Monday, August 30, 2010

Blaze Brilliantly

"I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark burn out in a brilliant blaze than it be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet."
~Jack London




Is that an awesome quote or what? Oh, how I love it!

Most of don't live our lives as one or the other - a blaze OR dry rot. We tend to live somewhere in the middle, like plain old wood. But there are times - those wonderful moments - when we take on a magnificent glow. Athletes speak of being "in the zone", of times when the hoop feels 5 feet wide and they can't miss. As writers, there are times in front of the computer when our fingers can't keep up with the words, flowing like lava from our minds.

We can't all be Jack London, but can we be meteors? Does being a superb meteor require spectacular feats, like climbing Mount Everest or sailing around the world? I believe we take great chances and spectacular risks, even in the context of a mundane life. We face blank pages and create brave new worlds. We climb from drafts to critique groups to query wars to agent bliss (please, please, please) to sub hopes...our journey is long and wearying and requires great courage.

Like London, I want to blaze brilliantly, every atom of me in magnificent glow. My personality tends more toward the sleepy planet, though, so I must make a conscious effort to brave the wilds. But it will be worth it, regardless of the result.

When in your life have you felt like a superb meteor?

28 comments:

Stina Lindenblatt said...

When I landed my acceptance to grad school, something I didn't believe would actually happen.

Hopefully the next time will occur soon when I start querying (please please please). :D

Rayna M. Iyer said...

When I was a teen (and early twenties), I had that quote on my softboard. Still one of my favourites.

But growing up, I realised the world needs steady planets as much as it does meteors- but planet or meteor, you have to be true to yourself.

Kelly said...

Great quote!
Another one:
It's better to burn out...than fade away. (Def Leppard:Rock of Ages song ;)

Diane said...

If I can't be blazing then I will be the planet sustaining others with my presence. Thanks!!! :O)

Stephanie Thornton said...

When I had my daughter. When I finished my first novel.

I want to be a meteor!

Laura Marcella said...

Love love love it! Dazzling quote. Thanks for sharing!!!

Mary Aalgaard said...

That is a superb quote. There are times in writing that I feel the flow, but when I've felt "on fire" is during performances. Hmm. That makes me think.

salarsenッ said...

You are so correct. We all have a purpose...even throughout the mundane. I try and find those 'meteor' times as often as I can, in all the little things.

Julie Dao said...

I think you're blazing brilliantly already! :) I like the quiet life so I prefer to be a neat little bundle of twigs. But someday I'd like to glow even if it's just for a minute.

Carolyn V. said...

When I was told by a professional that I could actually write. Best feeling ever. =)

Falen (Sarah) said...

Love love love love LOVE that quote!

Patti said...

I definitely have felt those moments in front of the computer when every word you write feels awesome.

Elana Johnson said...

This is so true. Sometimes I feel like the things I do are second nature. I guess that's what it means to be meteor-ific.

Patti Lacy said...

You like meteors and shooting stars and blazes of light, don't you, Shannon? Me too!

Hmmm. Probably when I gave birth to my two babies, um, 24 and 22 years ago!!!

Occasionally, when a cardinal's chirping outside the window and my mind whirls as fast as my fingers to capture the essence of what I'm feeling in the story.

Last week.

Also, at our writing conference, when Julie Lessman and I paired to LEARN from wonderful students.

You go, girl.
Patti

Courtney Barr - The Southern Princess said...

honey you blaze! you shine! you move like quicksilver across the universe...what a wonderful wonderful Monday post!

Visit My Kingdom Anytime

Lenny said...

hi miss shannon! wow what a cool picture. for me cause of being sick in the hospital for so much time and missing so much school and fun now im just like that blazing meteor and i feel like a really bright star. im doing so much that i couldnt do and having sooo much fun. i could still go back to being sick but im not gonna think on that. im just gonna keep being that blazing meteor.
...smiles from lenny

Jemi Fraser said...

Awesome quote! I am more a background kind of gal - but those meteor moments might be all kinds of fun :)

Terri Tiffany said...

I think when I was working as a counselor and could see connections and results:))
I love the way you share.

Tamika: said...

I love this quote~ I'll have to post it somewhere close for a daily reminder.

Bethany Mattingly said...

That's absolutely one of my most favorite quotes ever!! Such a great source of inspiration and drive. It reminds me of what it means to live!

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

Wonderful quote!

You always inspire me. Thanks for the shot in the arm.

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

Perfect post for me to read right now. I'm feeling like a sleepy planet and it's depressing. Time to snap back into meteor mode. :)

Amanda Sablan said...

I loved this!

Jen said...

Meeting my husband. He's fantastic, I never thought I'd find anyone so special who would love me as much as I love him!

The next superb meteor? My husband finishing college and me finding an agent!

Fantastic post!

Jen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lori W. said...

Great quote! I just started back to my job of teaching basic writing skills at the local community college. When one of my students blazes, I feel the fire for them. Grading papers can be a grind, but I love when they get it.

Jody Hedlund said...

Sometimes I feel like a meteor that's about to burn out! :-) Even though it's great to blaze, I think it's hard to keep it up all the time! I'm saying that after coming off of a rather hard month of rewriting my second book! So maybe I'll won't have a burn-out perspective in a week or two! :-)

Vicki Rocho said...

I felt like a meteor:

...when each of my kids was born.

...when I solved a problem no one else could.

...when I write something that says exactly what I want it to.

Great post!

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