My Case for Quotes
“Quotes” I love them, I use them and here’s why ….
I love quotes … not just any quote, Specific Relevant and Thoughtful Quotes.
I use them in my instagram posts, and I use them to generate ideas and to stimulate my creativity.
I know … I can hear some, maybe many, of you saying "oh no not more quotes" as you scroll your feeds, and give the briefest of glances at the hundreds of posts.
I hear the critics, where is the originality? where is the value? where is the content? ….. and I say to those critics ….. It is in the choices. It is in the design. It is in the context.
Yes there are poor quotes, and there may even be bad quotes. There are irrelevant quotes, and their maybe empty quotes, devoid of substance.
I was going to add over-used quotes or oft repeated quotes.
But these maybe in a category all by themselves, because we have to ask ‘why are they repeated? Why are they popular? Why have they lasted through time?’
And probably the answer lies in their relevance to the human condition. Or their succinct summation. Or the picture they are able to paint. Or the story they tell.
And this brings me nicely to visuals, to images that accompany the quotes.
Often the instagram feeds that receive such criticism have photos that accompany the quotes that are too ethereal, or too general. Rarely do they supplement the quote. They may not add a context for the quote. Perhaps they do not show the quote in action.
How does the quote connect to the work they do? Or is it a personal message about themselves?
Indeed at times words can be extraordinarily successful when they simply stand alone. They can have an intensity and a power all to themselves. But if this is not the case, then there is a need to draw the audience towards a longer explanation, a reason for posting that particular quote.
So as I said ……
I love quotes … but not just any quote, specific relevant and thoughtful quotes.
And how interesting …… these are words i'd also use with regard to my client work.
Specific. Relevant. Thoughtful.
And I believe that this IS my point.
The quotes I use are for the most part researched, they are not random. They are hand picked for a reason. Perhaps they follow a theme. Or they add to my story. They build on the foundational aspects of my beliefs and values. They are emphasizing a specific point of view. They maybe highlighting a cause or movement close to my heart. They portray an attitude I admire. They are not a lazy option when I can’t think of something else to say.
So why don’t I use my own words?
Simple. I am a wordy person.
My mind is a constant connection making machine. No sooner do I come up with one phrase or sentence than I see links and interconnections, and incidental cross references. I know myself!
It is hard for me to discipline my mind to succinctly epitomize an idea or a concept in a few words, or a few lines.
Moreover I don’t want to! ….
Why? because this ability and the way my mind works is my super power ….. it sees what others miss, it enhances and expands. I can use it to demonstrate and describe complex theories to those only interested in results. I have myriad ways to clarify or offer knowledge and wisdom. It is where my creativity lies.
So no…… I do not want to discipline my mind, or limit it.
I want to apply it,
I want to exploit the natural skills I possess to find a way of working with it and not against it.
Successful quoting is a way to focus attention on one or two ideas. A great quote is an exceptional way to send a message in just a few words. It is crafted by a mind very different from mine. It is some=one else's super power I get to borrow in service of those whom I serve.
It must be clear simple yet not shallow.
I am asking my audience to think more deeply, to question what is, to challenge the status quo, internally within themselves and externally within their environments, to show curiosity about their experiences.