Friday, August 5, 2016

Determination and Vision
Fun With Quotes

So how, exactly does one have fun with quotes?
Glad you asked! If you’re like me, you start by exchanging quotes on a daily basis with your Best Bud.  But not just any quotes, writing quotes, to give each other inspiration. And then you pick the two best quotes of the week to share with the rest of the world - because ... why not? :-D

Wow, I had a lot of really great quotes to choose from. This is what comes from skipping a week I guess. But it kind of makes it harder to pick just two.

My first instinct was to prove once again that Jamie and I tend to think along the same lines; we both picked a quote by the same author - different quotes, but same author. But while they were good quotes, they weren’t the ones that “spoke” to me.

The last couple of weeks I’ve been immersed in finishing up a transcription project that’s been ongoing for the last year. I set my own deadline, and then was faced with the challenge of sticking to it. This was one of the encouraging quotes Jamie sent me:

There is no chance, no destiny, no fate, that can hinder or control the firm resolve of a determined soul.
- Ella Wheeler Wilcox

A determined soul. What a wonderful phrase! This quote not only applied to the task at hand, but it applies to writing as well. How often do we hit that slump, that dry spell, and think we can’t do this? Sometimes writing takes a lot of determination to overcome the obstacles the world puts in our path - time, money, an unsupportive family - and that’s where we have to stand firm in our resolve and tell the world: Screw you, I’m determined to succeed.

Out of curiosity, I looked up Ella Wheeler Wilcox online and discovered she had been a prolific poet as well as somewhat of a spiritualist. Perhaps you are familiar with her most famous lines: Laugh, and the world laughs with you, Weep and you weep alone. You can find out more about Ella HERE and read some of her wonderful poetry.

My own quote for the week (or rather the last two weeks) may not be as inspiring, but there’s definitely a truth in it:

I see things, that's all. Write enough stories and every shadow on the floor looks like a footprint; every line in the dirt like a secret message.
― Stephen King, Bag of Bones

When I sent this to Jamie I recall making reference to the movie, The Sixth Sense, and the famous line: “I see dead people.” It was meant as a joke at the time, but in some respects it’s true as well. But authors don’t just see dead people, they see many different things others don’t.

Like ideas, words can be hidden in the most mundane of things and it’s our job to ferret them out. Sometimes this means staring off into space, sometimes it means staring at something with a blank look on our face, and sometimes it means closing our eyes and watching the movie playing on the inside of our eyelids.

We see things that others don’t, or can’t. Maybe that’s why writers are thought to be mad.


Ann Bennett said...

Laugh and the world laughs with you
Weep and you weep alone
For the brave old Earth must borrow its mirth
It has trouble enough of its own

I have always loved this poem. Thanks for bringing me back to it. These are truly words of wisdom.

C R Ward said...

Ella Wilcox wrote some truly inspirational poetry. Though I'd heard the lines before, I never knew what they were from. Discovering these kinds of things is one of the best parts of doing these quotes posts. :-)