Ever been called stubborn? Good for you!

“You are such a stubborn child!”  was a mantra I heard frequently as a young girl. I received the accolade from my mother, my sisters, and even some of my school teachers, who were blessed, or cursed, to have me in their class.

(Yeah, that’s me at 6 years-old, perfecting my stubborn attitude!)

And my 3rd grade writing class was the worst—and the best. My teacher was Mrs. Sevinth, and she was a brutal task master when it came to cursive writing. But even with a slap on the back of my hand with her ruler, I still refused to write with my right hand. When she finally gave up and accepted the fact that I would not be pushed to follow the norm,  she did make sure that I at least held the pencil correctly in my left hand.  To this day I still give thanks to Mrs. Sevinth. She made sure, that even as a left-handed writer, my penmanship would be close to perfect.

My mother tells me that when I first started feeding myself, she would always put the fork in my right hand, only to watch me transfer it to my left. No amount of persuasion on her part seemed to be stronger than my stubborn desire to be left-handed. Fortunately, she finally gave up.

In a right-handed world, being left-handed has its draw backs at times, as some everyday objects can seem backward to me. Such as rulers and tape measures; coffee cups and measuring cups with writing only on one side; molded scissors; a vegetable peeler that only works one way; and writing tablets, workbooks and binders that are bound are almost always bound on the left side, therefore, created for a right-handed world.

Too bad for all ya’ South-paws. Sucks to be you!

However, there are a few sayings that I like to throw out to an uppity right-hander now and then; “Everyone is born right-handed. Only the gifted overcome it”.  And this is another good one: “Only the left-handed are in their right minds.”

And to be honest, most of the time being left-handed is only a minor inconvenience, because I believe that left-handed people tend to be more creative, resilient, and of course—stubborn.

Why? Because, stubborn people refuse to change to meet the norm.  Stubborn people are born with a passion to follow what drives us, what gives us purpose, at all costs. Even if everyone around us are nay-sayers.

Barack Obama, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Albert Einstein, and Paul McCartney are a few of the famous over-achievers who are, or were, left-handed. What else do these tenacious people have in common? They were stubborn in their convictions, in what they believed in, and they wouldn’t let others tell them otherwise.

Back in the year 2000 when I first started writing my fantasy series, MARK OF THE FAERIE, I didn’t have a vision in mind as to where this story would lead me. I just knew I had to write it…or explode! Any creative soul knows what that feels like. Whether it’s writing a novel or penning soulful lyrics; creating a piece of art in any medium; putting into act a new law; or demystifying the laws of physics, it requires a burning desire to do so. To make whatever it is become our reality, we have to be tenacious. We have to be stubborn.

Attending writer’s conferences and workshops helped to trigger my conviction of finishing and publishing my story. For at least three years I chased the illusive unicorn and rode the ‘I need to find the perfect agent/publisher!’ merry-go-round, only to be rejected or ignored altogether. With my biological clock ticking louder and louder, I decided to jump off of that carnival ride. If I wanted my story out into the world, I’d have to take control, do it myself, and quit chasing mystical creatures. (I’ll save those for my stories!)

I figured that, as an entrepreneur, I could do this. I’m a business woman with a degree in ‘Do-It-Yourself’, taught by Trial and Error. Those educators teach at the School of Hard Knocks, and sometimes their lessons are downright painful! But they’re the lessons you don’t forget.

When I made the decision to self-publish, that was when my stubborn side really had to kick in, because my frightened inner child wanted to hide in the closet. Everything was new and scary, and I had a ton of stuff to learn. It was a big frightening world out there for a newbie author, and I was sending my virgin story out into the dog-eat-dog world of publishing and marketing, hoping to be noticed. It was like releasing my goldfish into a sea of sharks. Would my story grow to swim with the big fish, or would it get eaten up along with the millions of other self-published books that end up on the bottom of the ocean, chewed up and forgotten?

When you really desire to attain a goal, or achieve that life-long dream, or even start a new writing career in your sixties, that’s when being stubborn pays off. ‘New’ and ‘change’ can be scary, and we need to have that determined inner flame, that stubborn child within us to remind us why we want to do this, why are we putting ourselves through this, whatever this maybe.

So the next time you’re referred to as being stubborn, take that as a compliment and say “thank you!” It is a compliment to our convictions, to our determination not to not quit when it gets hard, and to trust ourselves when we believe in something so passionately that we go against the norm.

Being born left-handed and a slightly, stubborn creative soul was not an accident. Those genetic traits and attributes were handed down to me from my ancestors, and I’m pretty sure there was more than one them who were considered to be stubborn as well.

Do you know what they call a stubborn donkey? A Badass!

And I’ll gladly wear the title of a badass writer, a badass grandmother, and a badass woman any day!

Go embrace the stubborn.

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