I seek, at times, (often, daily, always?) insight, clarity, truth. I quietly quest as I go through the day. I gather experiences, encounter others, learn lessons (sometimes reluctantly) and discover myself.
Over the years, I’ve collected quotes, though not stashed them in any orderly file. (I should, right?) I sometimes post one or two on my bulletin board. Mostly, I jot them down on a piece of notepaper. Typically, they get sandwiched between piles of papers–ideas that stand alone or that I might develop at some elusive future date. Regardless, when I happen across them as I sort, I am often touched, again, by the words of another.
Looking online, it is obvious that I’m not the only one who appreciates other people’s wise words. These gems float on the internet, are sprinkled throughout books and magazines, graffitied on walls, in literary articles, etc. We read them in store windows or on hand-crafted signs. Hallelujah to the immortal quotes that remind us of higher human values or that help us broaden our awareness or that become a lifeline in a moment of need.
As a writer, a quote can inspire me or find its way into something I’m writing. It can be food for thought that expands my view of the world.
Following is a quote from Frederick Buechner from his book entitled Now and Then, 1983.
“Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness; touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis, all moments are key moments and life itself is grace.”
I came across this quote many years ago, yet today, I find value in it. My understanding of it is that the body, on it’s amazing sensory path, is a worthy vehicle and when I’m intimately connected to it, I can be transported to the very center of my being over this life of great variety. How do you interpret this quote?
Have you been collecting quotes to support, influence, enliven, expand, enhance and inform what you’re writing? Are they easily accessible? Have you contained and organized them or are they scattered? Do you plan to use any of them in your writing?
To discover the correct formatting of quotes within the body of your work, you can Google the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL). This is a great resource (there are others). You can also find out how to properly document your resources. And so much more!
Depending on the genre in which you are writing, there are various style guides–MLA (Modern Language Association), the Chicago Manual of Style, CSE (the Council of Science Editors) and the APA (American Psychological Association).