Okay, Listen Here

Okay, Listen Here

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Jean blogged yesterday about words she despised and that got me to thinking.  Words are seductive, addictive things.  They enrage people to riot, sculpt youthful minds, encourage the downtrodden, and heal the infirm.  Words, no matter how they're used, pack a punch.  Writers know that better than anyone.  We struggle with active vs passive words, showing vs telling words.  The only people who might not struggle are lawyers, who create legal documents with an appreciation for words no one can understand, except... well, lawyers.      

How words are strung together whenever we talk or write says a lot about us as individuals.  Words carry our voices into the future, whether on the page or in memories.  The longing mankind has to be remembered is a common theme carried throughout the centuries, teaching us never to underestimate the power of language, storytelling or these days, the power of the Internet.

I've been collecting quotes lately to inspire and motivate me when I'm feeling low, or when I simply need a gentle prod.  Quotes are a great way to jump start motivation and connect to people who, whatever they experienced, past or present, found the strength and spirit to fight their way back through the hardest of times.

Here are a few of my favorites quotes:

"If you are going through hell, keep going." Winston Churchill

"Do one thing everyday that scares you."  Eleanor Roosevelt

"Never, never, never, never, never give up." Winston Churchill

"Energy and persistence conquer all things." Benjamin Franklin

Here are some favorite quotes I've posted to pinterest.com.

It's hard to keep going when times are tough. Listen to Winston Churchill. Never give up!

Do you have a special quote that comforts or motivates you? Do share! The more words we have in our arsenals, the better equiped we'll be to face life's daily challenges.


  1. "You're alive. Do something." - Barbara Hall

    Isn't that just the truth? The simplicity of the statement astounds me all the time. Boiled down to the nitty gritty. Kind of like Nike - Just do it!

    1. I love the Nike phrase, "Just do it!". Did you know that Gen. Joshua Laurence Chamberlain's father told him that very same quote when he was a boy faced with plowing a field of rocks? Chamberlain found away to get the field sown. And he took that lesson with him to Gettysberg. When his men were low on ammo and his line was about to get flanked, he ordered bayonets drawn and a charge downhill that saved countless Union lives and turned the tide of the battle. (While recovering his health.)

      Barbara Hall's quote is great too. Thanks for sharing it, Cheryl!

    2. Yeah, I know about Chamberlain - my great, great grandfather in the Alabama 14th was the recipient of that charge. Didn't work too well for us. LOL

    3. Our connection to history is far-reaching, isn't it?

      Chamberlain was a fascinating man. He was a professor and thought mightily hard about his actions and what it meant to both sides of the war. ;)

    4. He was a great man, going on to be the Governor of Maine. I enjoyed the way he was portrayed in "Gods and Generals." He had a very good heart.

    5. I love Chamberlain! I've got two biographies about him. Such an example pre-war, during the war and afterwards. A man who lived by his principles, dedicated to family and who rose above his surroundings.

    6. Quotes by Joshua Chamberlain:

      “A hero is one who knows how to hang on one minute longer.” (So hang on everybody!)

  2. One of my favorite qoutes is by General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, "You may be whatever you resolve to be."

    1. Another Civil War General's quote! Love this one, Stephanie!

      Buddha says, "He is able who thinks he is able."

      Baltasar Gracian, "Great ability develops & reveals itself increasingly with every new assignment.".

      "All endings are also beginnings. We just don't know it at the time." Mitch Albom

      "Kites rise highest against the wind-- not with it." Winston Churchill (He said great stuff!)

  3. Great blog, Kathy!

    “Success is not a goal. It’s a byproduct.” —Coach Eric Taylor. Friday Night Lights.


    There are some things your can't share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them. J.K. Rowling Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

    And ladies, that rejection letter can be every bit as fierce as a twelve-foot mountain troll. Thanks for being around to help fight them! We learn and grow every time.

    1. Love the Troll quote, Jean!!! JK Rowling dealt with her own stack of rejections. Look where she is today!

      "Anything is possible if you've got enough nerve." JK Rowling

  4. Those are some great quotes. I have several Bible quotes taped to my computer screen of my old laptop to help me through all the dozens of rejections and years of wondering if I'd ever get published.

    "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:12

    "But I will hope continually, and will yet praise you more and more." Psalm 71:13

    "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10

    "No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame." Psalm 25:2-4

    And I love these Dean Koontz quotes:

    I write largely to remind myself of the beauty and the wonder of this life, this world, and to explore for my own enlightenment the meaning of it and the remarkable ways that people find hope or forsake it. ~ Dean Koontz

    The one accomplishment that matters is achieving those moments, in the course of telling a story, when I feel that I am in contact with a higher power, when the very act of creating a story feels like communion with the ultimate Creator. Those moments are exhilarating, full of a quiet joy that alone makes the hours at the keyboard worthwhile, which is why I kept my hands on the keys during all those early years when success seemed unlikely and when a life of genteel poverty seemed all but assured. ~ Dean Koontz

    If your writing isn't about making money or being famous, if it's not about ego, but about seeking to understand life and yourself, to explore the extent of your talent and discover its limitations, then in my experience, the success comes almost as a side-effect. ~ Dean Koontz

    Okay, this is going to get long, but I collect writer quotes!

    "Your success as a writer will probably not depend on how well you write, so
    much as in how you handle rejection." ~ Gilbert Morris

    "Let you accomplishments excite you, but don't let them placate you. Let
    your rejections teach you something, but don't let them paralyze you." ~Linda
    Demers Hummel

    "The writers who succeed are the ones who refuse to buckle under the
    failures that are heaped upon them; who reject the notion that they aren't
    as mediocre as industry professionals say they are." -- Jodi Piccoult

    I have a bunch more but I'll stop there. :-) One thing I've learned is that writing is a journey, not a destination. Even once you get published you will still have tremendously discouraging things happen to you. Everything depends on how you react to them.

    1. Wow, Melanie! These are all great quotes!

      You're right. Writing is a journey. If we focus on the destination, sometimes we can't see the stars for the clouds.

      Another good biblical quote I repeat to myself, and I still need to learn to do this better, "Be still and let God."

  5. "This is the day the Lord hath made, let us be glad and rejoice in it" runs through my mind all the time. It's a left-over from whenever mom used to have little scrapbooked verses all over our house.

    I also rather like "You're doing something right if you're pissing people off." This one helped me get over my chronic people-pleasing habits.

    1. Placing quotes wherever you're going to be, especially if they're ones you want to memorize, is the best inspiration motivator. ;)

      Oh, Clair! I've got a people-pleaser personality too. Hang in there! I hear it gets easier to say "No" the older we get.

  6. Those are awesome inspirations! I myself have collected many quotes, books of them even. But two that come to mind at the moment are: "You blows who you is!" Louis Armstrong and "My tongue is as the pen of a ready writer." the Psalmist...can't remember the chapter and verse at the moment. John Muir spoke a few of my favorites too.

  7. Oh! And another favorite...."Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you've got to say, and say it hot." D.H. Lawrence

  8. Ok. Another.... "All battles are fought by scared men who'd rather be somewhere else." John Wayne

  9. Geeze...last one, I think. "The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen." Frank Lloyd Wright

    Belief is a verb. It connotes action. So, Just do it! And then it will be done. : D

    1. Woe! Lesia, you've let it rain up in here with all these quotes! Great ones too. Thanks so much for sharing them.

      I particularly love the Frank Lloyd Wright quote and your note about belief. Easier said than done but having a quote to motivate you nearby is the best way to beat Doubting Debbie. ;)

  10. "Love the writing, love the writing, love the writing... the rest will follow." Jane Yolen

    "We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out." Ray Bradbury

    "Talent is helpful in writing, but guts are absolutely essential." Jessamyn West

    "Success comes to a writer, as a rule, so gradually that it is always something of a shock to him to look back and realize the heights to which he has climbed." P.G. Wodehouse

    "You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore." Christopher Columbus

    "Pessimist: A person who says that O is the last letter in ZERO, instead of the first letter in the word OPPORTUNITY." Anonymous

    "When you get to the end of a rope, tie a knot and hang on." Franklin D. Roosevelt

    "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." Confucious

    "Many of life's failures are people who had not realized how close they were to success when they gave up." Thomas A Edison

    "So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable." Christopher Reeve

  11. Great post, Kathy! Love all the quotes.

    1. Thanks, Patricia! I'm so glad you dropped by. ;)