Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Quotations as Inspiration

I often use quotations when I sit down to write on this blog. It’s a propeller for me, and a kick-starter for the post I’m about to write. Then I realize they said it best, and leave the quotation in.

I’ve heard variations on the notion that quotations are inspiration for the uninspired. I bow my head and say with uncharacteristic humility- I need every help I can get. Doing anything in a disciplined way means that at times I’m working when uninspired.

Once I start, the well begins to yield- first a drop and then a bucketful. But it’s that ‘how to get started’ thing, combined with the commitment I made to self, that requires aides.

How do you do it? How do you start to clean a house that needs so much you don’t know where to start? By starting. How do you get that ‘starting’ going?

Hopefully you avoid the pharmaceutical solutions. My only vice there is caffeine. A good cup of tea is the start of everything. If the situation is dire, Mr. Coffee is called in.

My second helper is a sort of parental inner voice that says, “You may NOT do [whatever you feel like] until you get that done.” That voice is not as scary as it is convincing.

But sometimes I need more convincing than other times. That’s when quotations come in.

Life itself is a quotation.” ~Jorge Luis Borges

I’ll be pondering that one^ for a while.


  1. I have a list of quotations that I can easily access when I need them ... I've made a separate page of them on my blog, since I am on the computer so often.

    As far as getting started, I'm the queen of doing "one little writing thing" and it always makes me feel better. I try to keep the feedback loop going by doing another little writing thing. This applies to all areas of my life ... one little thing.

    1. " I'm the queen of doing "one little writing thing" "

      Reminds me of yet another quotation: "G-d is in the little details." (Flaubert)

  2. For getting started I tell myself that I have to write only two sentences. That doesn't sound daunting, so I start and once I've written two sentences I'm usually on my way.

  3. Hah! Love that Toni Morrison cartoon!

    Yeah, pretty much brute force and routine are how I force myself to start things... and lots of pep talks! But for me, starting writing and starting chores are two very different things. With writing, I always have a sense of what's coming, what to play with next... even if don't know exactly what I'm doing, I have some ideas. With chores, I always have to start from the very beginning. Blech.

  4. I don't think it matters what it takes to get inspired, as long as you get inspired. ;)

  5. The parental inner voice has NEVER worked for me. I guess I was a good girl when I had to be, but not since. :)

  6. Yeah, getting started is half the battle in housecleaning as well as writing!