What inspires you to action? What inspires you to believe?
Are you inspired by random quotations? Does the unfamiliar or even familiar quotation give you the evidence you need to trust a writer?
Or does it cause you to wonder?
Successful writers know that a quotation doesn’t speak for itself. If you’re using a quote in your text, you have to explain its relevance to your material and identify the credibility and authority of the quotation’s author.
But if you want a quotation for your website or for a blog, is it brave or foolhardy to pluck a quotation from an online list of quotations without knowing when or why the author first wrote or said those words? What do you think?
Sometimes I read a quotation on a website and pause. I wonder how the writer of the website came across that quotation. Did she actually read the full article or speech or book? Has the quotation been taken out of context? Did she check the source?
I’m always a little suspicious about believing the rest of the text on the website because I have doubts about the use of the quotation.
Even though I am wary about the use of quotations, I am often inspired by a turn of phrase or a fresh word choice.
Today I read an oath which resonated with effort and determination. It had none of the affected quality that I sometimes see in the borrowed words on the occasional website and elsewhere.
I was checking the Special Olympics website for the dates of the Summer Games in Greece. I know someone who will be going to those games.
Just in case you’re interested, the dates are June 25 to July 4, 2011. Beneath the dates on the website is the Special Olympics Athlete Oath:
Let me Win!
But if I Cannot win,
Let me be brave in the attempt!
If you’re struggling today with your dissertation, stop and take in the context for these words. Take to heart the line from the oath “Let me be brave in the attempt.”
Just as the Special Olympics athlete is brave in the attempt to win, I urge you to rise bravely to the best that is within you and be inspired to write.
What has inspired you lately? I would love to hear from you.
Nancy Whichard, Ph.D., PCC
Your International Dissertation Coach and Academic Career Coach
nancy @ nancywhichard.com