Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great. --Mark Twain
When I read that quotation this morning, I was immediately catapulted back to the mid-90s when I was active on a couple of AOL discussion boards dedicated to Christian fiction and Christian publishing. Social media was fairly young then; BBSes had been around for a while at that point, but AOL and Compuserve were the first times (to my knowledge) that large numbers of non-geeks started gravitating to the online world.
ANYWAY... These two discussion boards on AOL were populated by people who loved the subject. We had editors, publishers, agents, authors, readers, and aspiring authors. Without fail, every professional on that discussion board encouraged those who aspired to a writing career.
I'm talking about names that are well-known to those who read Christian fiction -- Terri Blackstock, Angela Hunt, Karen Ball, Earlene Fowler, Gayle Roper, Steve Laube, and others whose names don't spring readily to mind, after all these years. I know of at least 2 aspiring writers who were members of that board who are now published writers - wait, make that three (how quickly I forget that I am also a published author LOL).
The encouragement and acceptance I received from the members of that discussion board between 1994 and 1999 stayed with me through a decade-long dry spell when it felt like I would never write anything worth reading again.
My two published books are due, in part, to their presence in my life, and I will always be grateful for that.