Where do you get your inspiration? What keeps you going when it seems dreams are shattered? I keep a folder of quotations that have reached out and grabbed me. I started this practice so long ago it’s actually a physical folder with real sheets of paper – some scrawled in haste, some clipped from newspapers or magazines, some photocopied from books, and some actually typed on a standard 8½x11 page. Here are three of my favorites:
This one popped out at me in the ‘90s when I was reading Julia Cameron’s amazing book, The Artist’s Way. It’s from Martha Graham: “There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and there is only one of you in all time. This expression is unique, and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium, and be lost.” Click HERE for the rest of the quotation.
The next one is typed on a tattered sheet from my college days, reflections on writing by the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke in his Letters to a Young Poet: “You ask whether your verses are any good…You are looking outside, and that is what you should most avoid right now. No one can advise or help you - no one. There is only one thing you should do. Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple "I must," then build your life in accordance with this necessity.” Click HERE for the rest of the quotation.
The third is one I memorized the moment I heard it, but it’s also scrawled on a 3x5 page torn from one of the spiral bound note pads I always carry with me. I don’t remember the luncheon speaker’s name, and when I Googled phrase elements this morning I found similar quotations from many sources. Here are the words I heard and wrote down: “Decide what you want. Decide what you are willing to give up to get it. Take action now.”
Would I be a published romance author if I hadn’t run across those quotations? Possibly, but they have goaded me into action and kept me going through rejections and near misses and requests for revisions. I’d love to hear what has inspired you.