Stubbornness vs determination

What’s the line between determination and stubbornness? And how do you know when you’ve crossed it?

I have a piece I’ve been working on for about a year now, on and off, and it’s not huge, fewer than 5k words (depending on which iteration I’m working on).

Given the amount of time I’ve put into it versus the size of the piece, it’s like I’ve spent a decade trying to build an avocado peeler; at some point shouldn’t I just come to the realization that this won’t work? I don’t even eat that many avocados!

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

Calin Coolidge

But I can’t. I feel deeply that this is a good piece, with merit and potential to become a great piece. I just haven’t found the way yet. Any feedback I’ve ever been given on it has been largely positive, just reiterating that it still needs work to, well, work.

Stubborn and ardent clinging to one’s opinion is the best proof of stupidness.

Michel de Montaigne

This is, of course, where self-doubt takes over. Maybe I’m not the caliber of writer I think of myself as being. Maybe the talent just isn’t there. But whether it’s determination or stubbornness, I can’t let this one go.

I keep tweaking, rewriting, editing, cutting, adding. I give it space and come back to it after a few days or even weeks. But it’s still calling to me.

When do you let go?

I’m not sure, but I do know, it’s not today.

Back to editing. I’ll keep you posted.

Time has a way of demonstrating that the most stubborn people are the most intelligent.

Yevgeny Yevtushenko

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