Throwback Thursday to when I was quoted. With a little addition to the original at the end.
You know, since I was 14 or so, I’ve been collecting. Everybody was collecting something back in those days. Be it little porcelain animals, candles, dried flowers, whatever it was, everybody had another obsession for collecting one thing or the other.
I started collecting quotes. Wrote them down in different colours in my little notebook.
Quotes from Nietzsche, Woolf, Wild, Cleopatra, anonymous people and sometimes even some smart remarks made by people that were close to me.
Often because they had a deeper level of meaning, but sometimes because I had the slight feeling that they might be exactly what I need in the future. In a desperate moment or a moment when I was searching for an answer to a particular question.
I dare say I was a good and passionate collector for some years, I could quote by heart and tell precisely who uttered it. For every occasion a quote would slip from my lips. For my birthday and other occasions I would get cards with quotes on it, so that I could pin them on my wall. My walls were selectively decorated with quote cards.
I had started writing poetry way before I became a quote collector.
Never did I really assume that one day one of my remarks or lines from my written works would become quote worthy or actually be quoted. (Until that one time where a fellow pupil stole one of my lines and pretended it was her’s, as everybody knew she was writing as well)
Fast forward: 2015.
Last year I published my first book.
And I got some feedback on it. And on some lines that are considered memorable.
Like “Love becomes a lost lullaby when we label it like lipstick.”
And then there is today.
Taking a break from working. Scrolling through my WhatsApp contacts (yes you only do that in breaks, out of boredom, curiosity or the itch of stalking someone, I know).
Out of a sudden I stopped.
There I saw it. As an away status.
A line oh so familiar to me.
“The heart’s a stranger we once knew.”
From my story Reflection. (reposted below)
I feel genuinely honoured and pleased.
These are no lines I picked up somewhere else. They are not the quote of a quote.
These are the words that fled from the inspirational spark in my mind through my body, through my fingertips onto the page.
And it made me smile to see these words, this line standing there.
Why? Because it means that those words mean something to someone. That they give something to someone.
And that is what I’m writing for.
Addition: I want to be honest with you. The true story went like this: I saw this quote. And I got angry. Why? Because it wasn’t really a quote. And as I’ve learned from Austin Kleon, whose works I will recommend tomorrow, “Quote correctly or don’t quote at all”. Okay, I’m not that strict, if you don’t know who said it but you love the quote and you can’t find out via google or other search options who said it, then I’m perfectly fine if you still share the quote you love. Only point is this: Please, please, please mark it as a quote! How? Use quotation marks! Just to indicate that this formation of words is not your intellectual property, that it doesn’t stem from your own mind. This doesn’t mean that it doesn’t resonate with you, it’s still something that you shared. Nothing is taken away from you if you use these tiny quotation marks, I mean, come on, artists produce art and they share it, so of course it is an absolute joy if they see that their work resonates with the people, but if you don’t indicate that it is a quote (or name the origin of it if you know it) then it makes the impression of pretence, of stealing, of pretending that it was you who created it. Is that fair to the artist? Is that fair to all the sweat, blood and tears they’ve put into the creation of the work?
I don’t even ask for naming me. I just ask for two tiny “”.
So, you might wonder, if I got this angry with the quote which wasn’t indicated as one, why did I write such a positive post about it?
The answer is quite simple: Because I didn’t want this negativity to get hold of me. Every energy is energy, whether it is positive or negative. And we can transform it. It’s up to us what we make out of it. And that time I decided to transform the negative energy into positive energy.
So the original post was absolutely honest, so is this addition to it. Not because I decided to blame the person who didn’t quote correctly later on after having thought about it, absolutely not. I still stand to what I said in my original post, it is an honour and a pleasure to be quoted and it means a lot to me if something, be it a small piece of a sentence of one of my works, resonates with you and gives something to you, and yes, this is definitely a part of what I’m writing for, I want to give (back), but I decided to write this addition in order to urge you to quote correctly or at least to use quotation marks. Just to be fair with the artist, the creator.