Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

quote-ghosts June 12, 2014

“The odd sense of calm with which he’d waked was still with him.  Something had changed in the night. Maybe it was sleeping…among the ghosts of his own future.”

Diana Gabaldon

Written in My Own Heart’s Blood.

These lines resonated with me.  While the character in this scene is being literal, I think we sleep among the ghosts of our own futures on a frequent basis.  For example, you know how they say men carry within them the seeds of their own destruction.  The ‘hamartia’ or fatal flaw of literary characters occur within our real lives, and who we will be is created by the decisions that we make.

Destinations require both journeys and beginnings.  We go to bed with a decision, and we rise with a spectre of our future self as a result.

I suppose this also works in reverse.  If we have a ‘someone’ we want to be, we can only get there by the conscious and sub-conscious decisions we make toward that image of ourselves. Just like if you want to be a teacher, you volunteer with kids, graduate from high school, study at university, so there are steps to every image.

If you want to write a book some day, sit today and pound out two hundred words.  Tomorrow pound out five hundred.  Get your rhythm,  Keep writing.  Eventually you will have a book, and eventually, you will have readers.

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28 Responses to “quote-ghosts”

  1. Rajiv Says:

    This is brilliant. The ghosts of the future. I do write a lot. The book – pure fantasy – is coming to a close. My “ghosts of the future” are often centred around my photography, and also in the shadow lines between my photography and writing

  2. paulessick Says:

    Reblogged this on My Blog snuppy.

  3. words4jp Says:

    This is a superb post – the quote, your thoughts, your advice. Thanks.

  4. I find this very interesting and helpful, as an aspiring writer and someone who is actively shaping her future. Thank you for you insights.

  5. I am beginning the practice of writing daily. Inspiration. Thank you.

  6. Éilis Niamh Says:

    Wonderful post! It’s amazing too that you have actually met Diana Gabaldon. I’ve always felt that if I ever met her in person, we’d have lots in common to talk about. Do you live in AZ then? I used to live in Tucson. Ah the ghosts of our future…I think I’m confronting mine at the moment. We’ll see how it goes. 🙂

    • I don’t live in AZ. Diana frequently comes to BC for the Surrey Int’l Writers Conference, and I’ve met her there, and had her do critiques of my writing projects. A couple of years back at SIWC I invited her to our local writing conference for May 2014, and I had the honour of airport pick up and chauffeuring her around for her first couple of days here. 🙂 https://shawnbird.com/2014/05/19/poem-waking/ I have written a few poems about her over the years. She was heartily amused by this one: https://shawnbird.com/2013/06/30/on-being-thoroughly-mused/ and mentions it with a chuckle every time I see her. 😉
      She is quite congenial and easy to talk with. She has something to say about everything! lol

  7. racheltoalson Says:

    Sometimes it’s hard to pace ourselves when that story unfolds in our brains. My reality is such that I can’t write a book in 90 days (because I work and am a mother and want to be a good wife and friend). But I can write a book in 365 days, as long as I show up EVERY DAY, even if it’s just 10 minutes a day.

    • and who says one has to write a book in 90 days? How many people write a book at all? A book in 365 days is a fantastic accomplishment that is worthy of respect.

      You’re right. Just showing up every day is the key.

  8. […] quote-ghosts […]

  9. skykinwrite Says:

    I think there is thought and value in this. I like the ‘stitch a day’ philosophy.

  10. Ginz Says:

    That’s just so true to get in the rhythm. I remember writing a book a couple of years ago and penned the whole thing in under 3 months – it was like an addiction; the need to write something every day …. and that determination and persistence was rewarded in a completed manuscript 🙂

    • Well done! Then comes the two or three years of editing… lol How is the manuscript doing these days?

      • Ginz Says:

        It’s done, edited and proofed BUT now I have to decide whether to go for it and publish. Not entirely sure yet whether it was cathartic or not so will write the sequel this summer and decide then 🙂

      • Have you been to a conference or other professional venue to get some feedback from a editor/agent/publisher or professional writers?

      • Ginz Says:

        Yes – I took it an outfit near here and they accepted it for publishing but I need to decide whether it’s something I want in the public arena or not. Just waiting for the children to be old enough to read it and be involved in the decision 🙂

      • lol I can’t say it’d have occurred to me to ask the kids what they thought. Who is the publisher? Most places have a printer that will print for you (and Createspace.com is another good option) that will do a few copies if you just want it for family use. If you don’t have a marketing plan, avoid places that require you to have hundreds of copies.

      • Ginz Says:

        Aw thanks for the advice – much appreciated. That sounds like a good idea – I’ll check it out.

      • All the best with it!


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