Being Sure, But Not Sure

Author and journalist Walter Davenport described an editor as,“a person who knows precisely what he wants – but isn’t quite sure.”  A contradiction you may say, but is it really? I don’t think so. Applying it beyond the editorial world to life in general, it persists in its wisdom.

Knowing what you want and pursuing it with passion is noble and impressive, but lets face it, an impenetrable single-mindedness can also be tantamount to blindness.

So I think Davenport knew what he was talking about. Yes, by all means, pursue with passion what you want, but always keep that door marked “but isn’t quite sure” ajar. It allows for change and flexibility along the way. Another voice, above your own may just be speaking, and often is.


About Don

My name is Don Scrooby and I live in the United Kingdom. I have a deep love for nature and open spaces and one of my great loves in life is sketching, particularly in pen and water colour and occasionally in pencil. I’m quite new at the art and I sketch mainly from photographs I’ve taken, but also enjoy outdoor sketching. My sketchbooks, although no great shakes, are important to me and I decided to create my blog in order to share some of their contents with those who may be interested.
This entry was posted in Discernment, inspiration, Life, Passion, Spirituality, wisdom and insight and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Being Sure, But Not Sure

  1. Theo Coggin says:

    Very true, and as an editor this has always been my experience. I think the primary reason is that editors work in the realm of readers, listeners and viewers being able to reply to them – something that is relatively new in the arena of “citizen journalism” (i e the fact that these days, through social media, everyone is a journalist). Those replies, as an editor, are sometimes sharp and painful, so it is imperative that an editor of any publication remains humble (not all do!) and should also constantly have his or her metaphorical hard hat close at hand to don when necessary. One’s audience, as an editor, very seldom tells one when it likes what has been written, but its members are quick to pounce when they dislike it.


    • Don says:

      Theo, I appreciate your comment. I know you speak out of many years of experience. I can just imagine some of the stresses and strains of an editor. Not sure how you coped with that. I so enjoy your posts on your blog – you just don’t write enough of them. 🙂

      Thanks for sharing. Always a joy to hear from you.


  2. I am never sure of anything but I have now recognized it as my blessing (although I am not 100 % sure of that, either).


  3. Tim Attwell says:

    “Being sure , but not sure” – a wonderful way of saying it. When we hold what we believe lightly, in an open hand, it becomes a gift. When we close our hand tightly around it, we make a fist and what we believe becomes a weapon.


    • Don says:

      Aah! the gift of the open hand Tim. What a wonderful symbol. The fist as a weapon. So true. I wonder how often we have seen belief take the road of the fist. Too many times. Thanks for a beautiful metaphor.


  4. Mary says:

    Perfect Don!


  5. That sounds like wisdom and common sense to me Don!
    Diana xo


  6. Val Boyko says:

    Absolutely Don. I think its important to know what we want but be open to the different approaches to achieve it.
    Val x


  7. Excellent post, Don. So true about editors, and such a good reminder for writers…and well, everyone!


  8. nrhatch says:

    Wonderful thoughts, Don ~ leaving the door a bit ajar leaves room for the unexpected. Also like the gift vs. fist analogy in the comment thread. Much truth in that image.


  9. Hudson Howl says:

    A crack is not necessarily a flaw -is this relevant?


  10. Michael says:

    It strikes me that the knowing it part is kind of akin to “knowing when you see it”. It is an act of recognition, of resonance. We know when this is NOT what we are beholding, and so in that sense, we always know what it is we are after, since we carry our half of the recognition inside of us all the time. But, we don’t always know how to explain or craft the path to that place. So in that sense, we don’t know what we want. What I love about this quote is it reminded me that we know it, it flows through us, but there are no rules or set answers to dwelling with it. It is spontaneous and natural, and yes, knowable…



    • Don says:

      What you say is so true Michael. I love your phrase, “that we know it, it flows through us.” The uniqueness of the path that every individual takes is as you say real. Appreciate your thoughtful comment.


  11. As I was drawing to the end of your post, Don, my mind was formulating a response. And then I read your last sentence and pretty much abandoned whatever I was previously pondering. “Another voice, above your own…” pretty much trumps everything else, doesn’t it?


  12. Don, I agree about leaving the door ajar just in case we need to revamp our plans. The door we picked might just be a door on the way to another more profound one.

    Blessings ~ Wendy ❀


  13. Don says:

    That’s precisely it Wendy. What you say is so true. You last sentence does it for me.


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