Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Say Nay to the Naysayers

You've heard all the “can't-be-done”s to last you a lifetime. Now it’s time to push ‘em back.

When I started writing with the intention to publish, I heard that someone who did not grow up with English as a first language should not expect to do what I set out to do. I heard this from those who supposedly were on my side.

When I set out to find an agent, I heard that since I had published before with small presses, I should not expect to get an agent, as they prefer so-called “debut” authors. This, too, came from helpful voices.

I was warned by writing friends that literary agents are likely to be expensive/uncommunicative/run away with the store. No wonder I took forever to make a decision to look for one.

They were wrong, wrong, and wrong again. But I spent too much time listening to their voices while ignoring the can-do ones. After all, the positive voices came from the how-to books, and they were selling something, right? The can't-be-done voices came from well-meaning friends and colleagues, and they cared enough to tell me the truth.

Only days ago DS graduated from our best public university with a double major, completed in four years. Good he’s young and wasted no time listening to the naysayers. They would have told him that "because of budget cuts" it’s hard to get the classes you need to graduate in four years with a single major, that double majoring will leave him without a social life and in a state of depletion, and certainly no time to also work part-time to help with expenses.

Wrong, wrong, and wrong again. There he is, saying no to the naysayers—

--And heading to get a graduate degree in Paris, France. Oh, yes. They told him Americans are rarely accepted to such.

I’m not just another proud mama, (well, I’m that, too) but a humbled one.
 Pushing away the negative voices, whether outsiders’ or my own, is something I will work on every day.


  1. Congrats to your son. There's nothing better than proving naysayers wrong.

  2. Oh, you should be proud. I love these photos ... and living well is the best revenge after all :) HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to your son. I know you've all made many sacrifices to arrive at this day.

  3. I love this, Mirka. Naysayers--even well-intentioned ones--are not helpful and can bring us down. Congratulations to you and your sweet son, and keep up the positive thinking!

  4. Congratulations to your son!
    This is why I rarely share my big, kind of daydreamy goals with anyone outside of my husband and a few super close friends/family members. Sometimes we accept challenges because they are hard, and there are some well meaning folks who just don't understand that idea :)

  5. Oh goody, another photo of you as mom, I love seeing these! It's interesting how our kids learn from us and then we learn from them, isn't it? Listening to those can't do outside voices or even the negative ones inside our own heads can cause all kinds of problems. Congrats to both you and your son for persisting with your dreams and pressing forward to success!

  6. Wonderful! My daughter did a university exchange year in France - lovely place to visit, and I still hope to live there for a few months, one of these days... Hope you'll get to visit, too! Great pics.

  7. Such a great post Mirka! I think it's in overcoming the naysayers where you really discover who you are. I LOVE this post so much I'm gonna link to it on my latest post!

  8. Congratulations to you and your son, Mirka! I'm grateful that the instincts in our guts sometimes speak louder than the naysayers.

  9. Congratulations! Great picture of you and your son.