Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Inspiring Quotes

Quotes, for me, are like a protein bar. Just a little something to get you going. They inspire, encourage, and reassure me when I need it.

“Do one thing every day that scares you.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

I do that every time I sit down to write. I do it every time I post a blog. Sadly it runs through me every time I post a freaking comment. But I do it anyway. Not because I’m particularly courageous but because I have no choice. I do not want to come to the end of my days having never tried to accomplish my heart’s desire. So I guess I can say regret scares me more than failure, therefore I write.

Courage is being scared to death... and saddling up anyway. - John Wayne

Okay, I admit. I’m a John Wayne fan. My favorite movie scene of all time comes from True Grit. You know the one with John Wayne as Rooster Cogburn sitting on his horse across the field from four bad guys. He’s holding onto the reins with his teeth, a rifle in one hand and a pistol in the other. I think that’s what you need to do to be successful in this business. You need to arm yourself to the teeth with knowledge, a plan, goals to support your plan, and plenty of grit. A thick skin doesn’t hurt either and Rooster definitely one.

“I can fix a bad page. I cannot fix a blank one.” – Nora Roberts

Of course, you can have grit, knowledge, plans, goals, outlines, and story ideas galore but if you’re not writing anything down in the form of sentences, paragraphs, scenes or chapters you’re not going to get very far. You have to put one word after another and keep doing it until you have something you can fix, improve, edit or accept.

“You learn to write by writing.” – William Zinsser

Practice, practice, practice. Believe it or not I didn’t always know this to be true. I thought I needed to be able to sit down and have a completed manuscript spill from fingertips onto the page in one draft with only minor revisions needed. Now I know nothing could be further from the truth. Writing is hard work.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

Because in the end whether the work you have poured your heart and soul into is received with accolades or criticisms doesn’t matter. What matters is you gave it the best you had at the time. I imagine the next book is always a challenge no matter your level of experience or success.

“I think that men tend to be more romantic than women. When my guys fall, they fall incredibly hard. And they fall forever.” – Suzanne Brockmann

The above is a quote from one of my favorite go-to authors, Suzanne Brockmann. If I see her name on the cover I’ll pick it up with only a cursory glance at the back to make sure I haven’t read it before. She creates some of the best heros.

These are some of my favorite quotes, what are yours?


Captain Hook said...

You put some great quotes up on this post. Suzanne Brockman is a favorite of mine too.

*adores Navy Seals*

Good for you for facing your fears each day by writing.

I've always had only a few specific fears that never really bothered me because, hey, they never happened. But since July, I have had to face every one of them (some I'm still facing) and it's hard.

So I admire you for facing your fears every single day.

Suse said...

Excellent post, Karen. From one quote-aholic to another, you done good! I have a lot of favourite quotes. I'm sitting at my desk at work, so I thought I'd share what's on my bulletin board:

"Success comes before work only in the dictionary." - Unknown

"Happiness consists of living each day as if it were the first day of your honeymoon and the last day of your vacation." - Unknown

"The brain that does the work is the brain that learns." - David Sousa

"Life is short but really, really wide - trust the process." - Kevin Burns

"Patience is the ability to idle your motor when you feel like stripping your gears." - Unknown

"Life is like a buffet line. There aren't any waiters, so you have to help yourself." - Unknown

"If you can't write your idea on the back of my calling card, you don't have a clear idea." - David Belasco

"One is constantly sweeping away the leaves that are always falling and never actually setting off on the path that the leaves keep covering. Thus do we squander our time, our lives." - Needleman

I could go on and on, but I'll stop here. Like you, quotes inspire, encourage and reasure me. Quite often quotes will inspire a blog, essay or article idea.

Janet said...

Wonderful post, Karen. And if we're confessing - yeah, my name is Janet and I'm a quote-aholic! I have tons - some on my bulletin board, some on my fridge, some taped to my computer. But the one I use as a signature on my online group is the one I return to day after day:

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail? Robert Schuller

I would write! So, I write and try not to let the other things stand in my way.

Thank you for the inspiration, Karen - and you will go far with such determination and courage!


Karen said...

Hi Captain Hook,

sigh - those navy seals.

Life can deal out some harsh treatment. Another inspiration in my life is my daughter. She is 12 years old and has special needs that include intellectual disabilities, she can't speak (she uses some signs and the PECS system), among other things. Everyday I watch her struggle to insert her round-peg self into a square-holed world. It inspires me to keep going.

Also I wanted to say I came across your explanation of passive verses active voice post. Its the best explanation I've found. Thanks.


Karen said...

Hi Suse,

I love the quotes, especially the one about the calling card. And they do inspire ideas, thats were I turned when I was stumped for a blog idea.

Last Christmas my family decided to make our gifts. I made a quote box for my sister who also loves quotes. It included some forty quotes and was so much fun to make I'm thinking about doing it again for someone else.


Captain Hook said...

Wow, Karen, thanks for the compliment on my blog post :)

Karen said...

Thanks Janet,

Your quote gave me goosebumps. Everybody should ask themselves that question and then immediately read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. My favorite quote from The Alchemist - "To realize one's destiny is a person's only obligation." I can honestly say reading The Alchemist inspired a lightbulb moment in me and played a large part in my decision to finally sit down and honestly write.


Jana Richards said...

Hi Karen,
One of my favorite quotes (and I hope I'm quoting exactly because I'm at work rather than at my writing desk) is from Yoda in "The Empire Strikes Back."

"Do or do not. There is no try."

I think I like this quote because Yoda is saying to me that I have two choices: either write or don't write. If I say I'm going to 'try' then I give myself an out, as in "I tried to write today but ..." No excuses. Either write or don't write.


Anita Mae Draper said...

Karen, I've been searching my brain since I read your inspiring post yesterday and I can't think of a single quote.

However, over at eharl, some of my efriends have interesting quotes:

like Kaelee from Calgary (eharl's mbr of the month) who signs every comment with: When I get a little money I buy books, and then if any is left I buy food and clothes. -- Erasmus

and like StephN who just sold her 3rd Love Inspired book and sent in this quote: Courage does not always roar. Sometimes it is a quiet voice at the end of the day, saying... "I will try again tomorrow." Mary Anne Radmacher

Well, I guess I do know some quotes. :)