Playwriting

Inspired or Irritated?

“Let’s not forget that the little emotions are the great captains of our lives and we obey them without realizing it.” ~ Vincent van Gogh

Do famous quotes inspire you or irritate you? Are you one of those people who stare at a quote each day and are moved forward? Or do you find them unhelpful and annoying?

I can’t decide which side of the fence I live on. It is assumed that I’m on the look-out to be inspired all the live long day. Many people also assume that what they are doing is infinitely more inspiring that is actually so. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the thing that anyone is doing when they say the words ‘watch out or it’ll end up in one of Lindsay’s plays’ is never the thing that ends up in my plays. It just doesn’t work that way.

I also can’t stand those oversized INSPIRATION poster that are supposed to MOTIVATE you. To what, I’m not sure but the posters are HUGE. I was working behind the scenes at a production of Into The Woods once and the cast gave the director one of those posters. My first thought was ‘you hate the director.’ But really, I think it was that the cast completely lacked imagination, and perhaps MOTIVATION to get a meaningful gift. Add to that, they didn’t get anything for the stage manager. A HUGE no-no.

And yet…..This Thoreau quote has been living in my inbox since 2oo5.

“If one advances confidently in the direction of one’s dreams, and endeavors to live the life which one has imagined, one will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” – Thoreau

It kind of sounds really close to something that should go on one of those posters. But it’s a little quirky too, isn’t it. I love the notion of doing what you want for a living (which I do) and the fact that success is unexpected in common hours. We don’t want success in the extra-ordinary hours, do we. We want it when we’re sitting around in track pants drinking tea and staring out the window at the unplowed snowy road.

Does it inspire me? Well, I suppose it does. Enough that I don’t want to delete it.

This word of the day has also lived in my inbox since 2006 when Craig sent me this Boing Boing post.

Medianeras: The ghost of a room.

Now, at least I know why this remains. I’m dying to put this image in a play somewhere, sometime. It hasn’t happened, so it stays in my inbox. See? I’m not inspired by what Joe and Martha did at Wal-Mart. I’m inspired by lingering rooms.

Where do you find inspiration? What quotes drive you forward? What quotes annoy you?

About the author

Lindsay Price