Friday, September 2, 2016

A View to the Journey
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

One of the things you’ll often find me checking out online is where other writers write. I also enjoy learning other trivial stuff about other writers, but where they write will keep me going for hours. There’s such a variety, some of it unique and some just plain weird. You can have a look at a few of them yourself HERE.

Jamie’s quote this week seems to fit right into this:

The ideal view for daily writing, hour for hour, is the blank brick wall of a cold-storage warehouse. Failing this, a stretch of sky will do, cloudless if possible.
- Edna Ferber

Edna’s got the right idea. Staring at a blank wall or a cloudless sky is the fast track to boredom, and when you’re bored that’s when a writer’s vivid imagination is a blessing. With nothing to distract you, you’re going to be making stuff up on your own. Of course she died in 1968, so she never had the internet to deal with. ;-)

But I know for myself the writing goes much better in my office than it does in the living room (my two regular writing places). Even when I can resist the lure of the internet, the living room still has that other pesky time-waster, the television. My office does not have a television in it, and the view out my window is the unchanging house across the street in the winter, and the leaves of the birch tree in the summer. Good for staring at as you contemplate your next words, but not exactly distracting. And let’s face it, no one gets distracted as easily as a writer. Or maybe that’s just me. ;-)

My quotes were rather long this week, but when it came to choosing a favourite I was stuck between the two shortest ones. One had to do with a way to write, the other more about a reason to write. I finally went with the latter because it seemed to speak to me in a louder voice:

You know, they ask me if I were on a desert island and I knew nobody would ever see what I wrote, would I go on writing. My answer is most emphatically yes. I would go on writing for company. Because I'm creating an imaginary — it's always imaginary — world in which I would like to live.
― William S. Burroughs

Having chosen that quote, I find myself strangely tongue-tied (so to speak) when it comes to explaining why. These days pretty much anyone can write and publish a book. And with the right promotion it can become a best-seller. But would they bother if they knew no one would ever read it?

I don’t think success is necessarily measured in dollars - although who among us wouldn’t like to be the next J.K. Rowling or Stephen King? I think real success is measured from within, that feeling of satisfaction you get when you complete that novel or story or poem. Maybe it sells, maybe it doesn’t, but the point is you did it.

I’ve published several books and the reason they haven’t sold more than they have is because I am very lazy when it comes to self promotion. But I keep writing anyway. I have all these words and ideas in me and they need an outlet. So whether anyone sees them or not is a moot point - I’ll keep writing until I run out of things to say.

As Harry Kim on Star Trek Voyager said, “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.”

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