Wednesday, 6 March 2013

A cactus can be beautiful too - IWSG post

Hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh
 
I wanted to post something positive and uplifting for this months IWSG. I know there are a lot of writers/bloggers out there dealing with difficult issues at the moment. Perhaps some, like me, have questioned if writing is really for them. Is it  worth all the heartache and rejection? The hours staring at a screen, writing and rewriting till we start to question our own sanity? How much can one person be expected to take before they say enough is enough?  Maybe we should just concentrate on 'real' life, think of all the other things we could do with the extra time we would free up if we stopped writing.
 
But then I read this quote from Enid Bagnold...
 
"Who wants to become a writer? And why? Because it’s the answer to everything. To why  I am here? To uselessness. It’s the streaming reason for living. To note, to pin down, to build up, to create, to be astonished at nothing, to cherish the oddities, to let nothing go down the drain, to make something, to make a great flower out of life, even if it’s a cactus.”
 
Enid Algerine Bagnold, Lady Jones, CBE, known by her maiden name as Enid Bagnold, was a British author and playwright, best known for the 1935 story National Velvet which was filmed in 1944 with Elizabeth Taylor. Wikipedia

And that about sums it up for me. If I stop I'll lose a piece of me. I love to create new characters, new worlds, new scenerios. Writing allows me to see a different view of the world, to experience things that would otherwise be out of my grasp. So I'll keep on going, chasing my rainbow and if all I ever create is a 'cactus' I can live with that.

So who is with me? Let's help each other create the most fantastic bouquet the world has ever seen.





58 comments:

  1. Yep, I thought about giving up this last weekend. For an entire day, I was convinced it just wasn't worth it anymore. Even shed a tear or two (a first :) ) And yesterday, I just put together a beautiful outline to revamp my current WIP. So I guess I'm in on that bouquet.

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    1. Yay, that's great so glad you feel renewed:)

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  2. What a lovely quote you have picked out. And Cactii are marvellous and interesting plants, so you know, if you end up creating a cactus that's a good thing too ;)

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  3. I'm one of those mad people who have words running through their veins instead of blood - I couldn't give up if I tried or wanted to, like breathing... :-) That's a great quote!

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    1. Vik - They are very varied plants and of course they survive in harsh conditions. A bit like writers!

      Annalisa - Yeah I feel like that too!

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  4. I adore cactus plants, by the way. And I really like your last paragraph. I get it. Creating stories and worlds through words can be so blissfully fulfilling.

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  5. I love the process of writing, and I love life. I try to remind myself that for me, writing does not give me life nor is life writing. It takes some of the pressure off to make it all-meaningful. There are so many aspects to my identity that aren't writing (mom, wife, friend, spiritual). It helps to keep it in balance so I have the energy and love for the part of me that IS writer!

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    1. Cynthia - It is fulfilling. Glad you enjoyed the post.

      Julie - We are all many things to many people.

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  6. Cactus are quite amazing actually. They can live in conditions where any other "more beautiful" flowers would die. They are resistant, they find life where others find death. Some of them are actually sources of water and some even have flowers. If you create a cactus, you'll be creating something outstandingly strong and worth to be appreciated and cherished. Keep writing!!!

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    1. Thanks, Al. You are quite right cactus are very resiliant.

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  7. Great post. I think I'll go create a cactus. Since, as Alex says, they are outstandingly strong!

    Thanks for the encouragement to keep writing.

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    1. Thanks Jenn. We can all produce some wonderful arrangements I'm sure :)

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  8. If it was for writing I'd be bored to death, so yeah I'll stick with it, I mean how else will the cat get his say.

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    1. You gotta let that cat have his say!

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  9. Very well said and I think you're right. We can think about stopping, but that inner drive is what won't let us. Rejection and heartache are just hurdles and make the end product all the sweeter.

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    1. Exactly, we have to learn and grow and rejection and tough times are part of that process.

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  10. A cactus can be beautiful, too! Great post.

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  11. Hi Suzanne. I think I lost a piece of myself. I really got discouraged there for a little bit and withdrew into a cocoon. I needed to recharge. I do feel better now and I've been trying to smile and spread the sunshine I missed while hiding. I've got a couple new pieces I'm working on and one new polished and shiny manuscript to be proud of.

    Great, GREAT piece of advice and I hope I never lose a piece of "me" again.

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    1. Ilima - Thanks :)

      Ink - I hope you don't either. I can understand the feeling of needing to withdraw for a while though.

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  12. Someone famous once said "We write to know we are not alone." And there's nothing better than having written something that makes someone else laugh or cry or say "Yes, that's EXACTLY how I feel too!" (And isn't that also the point of the blog? xx)

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    1. It is, Helen. I have met some lovely people over the last year, including your good self. Keep writing!

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  13. Great post!

    I agree that without writing, life would not feel the same at all. It frustrates me, and makes me feel as though I'm teetering on the edge of insanity at times, but it also excites me, and makes me laugh, and sometimes makes me cry. Without it, I'm not sure I would be the same person that I am. We all have a story to tell, and I agree that even if our stories aren't necessarily roses, well, maybe the reader doesn't read a rose, anyway. Maybe they need a cactus, and if that cactus is ours, then it's special.

    Alexandra~

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    1. Welcome to IWSG, Alexandra and thank you for your kind words :)

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  14. Writing is something I have to keep doing too. There are days when I get a bunch of rejections and a total lack of inspiration but even then I know I couldn't really give it up.

    I hope your next bud of inspiration blooms into a gorgeous flower.

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    1. I hope your new writing dreams 'blossom and bloom' too, Patsy.

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  15. To more cactuses... cactusi... cactus... then.

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  16. I hope to become a flowering cactus one day! Thank you for your uplifting post! sandysanderellasmusings

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    1. Thanks Sandy it is nice to meet you :)

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  17. A Christmas Cactus. I think they are beautiful.

    Thanks for your encouraging words.

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  18. Cactus flowers are some of my favorites. :)

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  19. It the creating that always gets us. In all areas of our lives. We have to create something.

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    1. Jai - Thanks for visiting. Christmas cactus are beautiful. I have two in my house!

      Golden Eagle - It's the way something beautiful emerges.

      Alex - You are right, it's an instinct.

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  20. This is a great post. I have totally been questioning why I write, but then I always have story ideas jostling in my head, so there you go. Cactus flowers are amazing, but hard won.

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    1. I hope it helped a little. Much like a cactus beauty can be hard fought.

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  21. Hi Suzanne,

    Beautifully composed and the thoughts doth flow with the passion that writing instils within your heart, your soul.

    Indeed, may we all be flowers in a bouquet of hope and encouragement.

    Wonderful, inspiring and uplifting post, Suzanne. Thank you.

    Gary

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    1. Hi Gary(and Penny), I love the idea of a bouquet of hope and encouragement. That is surely one we would all like to receive and nuture. Beautifully said, as always, Gary.

      Have a good day :)

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  22. Wonderful post, Suzanne! We all must persevere--the only people who have been negative to me about my writing in the past were those who gave up on their own dream.

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    1. Thanks, Ashley. Persevere, yes you are right. It isn't always easy but out here in blogland there is always someone to pick you up and understand what you are going through,

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  23. A cactus survives under harsh conditions, which I think describes a writer. If we are all flowers, I would like to be a lavender rose!

    Great Post!

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    1. I think it is a great analogy for a writer. I would be lavender I think - sweet smelling and of course, purple!

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  24. Just came across this blog for the first time. I love the idea of the cactus. Those plants are sturdy, hardy, in need of little water but yet thrives beautifully. Some even come with a little flower on top as a bonus. I must remember that when my mind goes blank and I can't see a thing. Thanks Suzanne.

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    1. Hi there, great to meet you. Glad you enjoyed my post :)

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  25. This is a great post, sometimes we forget why we started writing in the first place: because we love it. If I stopped writing I wouldn't know what to do with myself, and I remind myself of that whenever I begin to doubt what I'm doing.

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    1. Thanks, Laura. I'm glad you could relate to this post.

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  26. Love this post and I am right there with you. I'm only happy when I am writing. It isn't much of a choice. I would say that I've come to a place where I try to separate writing from publishing in my mind. The one I need to be me. The other is a separate thing, a measure of success that isn't always accurate. I've gone with indie publishing so that I can share my books with readers and let them be the judge of my writing. But success in publishing doesn't change the fact that writing is how I breathe in and embrace this life. Good luck with your writing and remember to enjoy it. :)

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    1. Hi Julie, thanks for stopping by. It is probably a sensible idea to think of publishing, whichever route we take, as a separate entity. Writing comes first.

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  27. Love that quote, and your thoughts. I'll go work on my cactus now . . or maybe an aloe vera plant - I can actually keep those alive in my house, so maybe that's my kind of novel too. :)

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  28. That is beautiful and very uplifting. So happy I stopped by to read it. Positivity is a plus when deciding to write.

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    1. Tyrean - Haha, yeah I'm not much good with house plants either although I do have 2 rather nice cactus!

      Mark - Welcome aboard!

      Miranda - I'm glad you stopped by too. Keep positive!

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  29. I do like your positive note on such an overwhelmingly sad topic. Thanks for sharing your new light on this. :)

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  30. thanks for sharing that!
    i've seen many encouraging posts today!

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  31. What a gorgeous idea! I love this post :D

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    1. Nancy - Thanks, Nancy.

      Tara - There have been some great posts this month.

      Ella - Thanks, Ella.

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  32. HI, Suzanne.

    SO nice to meet you, and what a pretty and cheerful place you have created with you blog.

    I really liked the quote you posted. It does say is all. We do need to create to feel whole.

    I am glad you haven't given up..... neither have I no matter what the odds are against us. We still have creative soul.

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    1. Thanks so much, Michael. It's good to share our creative souls with like minded people.

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  33. Such an appropriate quote! Thank you for sharing that sentiment with us. :)

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