Quotations, it can be argued, second only to cats, are the foundation of the internet.
For they are found everywhere online: in status updates; in tweets; as part of social media bios; within blog posts. Sometimes an individual blog post will be nothing but a quotation.
I too enjoy a good quote. Back in 2010, I did the 12-week self-help, self-directed artistic rediscovery course known as The Artist’s Way, which is the subject of screenwriter Julia Cameron’s book by the same name.
It took me 11 months to complete the program.
For The Artist’s Way, each week requires you to perform a series of thought-provoking or crafty activities, things such writing about the specific people in your life who don’t support your creative endeavours or making a collage of your hopes and dreams.
As well, there are the hallowed Morning Pages (which, for me, became “Evening” Pages almost immediately) – a journaling exercise meant to be performed very day without fail.
I can’t recall if collecting quotes was one of the specified activities, but it was during my journey along “The Way”, initially within my journal, that I began doing so.
2010 was something of a difficult time in general for me: in addition to not having written for 6 years, I was hung up on a guy who didn’t love me, underemployed, chronically short on cash, and overall feeling rather rudderless and insecure about my future.
I started posting the quotes from my journal on my wall to keep my spirits up and to give me a quick burst of encouragement as needed.
I kept those quotes up for years until I eventually got my life better sorted. I then took them down, pasted them into another journal that I’d made as part of a different Artist’s Way activity, and forgot about them.
Words of wisdom
Recently, however, I’ve started paying attention to quotes again. Not because my life has taken another downturn, but because they’re indeed so ever-present on the internet, and of them really, as it were, speak to me.
Out of curiosity, I pulled out my Artist’s Way journal to rediscover the what quotes held meaning for me back then. Among them include,
There comes a time when you have to play to your strengths rather than fight them.
~ Jacqueline Carey, fantasy author
Both positive and negative change are challenging.
~ Eckhart Tolle, spirituality writer and speaker
Anger is meant to be acted upon. It is not meant to be acted out…. It is action’s invitation.
~ Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way
I never really stopped collecting quotes over the next couple of years that followed my completion of The Artist’s Way. I just stopped cluttering my walls with them, instead preferring to carry most of them around in my head:
A writer of fiction lives in fear. Each new day demands new ideas and he can never be sure whether he is going to come up with them or not.
~ Roald Dahl, author (1916-1990)
A writer never has a vacation. For a writer, life consists of either writing or thinking about writing.
~ Eugène Ionesco, French/Romania playwright (1909-1994)
Are you waiting or creating?
~ Alan Kearns, career coach
Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.
~ Mary Anne Radmacher, writer/artist
A goal without a plan is just a wish.
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery, French writer (1900-1944)
My favourite quotes, when examined collectively and sequentially, act as a sort of timeline of my life and a reminder of my various goals and concerns.
In 2010, I was lacking confidence and direction. In 2012, I was slowly starting to write again and was cautiously determined to make a serious go of it this time.
The two most recent quotes I’ve gathered speak to a general uncertainty about my future as I get older, as well as a desire to overcome my penchant for always remaining in situations that have long outlived their use; for always holding on too tight; for struggling with change and wishing things would forever stay the same in a world and universe where such never was, nor never will be, possible:
In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.
~ Dwight D. Eisenhower, former U.S. President
Nothing lasts forever; even the stars die.
~ Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist
What are some of your favourite quotations? What do they mean to you? Tell me about it in the comments.
(A/N: To all my Canadian readers, have a very happy Thanksgiving!)
(Image source #1 and #2)
9 thoughts on “Everybody Has a Favourite (Quote)”
Another great post! One of the most profound things I read that jumped out at me in recent years is from the book ‘The Divine Matrix’ by Gregg Braden. It is as follows:
“When you do encounter someone in your life who ignites a feeling of familiarity, I invite you to immerse yourself in that moment. Something rare and precious is happening for both of you. You’ve just found someone who has kept the pieces of you that you’ve been searching for. Often this is a two way experience, with the other person being drawn to you for the same reason. Using your power of discernment, if you feel it’s appropriate, initiate a conversation. Begin talking about anything….anything at all and maintain eye contact. While you’re speaking, mentally ask yourself this simple question.
‘What do I see in this person that I’ve lost in myself, given away or had taken from me?'”
This passage brought about a deep awakening for me. Thanks for the post.
This is good. It kind of reminds me about what Elizabeth Gilbert had to say about soulmates in her book Eat, Prey, Love. I don’t exactly recall the passage, but basically her point was that most people think a soulmate is the love of your life that you’re meant to stay with forever but really it’s a person who comes into your life for a finite period of time whose purpose is to shake you up, bring you to your own attention, and take you to a deeper level of consciousness. Once that’s done, they leave.
I keep a quotes file, add to it when I find anything that speaks to me, and re-read the whole every once in a while. I have never removed one, which means that all the pieces I’ve saved of myself are still there, being added to.
The changes in my life have been radical at times, not by choice at others, and ultimately all have to be integrated somehow. I’ve been very fortunate: I can’t even count the number of times the content of one of those quotes – not the words, but the meaning – have ended up as compost for the writing.
The more material you have stored, the more likely something will be available for use when you need a boost. I sometimes wonder that we don’t explode!
I have a file that I keep as well, although mine is mainly of old story snippets and ideas. I actually don’t find myself going back to it (some of those ideas are very old indeed), but I’m afraid to get rid of it all – afraid that years from now, I’d need it and would kick myself for hitting DELETE.
#1 (and best ever) ‘If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.’ Woody Allen.
#2 ‘Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you all day.’ Mark Twain.
#1 Unless God is telepathic and knows your plans anyway!
#2 Nothing worse will happen to the frog either. Because it’s dead!
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I’ve heard so many great quotes I can’t remember any of them. However, I can recite dialog from Napoleon Dynamite quite easily. I guess that makes me a shallow idiot.
Here’s a brand new quote of mine I’m debuting exclusively in your comments section:
“I’ve determined that the purpose of a great quote is to remind me I’m not very clever.”
Someday when you’re a megastar bestselling author, I’ll use your pithy words on my little blog to ride your coattails to fame!
No doubt that’s how it will all play out.