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Monday, March 14, 2011


Inspiration for the Everyday Writer

After March 2nd comes to an end, most people suffer from the emotional hangover of too much Dr. Seuss. The entire country goes crazy for several days celebrating the life of one of the most timeless authors in history but a week or two later, most folks don’t want to pick up a Dr. Seuss book.

Well, I’m not most people. First, when not writing a romance novel, I’m a mom and a preschool teacher. I spend a lot of time reading Dr. Seuss all year round. And I’m cool with that. Dr. Seuss books have a lot to teach children. Not just funky words like “Bar-ba-loot” or “Hakken-Kraks.” There are morals in many of the books written by Theodore Geisel.

My favorite story speaks to perseverance, faithfulness, and honoring your word. Horton Hatches the Egg is the tale of an elephant tricked into sitting on an egg by a lazy bird. No matter what he faces—friends laughing at him, severe weather, hunters, being carted overseas and sold into a circus—he never wavers from his duty. His motto, “I meant what I said and I said what I meant. An elephant’s faithful, one-hundred-percent.”

As writers it’s easy to get discouraged when that first book or second or even that fifth book doesn’t sell. Or when the last agent on your list sends you a rejection. Or when your second round of edits leads to a third.

It’s important to keep going and never give up. Find a reason not to surrender. Horton’s mantra is so memorable not because he said it once, but because he said it over and over. It was his way of fortifying himself to keep going.

Unlike Horton, writers are not tricked into their positions. But like that lovable elephant, we can find something spectacular waiting at the end of the journey. And as the story goes, “It should be, it should be, it should be like that. Because Horton was faithful, he sat and he sat.”

J.S. Nichols lives in a small town in Virginia with her husband, two sons, and two dogs. When not dreaming up romances, she spends her days as preschool teacher. Her debut novel, Come Back to Me , is coming soon from Sapphire Blue Publishing.


Anonymous said...

Go Horton! Persistence is always the key, whether it be in your verbal promise or your secret desires.


Anonymous said...

How right you are, Jess! It's far too easy for writers to become discouraged and walk away from the keyboard. I love Horton's mantra--it's one I need to tattoo on my brain and repeat it every time I face a bad case of writers block. I shan't walk away, I shan't walk away; I'll write the dang scene even if it takes all day! :-)

Anonymous said...

Lis'Anne, I love your mantra! I'll have to post it to my wall! :)

Abigail, you've got that right!