Ignore the Naysayers

Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash

‘There’s no book so bad,’ said the young graduate, ‘that there isn’t something good in it.’

‘About that there is no doubt,’ Don Quixote replied, ‘but it often happens that men who have deservedly achieved and won fame by their writings lose it completely or find it diminished in part as soon as they publish them.’

‘The reason for that,’ said Sanson, ‘is that printed works are read at leisure and their defects are easily spotted, and the more famous the author the more closely they’re scrutinized. Men renowned for their genius–great poets, illustrious historians–are usually envied by those whose pleasure and pastime is to pass judgment on what others have written, without every having published anything themselves.’

‘That is not surprising,’ said Don Quixote, ‘because there are many theologians who cannot preach, yet are experts at identifying the faults and the excesses of those who can.’

Miguel de Cervantes, The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha