Saturday, 16 May 2009

Words to Live Your Life By

I am trying to write a play. I have already done this; my first attempt deemed a success. I feel, however, that was pot luck. A fluke. Last year there must have been a magical creative current flowing through the skies above my house that poured its imaginative contents into my brain.

But I stood outside last night, stared into the lifeless sky; the kind of sky that is neither grey nor white. There was no magical current flowing above me. Just grey rain from a dove grey sky.

Sadly, I am suffering with an acute case of ‘inspiration-lackus.’ All writers encounter such problems. It happens. Free-flowing words get tangled up and eventually we trip and stumble upon them. The words stop. The cursor blinks, the pen dries out and we panic. Our thoughts become clich├ęd and stale.

In this situation, I have to jolt myself from all the wallowing in self-pity. This is where my beloved quotations come in. I take pleasure in finding some pearls of wisdom scattered about the internet, hidden away in the many ‘Os’ of Google like lost treasure. As I am not an evil pirate who hoards her treasure, I thought I would share it with you:

‘Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.’

-Calvin Coolidge

It amazes me that words spoken over eighty years ago still have such resonance. However much we may argue against it, human work ethics have not changed in that time. We have and always will need to work hard at everything we do.

So despite my resentment at my blinking cursor and stale ideas, I must persist with my play. Without a struggle, without any effort, success has no meaning.

Wish me luck! :)


  1. Yes indeed, you should think of yourself as a woman in labour trying to give birth. Pain is part of the process.

  2. Hmmm...not sure i like that reference. Sounds painful! LOL...but yes, i expect difficult times ahead! :)

  3. I never have this problem. My problem is LACK of time. I need 30 hour days.

    This too shall pass and you'll be full of inspiration and words and pen and paper will be full again! :)

  4. When i was studying and had lots of assignments and was all over the place, i had LOTS of ideas. I just never had the time to see them through. Now i am going through my period of unemployment, and i have all the time in the world but no ideas. Arrrrggggggh! Damn you Law of the Sod!

    Robyn: I hope you find a time machine which enables 30 hour days. Or if that fails (can't think why it would) you could just set aside time during your days when you write. Even if it's just an hour. It's something! :)

  5. Love the quotation. I would add that a bit of luck/divine intervention/serendipity never hurt either. I think the the creative tide is low for many of us right now. I'm sure things will pick up. Wishing you much luck.

  6. I hope so Ava. It's tough at the moment. I think everything that's happening in my life at the moment (mainly the whole unemployment thing) is making me feel really low and uninspired. I have just decided a change of scenery may help. Last time i decided this, i ended up hopping on a plane to New York! I doubt i can afford that this time round! Maybe the park this time?! hehehe :)

  7. Unemployment sucks... but perhaps that is part of the reality you could draw inspiration from. Maybe do a 'big brother' with actual real unemployed people... the new prison of the western world- nothing to do!

    It is a pain worse than death.
    Trying to persist without knowing the time span.

    You have the makings of an epic.

  8. The makings of an epic you say? If only! :)

  9. Thank you for your last comment, and I am very glad to have stumbled across your blog for I see a lot of my own ideas and thoughts reflected in your words. I myself am a struggling/aspiring writer, where I go through phases - months at a time - of complete writer's block where I worry that I have lost my creativity forever. But alas, my muse (of some form or another) always shows up at the most unexpected times and if it wasn't for the fact that I never go anywhere without pen and notepad, I would never be able to capture these fleeting instances of sheer inspiration whereby I hastily jot down everything that comes to mind before the moment is lost.

    Good luck with your play. I do agree with the importance of persistence and determination, however sometimes when it comes to creativity, I believe that inspiration cannot be conjured by willpower alone.

    I like your quotes scattered throughout your blog a lot, some food for thought indeed.

    And with that I thought I would leave you with a quote that I heard some time ago:

    "What we see in litterature reflects what we see in ourselves." - Anonymous.

  10. Thanks Bellestina. My play is going well. I've got a first draft at least. Now is the hard part really; EDITING!!! Eeeeeeeeeeek! :)


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