A to Z Challenge 2015 · An Encouraging Word · Charles H. Spurgeon

N is for No

Celebrating the A to Z Blogging Challenge with quotations on the writing life.


Learn to say no. It will be of more use to you than to be able to read Latin.

Charles H. Spurgeon

By nature and by upbringing, I am a people-pleaser. I genuinely enjoy helping. I like saying Yes.

“Sure, I’ll help in the kitchen.”
“Yes, I can fill in to teach the three-year-olds today.”
“I’d be happy to make copies of that music. Right now? Okay.”

Unfortunately, when it comes to gauging time, I am too much the optimist. I keep trying to pack 30 hours into a 24-hour day.

“You’re doing the A to Z Challenge? Hey, I’ll do it too.”
“Camp NaNoWriMo is in April? I think I can write 10,000 words.”
“I bet I can write three chapters this weekend and finish my book.”

Basically I take on too much, right? And then I flounder. So one of the lessons of my adult life has been learning to say No.

Sometimes I say No to people in order to carve out time (and energy) for writing. Other times I say No to writing in order to make time for people.

Photo: Pedro Ribeiro Simoes (Creative Commons Flickr). Image is link.

11 thoughts on “N is for No

  1. This is a good one. It’s very difficult to say no, but I’ve finally learned. I no longer do anything that I don’t really want to do. I no longer say yes so people will think well of me. I no longer give away time doing what I love for what will merely please someone else. All of the things I was doing were good, but some of them had to go if I was truly going to accomplish anything.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I know how hard it is to find people to do things, especially at church and at school, so I tend to volunteer to take pressure off the person who is stuck organizing. It’s an empathy thing, and it shouldn’t be.

    I am learning to say no unless I have a compelling (positive) reason to say yes. Amazing how when I step back, someone else comes forward and fills the need.


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