Never hope more than you work.
The more complete quote from wildly-influential-author-I-had-never-heard-of-until-yesterday Rita Mae Brown is:
Creativity comes from trust. Trust your instincts.
And never hope more than you work.
Trust has never been my strong suit, and work seems considerably more trustworthy than hope anyway. I wouldn’t characterize myself as generally hopeful, but I have oscillated between an odd sort of optimism and a conviction that the most soul-crushing possibilities must be the most “realistic.” I call my optimism ‘odd’ because I’m never really sure if I believe it, if I’m thinking it to make myself feel better, or if I’m joking with myself. I only have one personality, but it sure plays games with itself sometimes.
All this is to say, I’m a little conflicted about hope and optimism. Work, on the other hand, is actionable. I can do that. I can reasonably expect better outcomes from working than from hoping. And hence, I will make every effort to work more than I hope.
I already finished my beer 😦 , but if I hadn’t, I would raise it with the conviction that it’s time for hope and uncertainty to step aside. There is work to be done.
I need to thank Ariel Gore for her book How To Become a Famous Writer Before You’re Dead, and my former boss Jennifer Hee for leaving it out for a poor and ambitious employee to take home. After two years of bookshelves and moving boxes, I finally cracked the book open and read the quote from Rita Mae Brown that gave me the kick in the ass I needed.