Writer’s Wisdom: P.D. James 4th of 5 Writing Tips

Write what you need to write, not what is currently popular or what you think will sell. ~ P.D. James


Today’s Reflection: Dare to Sail Away

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in. your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. ~ Mark Twain

Courage ~ Anne Sexton


Anne Sexton

It is in the small things we see it.
The child's first step, 
as awesome as an earthquake.
The first time you rode a bike, 
wallowing up the sidewalk.
The first spanking when your heart
went on a journey all alone.
When they called you crybaby
or poor or fatty or crazy
and made you into an alien, 
you drank their acid
and concealed it.

if you faced the death of bombs and bullets
you did not do it with a banner, 
you did it with only a hat to
comver your heart.
You did not fondle the weakness inside you
though it was there.
Your courage was a small coal
that you kept swallowing.
If your buddy saved you
and died himself in so doing, 
then his courage was not courage, 
it was love; love as simple as shaving soap.

if you have endured a great despair, 
then you did it alone, 
getting a transfusion from the fire, 
picking the scabs off your heart, 
then wringing it out like a sock.
Next, my kinsman, you powdered your sorrow, 
you gave it a back rub
and then you covered it with a blanket
and after it had slept a while
it woke to the wings of the roses
and was transformed.

when you face old age and its natural conclusion
your courage will still be shown in the little ways, 
each spring will be a sword you'll sharpen, 
those you love will live in a fever of love, 
and you'll bargain with the calendar
and at the last moment
when death opens the back door
you'll put on your carpet slippers
and stride out. 

Courage, Courage, Courage ~ Edgar Guest

Courage, Courage, Courage

Edgar Guest

When the burden grows heavy, and rough is the way, 
When you falter and slip, and it isn't your day, 
And your best doesn't measure to what is required, 
When you know in your heart that you're fast growing tired, 
With the odds all against you, there's one thing to do: 
That is, call on your courage and see the thing through.

Who battles for victory ventures defeat. 
Misfortune is something we all have to meet ; 
Take the loss with the grace you would take in the gain. 
When things go against you, don't whine or complain; 
Just call on your courage and grin if you can. 
Though you fail to succeed, do not fail as a man.

There are dark days and stormy, which come to us all, 
When about us in ruin our hopes seem to fall. 
But stand to whatever you happen to meet— 
We must all drink the bitter as well as the sweet. 
And the test of your courage is: What do you do 
In the hour when reverses are coming to you.

Never changed is the battle by curse or regret, 
Though you whimper and whine, still the end must be met 
And who fights a good fight, though he struggle in vain, 
Shall have many a vict'ry to pay for his pain.
So take your reverses as part of the plan 
Which God has devised for creating a man. 

It Might Have Been ~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox

It Might Have Been

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

We will be what we could be. Do not say, 
    "It might have been, had not or that, or this." 
No fate can keep us from the chosen way; 
    He only might who is.

We will do what we could do. Do not dream 
    Chance leaves a hero, all uncrowned to grieve. 
I hold, all men are greatly what they seem; 
    He does who could achieve.

We will climb where we could climb. Tell me not 
    Of adverse storms that kept thee from the height. 
What eagle ever missed the peak he sought? 
    He always climbs who might.

I do not like the phrase, "It might have been!" 
    It lacks all force, and life's best truths perverts: 
For I believe we have, and reach, and win, 
    Whatever our deserts.

Writer’s Wisdom ~ Persistence

“You must keep sending work out; you must never let a manuscript do nothing but eat its head off in a drawer. You send that work out again and again, while you’re working on another one. If you have talent, you will receive some measure of success – but only if you persist.” 
― Isaac Asimov