Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Enthusiam and Yeast in Fiction
"You can do anything if you have enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is the yeast that makes your hopes rise to the stars." ~ Henry Ford
I came across this great quote on Facebook the other day. I started to repost it, but then I wanted to say more than the FB police let me say. I always want to say more than the FB police will let me say. I make a game out of weeding out unnecessary words and letters on my posts. I don't know if I could ever get a tweet done, but I'm thinking about trying it just to practice brevity. And being enthusiastic about it.
I'm a bread baker. I got some sourdough starter years ago and have been making bread ever since. I like making bread. I like eating bread. And my grandkids like making bread too. You can see the enthusiasm in the faces of these two dough kneaders. Of course with the enthusiasm my grandchildren show for kneading the bread, the floor and cabinets get dusted liberally with flour and sometimes their fingers get covered in gooey dough. But there is just something about kneading dough and then watching the yeast in it make it rise.
That's what I liked about the quote - the idea of enthusiasm being yeast to make your hopes and dreams rise and take wing. If you can't be enthusiastic about your own hopes, then they're going to be like those grocery store helium balloons. Up for a while and then gradually losing air and sinking lower and lower until you can't find a hope anywhere.
Oh, but enthusiasm can work wonders. And it's sometimes catching. One person's enthusiasm can shake awake another person's enthusiasm. And pretty soon the whole stadium is cheering. Or everyone on the team is playing his or her heart out. Or the whole church is on fire for the Lord. Or one author is sitting in front of her computer hitting keys as fast as she can to make words spread across the empty screen. Or a reader is telling all his friends about the great book he just read.
It's easy to be enthusiastic about some things. Grandkids! New books coming out! The Seeker and then Angel Sister to start out the new year. New characters and new ideas! I'm grabbing hold of some enthusiasm to help me start writing Shaker number 5. You can do anything. That means it's going to do more than get me started. It's going to push me through the middle doldrums and right on past the panic of finding the perfect ending. Enthusiasm. I can do anything if I have enthusiasm. It's going to make my hopes rise the way my bread loaves do sitting on the counter next to a warm stove.
Hopes and dreams? Find the ones that wake your enthusiasm and you can do anything. Do you believe that is true. That if you want something badly enough...