Inspirational Quotes

"It took me a long time not to judge myself through someone else's eyes." ~ Sally Field

"As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live." ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

About a week ago, my mom emailed me these quotes. Being busy, I didn't really take time to think about the meanings. But now I realize exactly how much these quotes apply to both my fictional characters' lives and my own reality.

The character of Rhiannon is constantly trying to live up to her mother's expectations and is constantly put under pressure "to be Perfect Girl". Karen, Rhiannon's mother, is so critical of Rhiannon because she, herself, is trying to be good enough; for herself and for other people. Since she never had what she most wanted; never achieved all of her goals, she will do anything to make sure that Rhiannon and her brother have the success and power that she so craves. Ceridwen doesn't compose music, even though she wants to, because she's afraid that her compositions aren't good enough. Corinne is constantly trying to be good enough too – she is always searching for success and self-acceptance, and she entirely judges herself through other's lives.

I will admit that I did partially base Corinne off of myself. We are very, very different in many ways, both superficial and characteristic. However, we both try too hard, trying to please people and trying to accept ourselves. Now, when I think about it, these quotes apply to both myself and the characters in my novel exactly: we spend all of our time judging ourselves through others' eyes. We don't trust ourselves to know how to live.

Monday was the first day of my dance school's summer ballet intensive. Being in level 3, I only go Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, but that's still five hours of dance in one day. And I've been so tired after I get home that I have barely enough energy to practice for two hours. I know quality matters more than quantity. But as I sat on my bed, writing my novel, I still thought, 'Why do I waste my time like this? Well, what are the other violists [in my youth orchestra] doing right now? How much more than me have they been practicing?' It's hard not to feel guilty or insufficient when you know that other members of your orchestra are all the way across the country, studying with Itzhak Perlman and practicing their seating audition excerpts for four hours every day. Maybe I'm being unrealistic here – I know for a fact that some of the other violists are certainly not practicing as much as me. But here I am, judging myself through someone else's eyes. I don't trust myself, not even to make it through seating auditions.

This just shows how accurate a reflection the characters of my novel are of myself and my own world. The good that I see in this, though, is that it probably means that my novel accurately addresses the themes I intended it to. Maybe, my writing will eventually have purpose – it will make people think.
deleted deleted
1 Response Jul 26, 2012

I am such a perfectionist it is nearing ridiculous. These are nice quotes, thank you for sharing them with everyone!