Thursday, August 20, 2009

Mediocrity trumps pride

Once again, Carol at Magistra Mater posted some quotes that got my attention and led me to borrow the book from the library. I found another, must-copy-down quote. This one is from Katherine Paterson, a writer of children's books (that I've never read) and a missionary kid (China).

When a professor suggested Mrs. Paterson consider becoming a writer, she brushed off the suggestion thinking that she
wouldn't want to add another mediocre writer to this world. Being a glorious failure didn't scare me at all, but being just mediocre did.

What I heard [the professor] say was, If you're not willing to be mediocre, you'll never be anything at all. I think that's a very important lesson to learn, because people always want a guarantee that they're going to be wonderful. But there's no way of knowing you're good, if you don't dare to be mediocre.
The Book That Changed My Life: Interviews with National Book Award Winners and Finalists, edited by Diane Olsen, p. 159.

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