I love reflecting on things that people say well enough that others remember and repeat it, in other words: quotes. A quote about one thing can often be extrapolated to a broader theme. For instance Nora Roberts says “The only thing you can’t fix is a blank page.” Of course this applies to writing, but it could also speak to how we live. If we’re afraid to make a mistake, we might never take a chance. Sure there will be mishaps, but those can be fixed and learned from. A missed chance may not come again.
According to Jacob Krueger: “In order to write well, you have to be willing to write badly.” Trying anything new means starting with whatever innate ability we have—or don’t have—and the caveat needs to be “then recognize it as beginning stages and learn to do it well.” Often people start out with one goal: success. They race toward it without taking the time for other goals like quality, diligence, and pleasure in the process.
Some are afraid to try because they may not achieve success. In the incredible words of Wanda E. Brunstetter: “Worry is the darkroom in which negatives are developed.” Not only is this exquisitely clever, it is also true. If our minds are filled with all that could go wrong, where is the fun of trying? Worry sucks the joy out of any endeavor. Instead we could say, “Hope is the solution in which dreams are developed.”
“They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.” Edgar Allan Poe suggests imagination and creativity make a richer life. I couldn’t agree more. As a fiction writer, I find daydreaming a delightful and instrumental habit. Once an idea springs up and takes form, it deserves to be crafted with excellence and devotion.
Donna Tartt says so rightly that: “Working on something over a period of time gives a richness that you can’t fake.” Indulge in the process. Consider the time well spent to give everything the layers of polish, the ripeness of harvest, the luster of age. Taking the time to fully develop a story makes it resonate. Giving any calling or relationship or challenge a worthy and enduring effort creates an authenticity you can’t fake. Let’s seek what stirs our souls, then with equal fervor hone and develop and finally share the gift.
If any of these have spoken to you, I’d love to hear which and how.