Collecting Words and Sentences

As Emerson suggests, collect words and sentences that inspire you to speak your truth.

My journal, in the process of becoming my own "bible."

My college roommate and I used to collect quotes for one another. We’d write inspirational words down on Post-its and keep files where we regularly stored our favorite messages that we’d stumbled across. We both agreed: words are powerful.

When someone expresses an observation that we identify with, a sense of validation and synchronicity arises within us. We’re reminded that we’re not alone, that someone, somewhere else in the world, has discovered the same truth that we’re living or perhaps arrived at a conclusion we needed to hear ourselves.

Make your own Bible. Select and collect all the words and sentences that in all your readings have been to you like the blast of a trumpet.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

I came across the quote above from a fellow quote-collector, journaler, and generally uplifting blogger, Gala Darling. In her “30 Days of Radical Self-Love Letters,” she talks about starting a radical self-love journal where you can store all of the things that make you happy. Since I came across this quote, I’ve noticed my own journaling has changed quite a bit in turn. It’s filled less with my own internal ramblings, and more with words, images, and conversations that I find uplifting.

In short, it’s turning into my own “bible.”

What words and sentences have been like the blast of a trumpet to you? What bloggers, authors, poets, filmmakers, or artists have shouted your truth and spoken to you like no other? On the flip side, what is your own truth? If one of your readers were making their own inspiration journal, what message would you want to share?

The more we analyze our influences and the words that speak to us, the more we’re able to peek under the hood of our own writing. By exploring the quotes and phrases that feel like your truth, and that pick you up out of a writing rut, you’re able to uncover processes and truths in your own work. As you sit down at your keyboard this week, channel your greatest influences and either write your own blast of a trumpet or share what speaks to you.

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  1. Hello! I really loved this post. I am also a collector of words. Some people just don’t seem to understand that by seeing and agreeing with someone else’s words you make them take on a whole new life in your world.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. How coincidental. I started collecting beautiful writings in a journal I’m keeping. Most come from works of fiction, but they are vivid passages that I return to over and over again because the words just sing. It’s inspirational to me.

    Liked by 9 people

  3. I think most if not all of us collect words in our own manners. I collected passages from books that speak to me, I post quotes that I can relate to and sometimes expand those into full blown articles. Some people I know collect poems and songs lyrics. My sister bundled quotable quotes from my father’s daily ramblings.

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  4. I was never much of a reader until I stumbled on Kierkegaard while researching my great grandpa from Denmark. BAM! All of the sudden I experienced what it’s like to identify with words on a piece of paper. From Kierkegaard, I got turned on to Dostoevsky. From Dostoevsky to Tolstoy. From Tolstoy to Thoreau to Emerson to Bastiat and so on.

    All of the sudden, I couldn’t read enough.

    All due to finding some words on a piece of paper written hundreds of years ago.

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  5. Collecting words or quotes are to me a very nice thing. I did it some years ago as a teenager, I had two notebooks with words and quotes. I am playing again with a thought to create a new one with Bible verses and want to illustrate it as well. Great post! Thanks for sharing! ☺

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    1. Majak, I like your idea of doing a blog with illustrated Bible verses. For those who are better at absorbing information visually, I think this could help us better remember verses. My blog is not nearly so creative, simply a biblically-based leadership blog: I’m looking forward to seeing your new blog. Please let us know in this Community Pool when it is ready for viewing.

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      1. Well I was thinking only about a small notebook for myself but you are maybe right. I know how visualization can help learning and I got the gift sharing my art. As far I posted only verse images with my own photos, but drawings or paintings would have greatest value. Thanks for your encouraging and I will check your blog. Have a blessed beautiful day!

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  6. This is a great idea! I collect words in pictures, on my computer, etc., but writing them down in one spot that you can read through for inspiration, influence, motivation or support is a great idea.

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  7. Quotes can be powerful, as some of the commenters here have indicated, helping them learn a language and develop a love for reading. However, they’re much more helpful and honoring to the original author, when left in context or at least provided with a little background. I’ve looked back at journals I wrote in my youth and whenever there was an isolated quote, I wish I would have written more on why that was personally noteworthy at that point in my life.

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    1. Yes, I agree with you gospelisosceles, noting the context would help us tremendously. What is clear in our minds today will be fuzzy 20 years from now. I’m making myself a note to do better at a this. BTW, I glanced at your recent post. I may quote you to my friends, “…cherries taste sweeter when I talk to God.” If you are interested in leadership from a biblical perspective, visit my site:

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  8. Reblogged this on The Art of Being Ms. Wenderful and commented:
    Love this….. “When someone expresses an observation that we identify with, a sense of validation and synchronicity arises within us. We’re reminded that we’re not alone, that someone, somewhere else in the world, has discovered the same truth that we’re living or perhaps arrived at a conclusion we needed to hear ourselves.”

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I can say this is true for me as well- although I don’t do that on my public blog. This got me thinking of how I might change up my public blog.

        Liked by 2 people

  9. My own trumpet blast of the week ( or month, dare I say) is a quote I found online by the character Morticia Addams of The Addams Family. “Normal is an illusion – what is normal for the spider, is chaos for the fly” This is good for my “omg I’m such a weirdo” days, haha!

    Liked by 4 people

  10. I enjoy collecting quotes so much. I tend to underline or highlight my favorite quotes in books as I’m reading in order to look back at them later. I feel that my favorite quotes have had a significant impact on not just the way I choose to live but also on my writing. It is kind of like an unspoken goal that I set for myself to write something as beautiful that will resonate to others as much as that particular quote resonated with me.

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  11. I was convinced that there would be many days like this one from now onwards – ones beneath an open firmament, the vastness of the landscape intermittently illuminated, the paths of clouds above casting rippling shadows across the fields. I was looking forward simply to walking now as the plovers bounced in front of me with their distinctive and repetitive whistles. I would walk all day beneath the wondrous love of the heavens and all night amongst Satan’s naked beasts should it be necessary or should it seem to favour me so to do – for I was embarking on new things and I would not have the slightest fear either of any person or of any thing in God’s universe – even the dark one . From now onwards, light and darkness would be my equal companions; the lamb and the owl would both be by my side – the former at my knees, the latter above my shoulder; the ivy and the oak would be intertwined around me and between them they would mesh in me, their roots and branches encasing me, their restraints feeding me a new freedom . This would be my new way forward – exposed and open but devoid of judgement. I would cast out my existing judgements, perceptions and prejudices, leaving a void, a generative abyss from which all new things would no doubt emerge with the passage of time but that abyss would create its own new things with which to fill itself .

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  12. Hi,truly one of the best inspirational stuff i read on wordpress. I now believe that everyone should have his/her own Bible. But during collecting happy memories we shouldn’t forget bad times cause they only help us to rise and make full use of happy times. Thank you

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  13. i always believed that words have the greatest power in the world. Me and and my friend used to collect new words in high school. The part where you talked about being not alone and someone, somewhere discovering the same truth you did is very touchy. i loved it.

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  14. I like this idea of creating your own bible from quotations, pictures and positive aspects for our own age. It reminds me of how Thomas Jefferson, in his own age, created his own gospel by taking a sharp instrument, perhaps a penknife, to existing copies of the New Testament and pasting up his own account of Christ’s philosophy, distinguishing it from what he called “the corruption of schismatizing followers.”

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  15. I remember as a teen/young adult I had such a quote bible. I think it still exists in a box somewhere. How interesting it would be to root it out and see what i found inspirational back then over 20 years ago!

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