"I CAN'T WIN"
"I can't win."
As a teacher who cares about Brianna and respects the work she has put in over the years to develop her intellect and learn about books, my mom was understandably frustrated. How many hours of TV, texting and tomfoolery did Brianna sacrifice so she could read?
This is just one example of potentially successful people feeling reluctant to try because if they fail it's not just a mistake, it's a major catastrophe leading to a loss of respect and threatening their identity.
A friend of mine, John Berry, is a professional artist.
|Boulders and Mesas|
"I wish I had artistic talent!"
|This is NOT John|
I used to wonder if he ever felt like he couldn't win. But I know him well enough now to realize that he meets his obligation as a successful creator by refusing to let them disparage his Awesomeness.
I'm waiting for the day when John comes back with:
"How would that be to not have health insurance for your wife and kids?"
"It must be nice to not know when your next paycheck will arrive."
"I wish I could spend all my free time for about 10 years sketching, studying, and working on my weak points."
The truth is, we all make decisions and when we pick up one side of the stick, we pick up the other. John chose to be a professional artist, and he's accepted everything that goes along with it.
To my fellow writers -- The next time you catch yourself saying: "I wish I could write an ending like Brandon Sanderson" or "It'd be easy if I had a mega contract with XYZ publisher like Stephen King", remember that Brandon Sanderson probably failed a hundred times before nailing the ending. And Stephen King had to become an amazing writer before earning that mega contract.
So the next time you're tempted to say "How would that be..." "Must be nice..." or "I wish I...", think of the hard work and sacrifice that went into the achievements you're about to downplay.
Oh yeah. Brianna did not compete in the Reading Challenge. When asked if she knew the answers, she said, "All except one."
I hope someday Brianna learns to defend her Awesomeness. Never let them steal yours.