A is for The Abyss

Celebrating the A to Z Blogging Challenge with quotations on the writing life.

Photo: Matteo Piotto (Creative Commons Flickr)

There are no words to express the abyss
between isolation and having one ally.
It may be conceded to the mathematicians that four is twice two.
But two is not twice one; two is two thousand times one…

G.K. Chesterton

Encouragement is powerful, writing friend. Here is another I’ve shared before, but it’s such a stunner that it bears repeating.

The unpayable debt that I owe to him was not ‘influence’ as it is ordinarily understood, but sheer encouragement. He was for long my only audience. Only from him did I ever get the idea that my ‘stuff’ could be more than just a private hobby.

J.R.R. Tolkien, on his friendship with C.S. Lewis

So, who have you encouraged today? Because your sincere “Say, I really like this!” means more than you know.

Photo: Matteo Piotto (Creative Commons Flickr). Image is link.

14 thoughts on “A is for The Abyss

  1. I’m finally forcing myself to say the things I always thought but didn’t verbalize. Very often, I would think of how well a student did, or how much I liked the work of another author, but I didn’t tell them. Now I do. If that’s schoolteacher syndrome, so be it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sincere encouragement is a wonderful gift. I knew that Tolkien and Lewis were friends, but I have never before heard the Tolkien quote. Really something to savor …

    By the way, thanks for visiting my blog. I’m so pleased to have connected with you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have never thought of myself as being like Tolkien or Lewis. But they were teachers like me, brain-dead at the end of the day (or week) and yet pushing themselves beyond all that to write.

      I’m glad to have connected with you, too.


  3. Those are both amazing quotes…and I believe them wholeheartedly. I have received unpayable gifts from many, but especially in this past year-plus of My 500 friends and focused writing support. Thank you for the reminder to go thank and encourage them.

    And since I’m here… 😉 thank YOU for your ever-present encouragement and support…and look at how far you’ve come on this next book–you’re so close! Keep up the steady work (as you always do, despite your protestations to the contrary).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As far as encouragement goes, you give as good as you get, my friend. Thanks for the Atta Girl. It means a lot.

      I will finish this book. As with the others, the ending is proving to be more complex and BETTER than I planned. Which is to say, it’s taking a long, long time to write…

      Liked by 1 person

    1. My son Nathan helped me find the theme, Tonia. He explained why it was the best choice, design-wise, and gave me the push to step away from my other choices. The happy background I found on a free graphics site.


  4. Never underestimate the power of a kind word or encouragement. I love both quotes you’ve chosen and your words set them off so elegantly. Thank you for reminding me how important a little encouragement can be.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The gift of encouragement is really the gift of time, isn’t it? That’s what the A to Z Challenge reminds me, as I take time to visit blogs and, as Robin said above, to say so when I am impressed.

    I collect quotations about writing to share with my high school students. For the A to Z this year, I scoured my collection for favorites.


  6. What wonderful quotes! I’m going to remember the Tolkien one, particularly as we watched the last Hobbit movie this weekend. LOL To think he called his work stuff and thought perhaps it might only be a hobby. Amazing. Looking forward to more great quotations.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I know, Karyn, right? To think that without Lewis’ encouragement, Tollkien might never have written or published. Boggles the mind, this power of encouragement.

    Thanks so much for stopping by.


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