Run, Forrest, Run!

Forrest Gump just stopped running one day. As much as he loved to run, as many people as he inspired, one day he simply stopped. He’d had enough. He had nothing more to give.

I love the movie, “Forrest Gump.” I’m not a big movie buff, but it’s probably one of my favourites. A big part of it might be the music. Yes, I listen to the sound track while walking on my treadmill some days.

Some days I think about that scene in the movie when Forrest stops right in the middle of the road. Was it even a conscious decision to make? Did Forrest think about quitting? Did he spend days or months contemplating it? Did he take time to think, I’m getting really tired of running and one of these days I’m going to stop?

Will that be me some day? Will I wake up, turn my computer on, and decide that’s it, I’m not writing another word? Will some future WIP be left dangling in mid sentence?

My thought is that Forrest just stopped. That he had been running on automatic pilot and one day something inside him clicked. It was time to stop, he knew it, and so he did. It was the right decision, the right time.

So I’ve been told I think too much. Women sometimes do that. Still, I can’t help wondering does the same thing happen to writers, does this urge to run with words just stop? Will I just stop writing one day without warning?

Maybe it’s time to stop thinking and get back to writing.

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27 Comments

  1. duke1959

     /  February 1, 2011

    Like men don’t?

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    • I suppose you’re right, Mike. Some men probably think too much as well, while others not near enough. Same thing with women. I guess it’s not fair to generalize like that. All the same your comment made me snicker. I hope that was the intention…Thanks! 🙂

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  2. I’ve wondered the same thing, Laura. Will I just stop some day? Actually, I love writing so much that I hope I can continue my word weaving in heaven, a way to praise the God who created words.

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    • It’s hard to imagine stopping, but then one never knows what the future holds in store. I hope you get your wish, Sue, to continue weaving your words in heaven. 🙂

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  3. I suppose it could happen, but until it does, I’ll keep clicking the keys. It’s hard to imagine. Blessings to you, Laura…

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  4. My favorite movie too. The music is a big plus, but I have to say that the book was even better than the movie and there’s no music in the book.

    As far as quitting goes, I wonder about Harper Lee and even Winston Groom (author of Forrest Gump). What heppened to them? Where’d they go?

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    • Get this—I have not read the book, but I do own a copy of the sequel. I got it at a library sale..It’s titled ,”Gump & Company.” It’s in my TBR pile.

      No music in the book but hey, wouldn’t it be cool if there was? 😉

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      • Marie

         /  February 2, 2011

        Love Forest Gump! One could always listen to the sound track while reading the book. That would do it!

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  5. I think the magic of Forrest is he lived in the now, he listened to his heart and lived the moment. Kudos to Forrest. He’s one terrific character.

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    • Wow! You have no idea what that comment reaffirms for me, Joylene. Listening to your heart is usually the way to go. It works in life and in writing. Thanks!

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  6. Gosh, wake up one day and sudden not want to write? That’s a scary thought. I can’t imagine what I’d do. I’d be lost. I think. But life changes us. Still. Having no desire to write is unthinable.

    However, I did love the movie. I watched Forest Gump at the theatres. I couldn’t believe it was as long as they said it was. Three hours zoomed by.

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    • Yeah, it’s scary right now at the place I’m in, but fifty years down the road I can’t be too sure. I think it also causes me to think about just how important writing is to me. It’s way high up there that’s for sure, but it’s not everything. Still, it makes me wonder some times.

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  7. I really don’t think it’s possible for writers to stop writing (barring some life-threatening circumstances!)…a truly scary thought!

    Wendy

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    • Let’s hope it’s not possible, Wendy. I guess like some bad habits we’d have to find something to take it’s place. But what?

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  8. “If I don’t write to empty my mind, I go mad.” ~Lord Byron

    Some words of inspiration from Lord Byron to keep us all writing (and sane – relatively…)

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    • So that’s my problem some days, Jan!

      A great quote. Thanks for sharing it. I had a sudden vision of my mind filling with a multitude of thoughts that I want to put down but not able to access a pen or paper..Oh, yes, I could go mad!

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  9. I think I’m saved from Forrest’s decision, because I can’t write on “automatic pilot.” My words rarely come out one right after the other, heading unwaveringly toward their destination the way Forrest’s steps led him across the country. My stories’ highways are full of alluring side roads, frustrating detours and confidence-shaking potholes. And (mostly in hindsight, of course)I enjoy them all.

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    • The important thing, Heather, is not how many detours we make but the journey itself. In fact, those many detours make the trip that much more interesting.

      And I agree, hindsight helps us to see things more clearly.

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  10. I like that movie and the soundtrack too!

    I’m not a writer (Just a blogger;)), but I wouldn’t worry so much about what might happen in the future. Just continue writing and if you do stop one day, then I’m sure you will find other passions to pursue. 🙂

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    • Pauline, to me a blogger is a writer, but I think I know what you mean.

      I feel pretty confident, at the moment, saying that should I ever stop writing there would definitely be something there to take it’s place. Thanks for the encouragement! 🙂

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  11. I thought about this the other day. What if I’m never published? How long do I write until I give up? Will I wake one day and decided I’m giving up to much to go after my dream. Hmm…no, I don’t think so. 🙂

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    • Ciara, your attitude is wonderful. First and foremost we should be writing as a means of expressing ourselves and for creating, which I believe is one of the very reasons why we are here in the first place. No one who ever got discouraged and gave up ended up being published.

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  12. An interesting discussion, Laura. Once again, a little different in the non-fiction world as opposed to the fiction world. I don’t worry about running out of words; I figure there are always stories to tell, and my words are merely used to tell the words and stories of others. So I’ll keep rattlin’ on til my fingers won’t work on the keyboard anymore, just like an ol’ soup sandwich. So far, so good.
    To counter Forest, let me offer Neil Young’s “Long May You Run…”

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    • “Long May You Run”—-I really like that, Jodi.

      There is a big difference between writing non-fiction and fiction. I’ve always thought that non-fiction was much more challenging.

      I like the fact that you are able to offer things from a non-fiction writer’s perspective.

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  13. Okay, so I am the odd one but my husband and I watched the movie Forrest Gump in the theatre and neither of us liked it! (don’t hate me) Years later it didn’t hit me the same way when seeing it on TV. I sure do like Tom Hanks’ acting, though.

    Your post has spoken to me in a good way, Laura, along with the comments many have written. I am one who will just shift gears mid-stream sometimes. I will do something for awhile, then just not want to anymore and go on to something else. Sometimes I go back later, but I have a creative mind with too many interests, I think, so it’s not as much that I don’t want to continue but that I want to try something new because it’s there. It’s hard to focus or reign in all the ideas sometimes.

    I have tried writing before, but without the education about it that I have gained over the years since. Having access to the Internet and meeting many writers that way has sure made a difference. I have discovered that I LOVE writing, and maybe I always have but just didn’t know I could really do it!

    I think for you, Laura, the only way you will stop writing is when you are 92 and your mind just can’t put the words together anymore — if it even happens then! You could be one who writes forever. I hope so. 🙂
    Blessings.

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  14. Marie has a good idea, there! 🙂 (way up on comment #4)

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