Saturday, 27 April 2013

Walt Disney, Mary Pickford, Henry Thoreau and Motivation for Writers.

Last week Laura E James blogged about Disney and Dreams.
At the RNA Conference last year, she was given a fortune cookie right after a brilliant presentation by Julie Cohen about Disney and Pixar. To her amazement, the fortune cookie slip actually quoted Walt Disney saying: All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them. What a coincidence! This gave Laura the courage to pursue her dream of taking her family to Disney World which she did and had a magical time!
Whilst I was there a few years ago, I saw a T shirt with this quote: Failure is not falling down, it's staying down. 
After a bit of research, I've found out that it was said by Mary Pickford, the Canadian silent movie star who set up United Artists with Douglas Fairbanks and Charlie Chaplin. After the advent of 'talkies', her acting career was over, but that didn't stop her investing time and money in United Artists and selling her share in 1956 for three million dollars!
I've just found my fortune cookie quote. It's by Henry David Thoreau and says: Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.
To concentrate on his writing, Thoreau built himself a simple house and lived alone by Walden Pond in Massachusetts for two years, two months and two days. Here he produced Walden, or a Life in the Woods which went on to be considered a classic American work.
I think for me this means that I should work hard at being a writer and not just dream about it (or follow too much social media!)
Which is your favourite motivational quote? (I have lots stuck on the wall above my desk!)


  1. I love those little stories and quotes, Jean! I have loads too but I do remind myself of this favourite from time to time:
    'We have the power to shrink our dreams to fit reality, or the power to stretch our reality to fit our dreams.' Anon.

  2. Yes, very wise. It's rather like 'If you don't want to do something, you find an excuse. If you do want to do something, you find a way,' which I think is attributable to Jim Rohn.

  3. Thoreau didn't exactly write it like that. What he wrote was: “I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." Fortune cookies are not very reliable but writers should try to get it right.

    1. Thanks, Jeffrey, but I was just quoting what it said inside the fortune cookie.