Stand Up, Write and Live

Thursday, October 30, 2014
I've been trying to get in the habit of sharing inspirational quotes (mostly related to creativity and writing) on my whiteboard. I don't post them as regularly as I'd like, but doing so at least once a week serves its purpose.

I found a great quote by Henry David Thoreau the other day and it got me thinking.

So many times, if I 'm having a rough day, I'll let the negative "have nots" take over. Things like:

  • I have not had the chance to travel internationally.
  • I have not made as much money writing as I should have at this point in my life.
  • I have not made an effort to climb any sort of corporate ladder.

When I first saw the quote by Thoreau, my mind immediately went straight to the things listed above. Then I made an effort to stop myself from wallowing and flipped those "have nots" around. I made a different mental list:

  • I became a writer on my own terms, even when so many people doubted me.
  • I am the mother of two brilliant, gorgeous children, who enrich my life every day.
  • I have a husband who loves me and supports me, regardless of how much money I do or don't make.
  • I've battled mental illness, and came out on the other side.
  • I've lived through poverty, but still managed to work my way through college and get a degree in four years.
  • I've traveled, and visited places I never had the chance to see when I was younger, such as Mexico and California.
  • I've survived toxic personal relationships, with my dignity still (mostly) intact.
  • I've read hundreds of books, and written two of my own.
  • I've loved, and most importantly, I have lived.

If I hadn't lived this life, I would never have had the chance to be writer. My life experiences, and my life experiences alone, give me an unmistakable voice. These experiences shape what I choose to write about, and when. They help me develop a unique twist on universal themes and what I hope are richly layered characters.

So if you think you haven't really lived and have nothing to write about, think again. Then sit down and start writing.

Renee Roberson is an award-winning freelance writer and editor who also works as a blog tour manager for WOW! Women on Writing. She is currently seeking blogs to host D.A. Russell's upcoming blog tour for Lifting the Curtain: The Disgrace We Call Urban High School. Contact her at


Margo Dill said...

What a beautiful post, Renee. Thank you for sharing your list with us. It would probably do us all good to make a list like this. I think some of those "classic" writers suffered from depression and doubt all the time, but they didn't have the Internet to help them find support and realize they are not alone! :)

Marcia Peterson said...

I love the list you came up with, and your conclusions! A very encouraging post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Sioux Roslawski said...

Renee--Great post, but you didn't answer the most important question:

Are you eating enough mashed potatoes?

Seriously, many times, simply surviving is an achievement to be proud of.

Renee Roberson said...

@Margo--Yes, thank goodness for the internet and the ways it helps us stay "connected" in our times of need. It is very sad how many of the classic writers needed help and were deemed "crazy" for it. Thank goodness we now know better.
@Marcia--Thank you for your sweet words. I think this is good post for me to come back to whenever I start having rough day.
@Sioux--I'm definitely eating enough mashed potatoes. And pasta. And wine. And cupcakes!

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