“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined,” Henry David Thoreau said. I love this quote. I imagine he went on and said, “stop thinking about it and get on with it.”
I have this quote attached to each of my e-mails, it is included at the bottom along with my name and webpage. It’s been there for the last several years and I lately came to the conclusion that it was time to change it. I tacked it on my bulletin board above my desk and went in search of a new quote to add to my emails. Here are some of my favorites of the ones I found.
“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” Joseph C. Pearce was onto something big when he said this. Look at the second part of that sentence, ‘lose our fear of being wrong.’ This is huge. How many times in your writing have you stopped because you felt you were doing it wrong? Or how many times have you not even started something because you didn’t know the RIGHT way to do it. Mr. Pearce doesn’t give us the answer, but just states that we must lose the fear. I like to interpret that as – live with the fear, ignore the fear, or write through the fear. Interpret it however you can to get passed the fear and get the writing done.
Willaim Arthur Ward once said, “If you can imagine it, you can create it. If you can dream it, you can become it.” This one is similar to what Mr. Thoreau said, just a basic make your dreams come true kind of phrase. But that first part tells me that nothing is creatively impossible. If we can conceive it, we can make it real for others – that’s our job as writers.
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matter, compared to what lies within us.” I think this was Ralph Waldo Emerson’s attempt at waking the sleeping giant. Potential. This is one of those things that is so easily seen in others, but hard to realize in ourselves. To me it’s rather exciting to know that I haven’t discovered all that is within me. I like to think that I’ll get better and better the more I write and the more I live and the more I learn to let go.
“A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write if he is ultimately to be a peace with himself. What one can be, one must be.” Abraham Maslow said this strong statement full of tough love. It gives no room for excuses, it simply states that you must be what you can be. Think about that. If we believe what Mr. Maslow says then we will never find peace within ourselves if we don’t write. Many of us have already realized this in our writing. We go a month without writing and we feel troubled, dissatisfied and restless.
My favorite of the ones that I found is a simple question. Robert Schuller asks, “What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?” This can of course be applied to any area of your life. It asks a question that those of us who buck change are afraid to answer. But it is a question that must be answered. For some of us maybe the fear of failure isn’t what is stopping us from moving forward in life, but for many people this fear keeps them rooted in their stagnate life never wondering if they could have been more. The question is exhilarating. What would I do? So many things, my head spins just thinking about it.
Are you writing as if you won’t ever fail? Are you putting everything you can into your work without looking over your shoulder to see if it’s right or wrong? This week I challenge you to write with abandon. Write for yourself. Write through the fear. Don’t look back, don’t look ahead, just write for today, for the moment.
Robyn Ratliff has been a member of RWA since 1996. She currently serves as President and Webmaster to her RWA Chapter, San Antonio Romance Authors. She writes historicals set in Victorian England and is currently dividing her time between writing her next book and Agent Quest.
Copyright © 2007. Robyn DeHart. All Rights Reserved.