Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Anything Can Be

"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be."
-Shel Silverstein

Photo source: (http://womenonthefence.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Anything_Is_Possible.jpg)


This is as true for adults as it is for children. In fact, I think we can learn even more from it.
 
We need to learn how to listen to the "negative".  Sometimes things that feel disappointing or discouraging can be just the light that was needed to move you forward into new possibilities. To accept and embrace our areas of weakness as writers is the only way to conquer them. 

The mustn'ts and the don'ts, the shouldnt's and the impossibles and the wont's, can all be used to motivate us - to drive us to work harder, to learn more, to be better, to succeed.
 
LISTEN. Really listen, with an open heart, to the negative.  And then learn from it.  Beat it.  "Anything can happen, child. Anything can be."
 
Have you turned what felt like a negative 
into something positive with your writing?

42 comments:

Mary Aalgaard said...

I was just about to cut myself off from blog reading, when I saw your post pop up at the top of my reader. *Grin* Shel is full of wisdom wit. I think grown-ups become frightened of taking risks that kids don't even think about.

Kelly said...

With this tough business, you just have to keep going no matter what.
I love Shel Silverstein. My fave poet.

Jessica Bell said...

Amen. Without listening to the negatives, I would never have learnt ANYTHING. Great reminder!

Melissa said...

I have intense anxiety all the time, and writing gives me an outlet to be creative with no constraints or restraints...it's refreshing.

Love this post! :)

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Whoa. What an amazing quote and image combo.

What a great lesson too.

I love when authors turn something negative into something positive.

It really reflects life.

Francine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Francine said...

Hi,

Negatives (literary sense) - what are these negatives? Never heard of 'em. ;)

best
F

Catherine Denton said...

So inspiring! Love that quote!! This was perfect for today.

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

SUCH a beautiful post #2. Couldn't agree more. I think we can pretty much learn from anything life throws at us. We just have to decide to open our minds and hearts to the lesson!

Heather said...

How beautiful and inspiring! Thank you so much for this! What a perfect way to start my day.

Susan R. Mills said...

AMEN!

Old Kitty said...

I think I can honestly say that I do two things when I'm feeling low - I write and/or bake! :-) The results always cheer me up!

Take care
x

The Golden Eagle said...

Wonderful quote--and a true one!

Cinette said...

I see negatives as what makes stories. No one wants to read about someone's life being all sunshine and roses. As writers, we use negatives to make positives;-)

NiaRaie said...

I have always loved this quote!

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Wonderful quote. Thank you for always being inspiring and encouraging, Shannon. :)

Angela Felsted said...

Love this post!

welcome to my world of poetry said...

I had to really look into the negative thoughts years ago to discover the positive way of thinking and living my life.
Oh the negative side still rears it's ugly head now and again but I listen to it know what to do and life is on an equal librium once again.

Yvonne.

ali said...

This is fantastic. That is all.

Oh, and I'm tweeting ... everyone should read this today. :)

Stephanie Thornton said...

I had an agent ream a novel and while it crushed me, I think I turned that into a positive by rewriting the whole darned thing.

Lovely post!

Carolyn V. said...

I think the don'ts and shouldn'ts alway make me want to try harder! I guess that's turning a negative into a positive. =D

DL Hammons said...

I'd like to believe I've made good use of the negatives, but only time will tell. I've also learned that you don't have to listen to all of the negatives, trying to please everyone. A solid positive will cancel out the negatives. :)

Theresa Milstein said...

Loved that quote as a child, love it now.

Sometimes critiques have been hard to hear, but when they've been on the mark, they've made my writing stronger.

No matter how hard it's gotten, I haven't quit yet.

Thanks for the dose of inspiration.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Shannon -

Tell me it's impossible, and I'll hand it over to my Heavenly Father, who laughs at the word.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Jemi Fraser said...

LOVE Shel Silverstein!! He always makes me smile and think :)

salarsenッ said...

Aw, Shannon, you always bring such wonderment to light. Thank you. And you know, I believe I have--although it's a neverending process--learned to take a different approach to what I think is negative.

Honestly, just ask, "Is this truly negative?" Sometimes the answer is shocking. lol

Tracy said...

Two snaps and a clap for you, Shannon!

This is the very advice I try to take to heart when I get back critiques on my manuscript. I allow myself 24-hours of "how can they not understand what I did there?", etc. And then I really dig into whether it's a legitimate issue in the story that needs to be addressed. Being stubborn doesn't let you grow.

Tracy said...

Oh, and I forgot to mention. My site DID look naked without anything Orioles (when I changed the layout the old picture didn't fit). I got the Bird up there now, so it feels more like home again. :o)

beth said...

You are so right. We do need to learn to do this, but it's so hard!
beth-project52.blogspot.com

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Such a positive message, Shannon! Must learn from the negative, but continue to believe in the positive.

Shari said...

Love that quote. And yes, I have turned all those rejections and nasty comments about my writing into better writing and stronger stories, hopefully.

Laura Marcella said...

That's one of my favorite Shel Silverstein poems!

Creepy Query Girl said...

very eloquently put- and very true! Great post;)

Kelly H-Y said...

Oh my goodness, we were just reading some Shel Silverstein poems last night at our church's kids' choir practice ... one of the girls had brought it, and I was trying to recite one of my favorite poems from childhood! :-) Love S.S.! Great post ... so inspirational!

Kimberly Franklin said...

Anything IS possible! Making mental note to remind myself later. :)

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

I can always count on you to lift my spirits. Thanks for the wonderful post.

Christie Wright Wild said...

Just today, a friend helped me to see the light in a negative situation. Thanks for your positivity, too!

Corey Schwartz said...

Oh, love this post! I was just whining that I will miss the inspirational PiBo posts that have been up for the past 30 days at Tara's blog and then you came along with this! Thanks, Shannon!

Solvang Sherrie said...

You are always so inspiring! Thank you!

Patti Lacy said...

LOVE Shel Silverstein, and so did my kids!

Good to say hi to you and drink your encouragement!

Patti

Jessie Oliveros said...

Especially when the negatives come from very wise sources-i.e. family and friends.

Mary Campbell said...

I love Shel Silverstein and that quote brought tears to my eyes. Anything can be. I still feel like a child reaching out to the possible, but I keep letting my own negativity get me down. Thank you for this post.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...