False or Healthy Pride?

IMG_1659aby Neva Bodin

When my precocious daughter was four, she decided she could ride my old bike which was designed for a seven or eight year old. Tall for her age, people meeting her for the first time thought she was six, so while it was certainly unwieldy for her, she could steer and pedal by standing, if she could figure out how to balance it. She fell, she hurt, she cried, over and over.

“Stop!” I commanded, seeing and feeling her anguish.

“No, I have to ride it!” she cried as sobs hoarsened her voice and Wyoming dust outlined tears on her cheeks. Eventually she triumphed, in spite of my begging her to stop trying as I couldn’t stand the tears I saw, and pain I knew she felt.

Recently I watched a small beetle attempt to cross over a large twig in its path. It fell, tried again, fell, tried again and….you get the picture. Eventually it made the trip. It didn’t stop to look embarrassed (can bugs look embarrassed?), or appear discouraged, it just kept trying. And I think if it had not made it over the obstacle, it would have eventually tried to go around it.

A story has been written and irritatingly begging me to edit it. I believe there are women out there (somewhere, everywhere) who could strengthen their faith and understanding of some of their struggles by reading my story. It is an inspirational, historical romance in which the hero and heroine must work through misconceptions, emotional and physical pain, and get to know themselves in order to find love and rediscover their faith in God. If I can write it well enough. There is the rub. Fear and pride are making me tremble.

Unlike my beautifully determined daughter, and the tenacious beetle, I must also deal with lack of perseverance and the habit of procrastination. I now realize I have learned important concepts from my daughter and the shiny insect—false pride and healthy pride.

Tears and pain sometimes accompany our learning something that will eventually give us a healthy pride in ourselves, thereby increasing our self-esteem. That is if we don’t listen to our fearful self-talk and nay-sayers who tell us those are reasons to stop working toward a worthwhile goal.

False pride doesn’t allow for failure and embarrassment when pursuing our goals. However, no one cares as much as me whether I embarrass myself or fail at something, unless of course, it concerns them in some personal way. I am not under anyone’s microscope on earth. Who do I think I am?

Many successful and now famous authors have been rejected multiple times. Among them are George Orwell, J K Rowling, Dr. Seuss, and Stephen King. The stories rejected went on to become best sellers. While I am no one special, I am in good company if my manuscript is rejected! Rejection is part of becoming a published writer or author. It can strengthen our skill, our determination, and encourage me to examine that false pride. And maybe eventually acquire some healthy pride!
Part of my procrastination, I believe, is me feeding the wrong kind of pride. This has given me new insight and inspiration to finish, polish and begin submitting my novel.

No, my tendency to procrastinate and delay work on my novel with the excuse that the flowers need watering, the dishes need washing, etc. has not gone away. But, I now face the real reason I fight myself on this issue, and remember the lessons a little girl and a beetle have taught me. We are meant to try, and keep on trying, any worthwhile passion until we get it right. Not only might we accomplish it, but we will be an inspiration to others on the journey.

Montana Free by Neva Bodin (Start of Prologue) 


July, 1878 Montana Territory

Morgan’s heart pounded so loudly against her rib cage, she wondered the birds didn’t take flight at the sound. She moved silently in spite of shaking legs, her feet automatically seeking soft earth without twigs that snap. I have to hide. They can’t find me…

12 thoughts on “False or Healthy Pride?

  1. So you posted a day early… no big deal in my cupboard of the universe. I initially went the agent route when I first shopped my first fantasy novel’s manuscript, but no literary agents showed any interest. Instead, I went the small epress route — and don’t regret it.


    1. Interesting to know. I am reading your book “Blessed Shadows Dark and Deep.” I love it. You are a very good writer. Trying to learn from you by reading it! Thanks for the comment.


  2. Neva, Mine went live early also. Seems the way the site works now, no scheduling button that I could find. Oh well.

    I’m glad you are going to pursue your novel. The opening line is fabulous. It will find its audience. I’ve found that those who are meant to read something tend to find it. You go for it.

    Your words are a lesson and an inspiration. Great post. Doris


  3. Seems we are all working on a novel. I am pulling out my second one, dusting it off and seeing where it is. I love your opening. I can’t wait to read it. I too wonder, what difference does it make what I do. I have no one over me. I just have me to account to. Thanks for the inspiration and the insight. Cher’ley


  4. You know how long I’ve been working on my pet-rescue romance, so yes, I totally understand. Great words and comparisons!! You do need to get that novel done and put it out there. Perhaps Doris’ publisher (Prairie Rose) as they do western romances would be a good place to try. My best always, my friend!


  5. You make some good points. Procrastination, perseverance, embarrassment, pride–oh, yeah, I’m familiar with those, with some more than others. Life would be easier for a lot of us if we, like the beetle, weren’t obsessed with the idea that everyone is watching, and just get on with it.


  6. All writers face those moments of procrastination, doubt, and fear. But true writers continue to write in spite of themselves. I tend to do the dishes when I am stuck on a particular word or description. It gives my mind a few minutes to rest and the words come to generally before the last dish is rinsed.
    You’ve got this, take a deep breath and get the words down.


  7. Very inspirational post, Neva. I have been struggling to complete a novel and have made way too many excuses. I’ve edited and edited. I’ve a ‘dump’ folders that’s more than i currently now have in the word count at some 80 thousand. I’ve rewritten my plans and revamped objectives for each main character. I’ve changed the structure of the novel to make it easier for me to work on the draft… But I will keep trying and will lick it into shape sometime soon. Good luck with your writing- I’m sure you’ll be pleased with it sometime soon. 🙂


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