth too sometimes. 🙂

  11. I like that. I should try it sometimes, people have always said I’m extremely stubborn. I should put it to good use.

  12. Great Advice! So I guess that means I have to quit procrastinating and get back to writing 🙂

  13. I don’t describe myself as stubborn, because that word seems to carry negative connotations. I prefer to think of myself as persistent, tenacious or determined, but not stubborn (and certainly not pig-headed or obstinate).

    Oh, all right. Fine. I’m stubborn.

    It’s good to see a new post from you. Great one, by the way!

    • Thanks JannaT. I was like you, I thought tenacious and persistent were fine, but stubborn was a bad quality. But I’ve changed my mind, sometimes stubborn has just a little more oomph. It gets things done.

  14. You have the art of simple writing – driving the point right inside.

  15. Stubborn is a beautiful thing. A stubborn mind is a sharp and very active mind. A sharp and very active mind is an innovative mind. An innovative mind is a very rich mind.

    Stubborn is a beautiful thing. But maybe we don’t want to tell our kids this, although I think we wouldn’t prefer them dull and humble.

    Stubborn is a beautiful thing.

  16. Gillian

    I am stubborn, my daughter is stubborn and my two year old grandson is stubborn, it leads to an interesting family life that is for sure.
    Take care, Gillian

  17. I don’t like the word stubborn…but I think it’s necessary sometimes…

    How about “Steadfast?” Or “Determined?” Or “Unmoveable?” Maybe “Mulish?”

    • I never liked the word stubborn much either. But I think if it’s used with confidence it has a certain charm.
      Steadfast works for me. That implies some loyalty too.

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