Saturday, November 5, 2011

Not Easy...But Possible


My family recently watched Soul Surfer. Based on a true story, this inspirational movie is about Bethany Hamilton, a young surfer girl whose arm was bitten off by a shark.

Bethany fought insurmountable odds, but battled her way back into the sport she loved and became a pro surfer.

Bethany spoke a line in the movie that resonated with me:

"I don't need easy. I just need possible."

It reminded me that we writers have chosen a goal that isn't easy. Our goal involves a tough industry that's constantly changing. It's based on the subjective opinions of other people. Are we crazy or something?

We're no more crazy than the people who thought we could walk on the moon. Putting books in the hands of eager readers is a bold and vital goal. It can be exciting, but it's also frustratingly hard.

But writer friends, we don't need easy. We just need possible. After all, if Bethany could surf with only one arm, surely we can handle a mountain of rejection letters.

Have you seen this movie? If so, what was your opinion? And do you ever feel like this business is just too darn difficult? If so, maybe these quotes will help:

"The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody appreciates how difficult it was." --Walt West

"Man needs his difficulties because they are necessary to enjoy success." --Abdul Kalam

"Where there is no difficulty, there is no praise." --Samuel Johnson

"Storms make the oak grow deeper roots." --George Herbert

"Difficulties are things that show a person what they are." --Epictetus

photo credit

37 comments:

  1. I haven't seen this film, but I think I'm going to add that line to my quote wall :-)

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  2. this business is difficult and at times, arbitrary. If all I ever read were really good books it would be one thing but when I read stuff that wasn't ready for prime time or worse, then it makes me wonder, what the heck? Not that I'll quit trying, of course :)

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  3. I've seen previews of the film and a documentary about the real Bethany. She's an amazing person. And you are absolutely right. If she can surf with one arm, we'll be able to follow our dream.

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  4. So inspirational! I haven't seen the movie yet, but it's on my list. I love the other quotes you gave us, too :)

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  5. I REALLY want to see this movie! I've seen previews. How chilling that she can even get back into the water! More courage than I would have.

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  6. I haven't seen the movie yet, but had seen Bethany on more than one interview when the film first came out. Quite a remarkable young lady!

    I love - "I don't need easy. I just need possible."

    Thanks for the inspiration today, Julie.

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  7. When I have you and Leslie and all my other great friends, you're right - all I need is possible! :D

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  8. Great quotes! Here's another one: "You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated." ~Maya Angelou

    I remember when that happened to her and how positive and determined she was even right after the tragic event. And so young! She's an inspiration for everyone. I haven't seen the film yet, but I'll probably rent it!

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  9. Thanks for the bit of inspiration, Julie. I was just chatting with a buddy who was feeling down in the dumps two days ago, and helped her through that. Even though I'm feeling strong at the moment, God knows I'll be needing this post sometime soon. It's an up and down thing with us writers, isn't it?

    -Jimmy

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  10. Great quotes and so inspiring! I have not seen that movie yet but need to. :O)

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  11. Friends like you and Lisa are my foundation of inspiration. The kids in my class LOVE this movie. It comes up often in class discussions. I need to see it.

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  12. Guys, thanks so much for your thoughts. Seeing this movie reminded me to count my blessings. And those blessings include all of you writer buddies!

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  13. This was a great post, Julie. "I don't need easy, I just need possible." Good perspective to keep for sure. And I loved the other quotes you shared.

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  14. Basically, I think anything is possible. What are rejection letters anyway except proof that we're writing. And writers are the most eternal of optimists, IMHO. We just keep writing, and hoping we can get out words "out there" for others to read.

    I'm with Elizabeth aka Mrs. Seraphina when I say I also love the quotes that you shared.

    Have a great weekend!
    Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror, A Memoir of Shattered Secrets

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  15. I haven't seen this movie, but I'm very appreciative that you've shared that line. It's a great motivating line.

    Have a fab weekend.

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  16. What a wonderful movie, huh? I loved it!
    Such a great message to all. I am glad my son liked it so much :)

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  17. Such a great post! Love visiting your blog!

    Lola x
    http://lola-x.blogspot.com

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  18. I haven't seen the movie, but I remember the girl from newscasts. What an inspiration - that she can swim at all, let alone surf! Thanks for the inspiration, Julie!

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  19. I really enjoyed the movie but the book explored the reality of losing an arm to a lot more depth. Anyone who has watched the movie should read the book to give her story justice.

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  20. I've seen this movie twice and cried both times.

    Bethany's story was so powerful. Anyone can allow the bad that occurs in their life to define them. But those "bad" things are gifts that give us strength. What we do with the circumstances in life is what truly defines us. The choice is ours.

    The more roadblocks we face make the journey that much more fulfilling when we succeed. And... we always will.

    Thanks for some great quotes.

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  21. Inspirational quote! Wow.

    I have not seen this, but I have seen previews and wondered if they actually found a one-armed actress to play that character. Or did the actual Bethany star in the movie? Do you know?

    Amy

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  22. I haven't seen that film either but I've long thought it'd be a great one! Sounds like it's very inspiring.

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  23. Bethany is an inspiration for sure, and I've noticed that people who are faced with problems like this, seem to be able to reach deep within themselves to find a way to overcome them and achieve amazing things. Anything's possible. Great quotes.

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  24. Great film! Loved it! Great motto, too.

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  25. ...love the comparison, Julie!

    Soul Surfer is a family favorite of ours, suggesting the beauty of inspiration, and the belief that anything is possible.

    Awesome post!

    El

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  26. As always, you inspire! I love all the quotes you used and the reference to soul surfer. I need to actually see the movie, but I know the story well. I found a great devotional written by Bethany for teens which I gave to our little neighbor who broke her arm in three places. She had been feeling down but after reading some of the devotional, her spirits were lifted as she said "if she can do all this with one arm, "I can do it too; and at least I'll have my arm back when the cast is removed". Very powerful lesson for this young girl, as well as all of us!

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  27. Oh yes! I've wanted to see this movie!
    And you know what? One of my classmates from college had this girlfriend who lost her 4 limbs when she was 19--she's the sweetest girl! And she wanted to be a doctor. With her personality, she overcame obstacles and now she's a renowned orthopedist.

    So yeah, this surfer girl is totally right. We don't need it easy--we need it possible! :D
    Thanks for the post. REally enlightening!

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  28. Yes! I watched this movie with my oldest daughter and thought it was very inspirational. There were a few parts that really resonated with me, too. I loved that line you mentioned above. Being a writer isn't easy, that's for sure, but would it really be worth it anyway if it was that easy?

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  29. WOW, Julie! I really needed this post, so thank you. I have one short, simple quote by Winston Churchill I try to keep in mind with every rejection, of which there have been many:

    "Never quit!"

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  30. My daughter LOVED that movie...I just never thought about applying the message to writing. Thanks.

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  31. I haven't seen the movie but I totally agree with the quote! I'm fine with putting the work in to become a published author as long as I can believe it's possible. :)

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  32. I so agree with that. I don't think deep down, any of us want easy. We want to feel we worked for it. But we need to know something is possible, and see progress being made--that's what keeps us striving. :)

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

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  33. Difficulties abound, but so does mercy! :)

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  34. If ever there was a group of professionals who needed inspiration - it would be writers! I remember seeing Bethany on a talk show years ago with her father; even then her positive attitude was apparent.Thanks for the great post, Julie!

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  35. LOVE that movie quote! Completely awesome. That's going up on the classroom wall tomorrow!! :)

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  36. I've not yet seen the movie, but I've seen lots of previews for it. It will be quite an inspirational movie, can already tell that. This young woman has such a positive attitude about life.

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