Thursday’s Quote


I skimmed through many quotes before I found the following. Wow, if that doesn’t describe a writer’s work in progress, I don’t know what does? I could be way out to left field in my interpretation, but I thought it would be fun to break it down, and tell you what I picture when reading it. Keep in mind this is just my opinion.

All our progress is an unfolding, like a vegetable bud. You have first an instinct, then an opinion, then a knowledge as the plant has root, bud, and fruit. Trust the instinct to the end, though you can render no reason. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

As I read it again, I thought how amazing it would be to have an artist either draw or paint the pages of a book instead of a vegetable coming up from the ground. Wouldn’t it be amazing?  Can you picture it?

Emerson starts with:

All our progress is an unfolding, like a vegetable bud. That could be your story, as it takes shape, starting to develop as you write it out. 

You have first an instinct–that could be your idea, what you want to write about, the plot dancing in your head, just dying to come out, and be set free.

Then you have an opinion–perhaps that’s the research you’ve done to get better acquainted with the subject (part of Disraeli’s quote from last week) before you put pen to paper – or fingers to keyboard.

And then a knowledge as the plant has root, bud, and fruit. I see that as your novel slowly moving forward with a firm foundation, its bud’s are coming out (those are your scenes). Soon ripe fruit burst forth (your chapters).

Trust the instinct to the end. I would call that the impulse propelling your forward. You’ve done great so far, you can’t stop now. You have to run with it, keep going… yes until the end.  

Though you can render no reason. Of course not. After all that hard work, why would you stop now? 

Sometimes, though, your progress may be slow. Try as you may, words won’t come. Other times, it’s like it has stopped completely. You’re unable to move forward. You’re stuck. It happens to most everyone. I’d be surprised if any writer said “I never had writer’s block.”

It’s okay. Think about it…isn’t it the same with your garden? You don’t expect to sow the seeds and reap the harvest the next day, do you? Isn’t writing a novel the same thing? It takes time. You need to feed and water it. You have to make sure it gets the heat and light it needs. When the stem starts to lean, you need to give it support. 

Isn’t that how it is with your stories? You feed it by writing all those ideas. Sometimes, it may not make a whole lot of sense, but that’s all right, it’s your first draft. There’ll be plenty of time to pull the weeds out later. Just write!



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