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Because a so-called "writer" who can be discouraged to the point of giving up by the comments/gibes of others, or by a few rejection slips, was never really interested in writing as a process/craft.

I completely disagree. When I see comments like that, I generally see it used to validate profusiveness over raw but hesitant talent. Stubborness and desire can be good traits, but they don't define being a writer. Maybe they define being a successful, professional writer, but they don't define what it means to be a writer at the core.

I have met many, many talented people that had the innate potential for greatness in different areas, and for one reason or another never achieved what they could. I have one friend who has shown a brilliant mind for computer programming, but is a system administrator instead. The reason for this is because he's "not sure" if he can be a good programmer, and so he stays in his comfort zone instead of striking out and trying to do that at which is he naturally adept.

Do not confuse confidence with desire.

And unless you've learned to overcome discouragement and adversity early in your career, you won't have the resilience to cope.

Great, just what we all need -- friends that actively discourage us from our dreams just to make sure we're serious.

Would you encourage a woodworker who is obviously all thumbs in the expectation that he will improve with experience. Or encourage an incompetent gardener in the hope that he'll learn what's necessary before he kills all your plants?

Poor analogy -- you're equating talent with desire. So you have a friend that is very good at building shelves and cabinets and bed posts, but isn't sure if he's good enough to do it professionally -- now, you're saying you should actively discourage this person just to test their desire? Now THAT is patronizing. I'd knock the crap out of a "friend" that did that to me.

As for those who will ignore that discouragement and keep on writing, because the need is in their blood, in their soul -- well, they deserve to be called writers.

No, they deserve to be called stubborn.

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