Inspiring Tidbits, Monday Muse

Dolly Does It

Dolly Parton performing with her guitar back in the day

“You’ll never do a whole lot unless you’re brave enough to try.”

-Dolly Parton

Have I ever told you how much I adore Dolly Parton? Embarrassingly enough, this infatuation started while watching an episode of American Idol several years back in which the contestants performed only songs that Ms. Parton wrote. As a Yankee, I was astounded by how many of the songs I actually knew and was further blown away when I learned Dolly has written more than 350 songs over the course of her career. The more I found out about this iconic singer/songwriter, the more I yearned to be as prolific as her in my own work and emulate the quality of poetry she has brought into the world (albeit through my own art form). Whenever I ask myself the million-dollar question of how exactly one goes about doing this, I recall one of my favorite Dolly quotes: “You’ll never do a whole lot unless you’re brave enough to try.”

I love how this turn of phrase asserts that the very act of trying is brave. Furthermore, thinking about this concept coupled with Parton’s bounteous body of work reminds me that I need to create bravely and do so one heck of a lot. This quote is particularly inspiring to me now, as I’m bouncing back from a sleep-deprived weekend at the Burbank International Film Festival (where I sadly didn’t end up winning best screenplay). It sounds a little too optimistic to be true, but right now – with Dolly’s words to guide me – I’m patting myself on the back for putting my work out there, throwing all my energy into new writing projects, and scheming about all the things I will bravely try to do over the coming year. If we try repeatedly and keep creating new things, after all, we’re each bound to land on a hit song one of these days…Are there any artists or public figures who inspire you in a similar way? Are there any ways you’ve bravely chased down your dreams of late? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment.

Photo from The Bluegrass Special via Pinterest.

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  • Reply kristina@beancakes ★ September 20, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    love dolly parton! she just seems like such a wonderful person and she’s gorgeous!! i’m sorry to hear that you didn’t win ~ but that doesn’t mean that you’re no good! i am inspired by so many famous figures and their struggles, i can’t even begin because it would take all day 😉 😉
    xo ~ ks

  • Reply Pat Oey September 20, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    You know you’re meant to do this work of creating. Winning has nothing to do with the prizes–it’s all about how you keep creating because it is in your blood. Congratulations on letting your creativity flow!

  • Reply Jennifer R. Coté September 20, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    Thank you guys for the happy thoughts, Kristina and Pat! I’ve now got your words along with Dolly’s to keep the corners of my mouth turned up throughout the night. 😉 I love the sentiment, “You’re meant to do this work of creating,” Pat. Something about your turn of phrase really resonates with me right now. Hope creativity is flowing for you ladies tonight, too!

  • Reply ellie September 21, 2011 at 8:20 am

    I would actually love to meet her, she seems like such an amazing person. As for chasing dreams, I feel like I do it every day! I’ve been living my dream just by living in NYC, going to events, and writing. It’s awesome.


    • Reply Jennifer R. Coté September 21, 2011 at 12:45 pm

      I love knowing that you’re out there in NYC living out your dream, Ellie! That’s actually what I enjoy most about your blog – on top of having the most amazing photographs, every time I read your words I get the sense that you’re living out loud and doing the things that you love. Cheers to taking on our dreams every day! 🙂 -Jennifer

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