There's no end
to the things you might know, depending how far beyond Zebra you go! {Dr. Seuss}

Monday, June 7, 2010

Keep on Writing!

Anne of Green Gables
by L. M. Montgomery
“Which would you rather be if you had the choice–divinely beautiful or dazzlingly clever or angelically good?” 
~Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery 
The Anne books were some of my favorites as a child, and I still re-read them every few years. I’ve always remembered the above quote because it’s such an insightful question. Though Anne and Matthew didn’t know which they’d choose, I always knew exactly which one I’d rather be–dazzlingly clever! 
In college, my creative writing professor would give us a prompt at the start of class and we’d have five or ten minutes to write. Afterwards, we had the option of reading it aloud. I never read out loud because 1) public speaking is scary, and 2) all I had was a paragraph of drivel. Some students would volunteer to read aloud, and their writing was amazing. An astounding topic, beautiful phrases, and it’d be an entire page! I was blown away by how well and how much some people can write in only five or ten minutes without revising. How I admired and envied them!
Yes, hands down, no contest, if given the choice of being divinely beautiful, dazzlingly clever, or angelically good, I’d choose dazzlingly clever!
Now that I think about it years later, maybe those students really were brilliant, or perhaps what they wrote only seemed so dazzlingly clever because I felt insecure about my own writing. And really, it doesn’t even matter. The important thing is to continue writing, continue reading, and continue writing even more. 
I can’t worry about others who seem to be doing everything sooner and better than I am. There are things I can’t always control, forces that may keep me from being published as soon as I want. But no one can stop me (or you!) from being writers! No one can keep us from writing. No one, that is, except ourselves. 
Keep on writing, zigzaggers!!! 
So just for fun, which would you rather be: divinely beautiful, dazzlingly clever, or angelically good? Happy Monday and happy writing, blog buddies!!!

25 comments:

Jennifer Shirk said...

Ooh that's tough! But I'm thinking clever too!

Rebecca @ Diary of a Virgin Novelist said...

Oh god, I loved Anne of Green Gables. I should re-read those books.

And of course I pick clever!

Bluestocking said...

Clever, hands down. And I do think our self-doubts color how we perceive others and compare them to ourselves. Must stay confident!

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

Oh, yeah, I'm with ya on the 'dazzlingly clever'!

SWK said...

I'm with you--clever, for sure! Also agree about the need to KEEP WRITING. After decades (yes, decades), I finally found the courage to write my way and to send my work out and, at last, I'm looking forward to publication. So, I guess, I'd say that dazzlingly clever sounds great but it's good to also be stoically PATIENT :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Give me the clever!

Tahereh said...

that is one of my favorite questions of all time, EVER. i LOVE anne from all the Anne of Green Gables stories. she's FABULOUSSSS

and i must admit i've thought about this question a lot.

soo i'd have to say i'd like to be dazzingly clever. because being clever can trump ALL!

hehe (just like Anne!)

Shannon said...

Definately dazzlingly clever. :)

And try not to compare yourself to others. Your journey is not theirs. And you *are* fabulous. ;)

Jen said...

OH I know, I know, I know, I'd be dazzlingly clever... wanna know why??

Because I already am... hehe

Great post Laura!

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

Like you and your other commenters, I’d prefer to be dazzlingly clever.

Laura Marcella said...

Jennifer- It is a tough question! Glad you're able to choose one, though! :)

Rebecca- Yes, you should! I love them all, but Anne of Green Gables and Anne's House of Dreams are my favorite!

Bluestocking- "Must stay confident!" Absolutely! As long as I don't let insecurities keep me from writing, then it's okay to feel that way sometimes!

Alliterative Allomorph- It really does seem like the best choice!

SWK- Ooo, yes stoically patient for sure! If that was thrown in the mix...hmm, then it'd be a lot tougher to choose!

L. Diane- Done! You already are super clever, but now you're DAZZLINGLY clever!

Tahereh- I agree! Leave it to Anne to come up with it. :)

Shannon- Thank you! You're so right; everyone's journey is different and their own.

Jen- I know you already are!

Jane- Yes, so far everyone has chosen it. It's the best choice for sure!

Clarissa Draper said...

I am clever and I don't know that it's all it's cracked up to be. Sometimes I wish I was a dumb bimbo. Sometimes not knowing and thinking the world is a wonderful place is better than knowing what I know.

CD

Renae said...

Absolutely clever! If we were anything else we couldn't be writers. Love your blog by the way, I'm following!

Sandy Shin said...

It would be dazzlingly clever for me as well, although angelically good sounds tempting.

I experienced the same in my creative writing class. Whenever somebody reads their work out loud, it always sounds so perfectly brilliant. Sometimes, the works aren't -- sometimes, they are. However, part of the reason they all sounded brilliant to me was definitely because of my own insecurity.

Laura Pauling said...

Dazzingly clever - definitely!

Merrilee said...

Dazzlingly clever, of course!

Faith E. Hough said...

Wouldn't I love to say good...but, yes, clever. Because hopefully if I was clever enough I would realize that good people are the happiest and my dazzlingly clever mind would quickly decide to focus much of its energy on the noble pursuit of virtue.
I'm very tempted to just throw this completely outside the box and say all three, cuz, gosh, why waste all the beauty on foolish, bad people?
Actually, yes, I would just like to BE Anne. I've already read that book once this Spring, and now you've got me itching to do so again!

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

Hmmm...I'd rather be dazzingly clever. :)

Miriam S. Forster said...

Okay, so am I still nice? 'Cause I've been clever-and-not-so-nice before, and while it's fun, it kind of pales after a while.

I think angelic people are kind of boring, and my husband already thinks I'm beautiful, so if I can be nice, I definitely want dazzlingly clever.

Jody Hedlund said...

What a clever post, Laura! I think we easily fall into the trap of comparing. I don't write beautiful prose the way some do, but I think I've found my own voice and I try to remind myself that it's not going to sound like anyone else!

Christina Lee said...

Looks like the consensus is clever (me too)! But I've also learned in my short time here that looks open lots of doors for you, and being good doesn't yield the same results. Sad, really!

Laura Marcella said...

Clarissa- Ignorance is bliss, right? Haha. Sometimes that's true, but most of the time I'm glad I know everything I do!

Renae- Welcome! Thanks for commenting and following. I'll be stopping by your blog and returning the follow! :)

Sandy- I'm glad I'm not the only one! I always thought divinely beautiful was rather tempting. Spectacular looks get you places, or so it seems. But I'd much rather be appreciated for a clever mind and kind heart than a perfect nose!

Laura- Hear, hear! That seems to be the common agreement. :)

Merrilee- Cleverness seems like it would open more doors for opportunity than the other two!

Faith- "Why waste all the beauty on foolish, bad people?" LOL, I know what you mean. But they need something to feel good about! Have you read all the books in the series, too? If not, I highly recommend you do so!

Nicole- Join the club! We're all dazzlingly clever here! :)

Miriam- Oh no, I hope my blog doesn't bore you. I'm not exactly angelic, but I'm a goody two shoes for sure! I blame that on my mom, lol. I'm pretty much just like her!

Jody- Thanks! Yes, I do fall into that trap sometimes. I must remember everyone's writing is different and their own!

Christina- I know, divinely beautiful was a tempting one for me when I was younger! Then I wised up and knew cleverness opens just as many doors for opportunity, AND you're more likely to advance those opportunities!

Miriam S. Forster said...

No, no, not you! :) I was thinking more along the lines of Roy Gardener in Anne of the Island. Perfect in almost every way, romantic, thoughtful, etc, but no sense of humor whatsoever.

Since you definitely have a sense of humor, you're safe.

Alexandra Crocodile said...

Oh, I love Anne! I went to P.E Island in 2008 and it was magical! I couldn't choose between the three, just like Anne:)

Laura Marcella said...

Miriam- You're so right! He was a nice man, but that's ALL he was. There was no substance to him at all. I was very thrilled when Anne finally realized what Gilbert meant to her! Ashley Wilkes from Gone with the Wind is another character like that. Why Scarlett wanted him over Rhett through the entire novel...?!?! Silly girl!

Alexandra- Ooo, that's awesome! I want to go to Prince Edward Island SO MUCH! Ever since I read the books, and then when I saw the movies, that just sealed it for me. PEI is one of my dream vacations!