Monday, December 12, 2011

What Inspires You?


"My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer," the boy told the alchemist one night as they looked up at the moonless sky.
"Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself." 
"And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams."

Whenever I'm feeling particularly lost, bummed or confused, I go to my bookshelf and reach for THE ALCHEMIST by Paulo Coehlo.

In only 176 pages, this fable takes me on a profound journey in a simplistic way and reminds me what my life and dreams are about.
Through Santiago's journey, I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes from the book, “And, when you want something *really want something*, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

Do you have a book that does this for you?

(imageimage, amazon)

27 comments:

Jessica Bell said...

Excellent book and full of so much truth! My favorite book of all time is Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson. That books makes me want to continue to grow as a writer every single day.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

It's too early for me to think of one (it's only 5:35 am). I'm sure there is one. But either way, I'm bookmarking this page. :D

Christine Danek said...

Kate has told me about this book and I have to get it. There are too many books that have inspired me or keep me going. I can't think right now. :)

Jen Daiker said...

Just this little piece was inspiring. I needed this. I love that it states the whole world conspires to help you achieve your goal. How divine is that?

Beautiful post! I LOVED IT!

I have one that was from when I was younger, it's titled The Red Heels. There aren't really any sentences that stick out. It was just the first book I picked up and had signed by an author at a scholastic book fair when I was in elementary school. It's about a witch who visits homes and makes new shoes for them. Personally, what I get out of it, is the ability to be free and do as you please. Don't let others judge you. It's quite beautiful.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I haven't heard of that one. I'll have to check yours out.

salarsenッ said...

I haven't read this. Sounds like I should.

Yeah, Pride & Prejudice does this for me. I've practically memories the entire book over the years. I'll visit certain passages for inspiration.

Sarah said...

When I need inspiration to perservere, I tend to go back to Till We Have Faces by CS Lewis. And I love those lines from the Alchemist--I have a character in the ms I'm currently working on that is struggling with exactly this issue!

Joanne said...

I haven't read this one, but it sounds great. I love it when someone's words inspire me to write, and often come across inspiration like that just when I'm reading various novels. A certain passage, or turn of a phrase, will be brilliant, amazing me with the power of words at an author's hands.

Stefanie Wass said...

I am inspired by the message of friendship in Charlotte's Web. Especially in the writing world, we would be nowhere without our friends. I LOVE the final line, which reminds me of my CPs and beta readers:
"It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both."
(And so are you, Christina!)

Christina Lee said...

Such great answers, guys! And Stef, thank you (you too)!

Gina said...

That is so beautiful. Although I swear sometimes it feels more like the universe is conspiring against me!

Slamdunk said...

I have not read this either--sounds like I am missing out.

I don't have a go-to book for inspiration, but I keep a copy of Gordon Rhea's "Carrying the Flag" in a drawer. It is the story of an unknown who life had seemingly passed by yet he was able to muster courage in the most chaotic circumstances--an act that no one would have expected. Gives me inspiration every time.

storyqueen said...

So embarrassing that I haven't read it yet! But maybe over the holiday I'll have a little time. The cover is gorgeous and the quotes....sigh.

Shelley

Pamela Gold said...

Matt Logelin's "Two Kisses For Maddie". It's a memoir about Matt's wife dying after giving birth to their daughter. He goes on to raise Maddie with the help of people from all walks of life. It's amazing and inspiring that we can all pick up the pieces no matter the circumstance.

Emy Shin said...

I'm embarrassed to say I haven't read this, but it sounds really lovely. I definitely have to try picking up a copy.

E. Arroyo said...

I read this a long time ago. I have to go back and reread. =)

Matthew MacNish said...

Can you believe I still haven't read this? I know. I know.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

This is going to be weird, but my comfort reading of choice is always something out of the Vorkosigan saga by Lois McMaster Bujold. It's science fiction, sort of. More space opera, really.

I read them for the depth of characterization, just hoping that I can someday create characters people love as much as these.

blueviolet said...

I kinda like The Little Prince. It just makes me feel good.

Lourie said...

I thought of The Little Prince too. Hehehe.

Bethany Elizabeth said...

Lots of books help me feel like this. Madeleine L'Engle books come to mind. :)

Janet Johnson said...

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery does this for me. So beautiful!

Funny, I just now looked up at the other commenters who mentioned this. GREAT book!

Laura Barnes said...

I need to get that book. I have never read it, I don't know why, but I should.

My inspiration books are totally not books you'd expect. I love to turn to Skinny Legs and All by Tom Robbins because I usually need to be put in my place like the main character of that book. I also adore the book Dancing on my Grave, the autobiography of dancer Gelsey Kirkland. She went through hell and back and still managed to survive.

Beautiful post!

LTM said...

omg, you're so right. I absolutely love this book. I actually have it as an audio book read by Jeremy Irons. So awesome. :D Thanks for the reminder~ <3

Stacy S. Jensen said...

I'm writing down several of these suggestions. I return often to a book I read as a kid called "The London Diary" by Quentin Reynolds. The universe allowed me to find that book for sale at the library many years later.

Peggy Eddleman said...

I got chills reading this! I've never read the book before, but after seeing those lines from the book, I really want to. I'm going over to goodreads right now.

Caryn Caldwell said...

I love those quotes! I read the book years ago, and don't remember much of it. I might have to give it another read. Not like it will take that long. :-D