Friday, July 29, 2016

The Most Important Job in the World

Shannon Dittemore is the author of the Angel Eyes trilogy. She has an overactive imagination and a passion for truth. Her lifelong journey to combine the two is responsible for a stint at Portland Bible College, performances with local theater companies, and a love of all things literary. When she isn’t writing, she spends her days with her husband, Matt, imagining things unseen and chasing their two children around their home in Northern California. To connect with Shan, check out her website, FB, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest.

Oh my goodness, we're back in business! It's been so long since we've chatted!

I have a confession to make, friends. I've hurt myself. No idea how, but I've got something funky going on with the nerves in my right arm and I've lost feeling in a few fingers. I'm healing up okay, but it's slower than I'd like and I'm having to keep my writing sessions short and sweet. Bear with me, okay?

I came across a quote this week by one of my favorite writers, John Steinbeck, and I thought we could chat about it today. Also, that pic there (scroll down, homies)? That's my munchkin giving Mr. Steinbeck's bust a little HELLOOOO when we visited Monterrey a few years back. He was a fascinating guy, Steinbeck. Read his books, 'kay?


Things I LOVE about this quote:

  • It rings true to me. Loud in my head and warm in my gut. It feels like the kind of thing writers should say to one another. You know, grab your crit partner by the shoulder, stare them in the eye and growl Steinbeck's words into their face (You should totally growl like Mr. Darcy from Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. What a cool voice he has, amiright?) 
  • Writing is difficult. It's a riot at times, but it can make you crazy. If we don't honestly believe that this thing we do is important, that words can change people, that they can change us, we'd never, ever put ourselves through the trouble. 
  • Every day when we put our nose to the grindstone, we must convince ourselves that while there are horrid, desperate things going on in the world around us, this story we're telling deserves every bit of our attention for the duration of our writing session. If, on occasion, it's not the most important thing in the world, it will never, ever get done.  
  • Thinking like Steinbeck, remembering the importance of your task, will get you through the rough days. The days where the story feels ridiculous and the time feels wasted and the doubters outnumber the believers. The value of storytellers cannot be understated. But no one will believe the truth of it if storytellers themselves aren't convinced. We are important. YOU are important. Stories are important. Steinbeck knew that.
  • It reminds me that I have to take my job seriously. Yes, writing is fun. Yes, you should enjoy it. But you must also make every effort to hone your craft. Important jobs need dedicated people. People who stay hungry to learn and remain teachable even when success comes to call.

The ONE thing I kinda, sorta dislike about this awesome quote:
  •  There's no room for error. If we have the most important job in the world, and we're to continually convince ourselves of that fact, every small mistake can become amplified in our eyes. And, I don't know about you, but I have a very hard time excelling if I have to write with the fear of failure hovering over me. Writing is the most important job in the world, but that doesn't mean we put together the most important words every time we write. We need to be clear about that fact. And we need to be okay with it.

Alrighty, friends! My arm's totally and completely done. So it's your turn to type. 

Tell me, what do you like about this quote? What do you dislike?

 

12 comments:

  1. I like this quote because this is great advice, and I think it holds true for most writers. If we can't believe that our writing is important, it's less likely that we will want to tell the story inside us.

    I too dislike that there is no room for error. Sometimes I just write because I want to write and make mistakes, and I don't want to be put under pressure, but other times this quote would really motivate me to write when I don't want to.

    Thanks for the post. I hope your hand feels better soon!

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    1. Thank you! I'm getting there! And I totally agree with you.

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  2. Thanks for sharing this quote! Take it easy on your arm and feel better soon. :)

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    1. You're welcome and THANK YOU! I appreciate it.

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  3. I pray your arm feels better soon! <3 Great quote, and great post! Our words are so important and they can change lives. We just need to do our best and believe in them and ourselves.

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  4. This quote rings true with me because, when I was in elementary school (or somewhere around there), authoring was the most fantastic occupation there was. I mean, acting was great, and being a missionary took an admirable amount of dedication, but both paled in my eyes when compared to authoring. While I know now what Steinbeck said is true--that this is only an illusion, I used to honestly believe that authors were the most privileged, important people on earth, and I really, really, really wanted to be one. :) It does keep me going when things get rough. Thanks for the post, Mrs. Dittemore, and take it easy on your hand!

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    1. Love this story! Yes, it rings true to me as well. And I will definitely work on healing up. Thank you.

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  5. Aah. Hope your arm gets better soon! Fingers are a NEED for writers.

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    1. Right?! It was a bit terrifying at first. Thanks so much.

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  6. Sorry about your arm! Hope it's healing well!

    This is a fantastic quote, but yeah, I can see how it could get twisted from something really encouraging to something that just causes a boatload of anxiety. I mean, what we do is super important, but we need the bad days for what they teach us as much as we need the good days for what they give us and our readers.

    Thanks for sharing!


    Alexa
    thessalexa.blogspot.comv
    verbosityreviews.com

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    1. You are so welcome and I totally agree. THANK YOU. I'm getting there!

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