Everyone—and everything—needs love to grow. Or to heal. Or to gain insight into
the meaning of, well, of whatever it is you’re into. In 1995 Nicholas Evans wrote a book called The Horse Whisperer, which was made into a movie starring Robert Redford in 1998. It was based on the “real horse whisperer,” Monty Roberts, who said that whispering in a horse’s ear was more about “gentling an animal than soi-disant whispering.” Roberts believed that silent communication can "effectively cross over the boundary between human (the ultimate fight animal) and horse (the flight animal).”
In 2004, an Emmy-Award-nominated reality TV series called “Dog Whisperer” premiered on the National Geographic Channel. And while I’m not into horses or dogs, the concept of “whispering” intrigues me. Think about its affect on children—how it quiets their explosiveness at times. And also its romantic, heart-warming affect, when your lover whispers “sweet nothings” into you ear.
All this came to mind when a friend with an MBA who works for one of the most successful non-profit fundraising organizations in the country began leaving these brilliant posts on her Facebook page a couple of months ago. As I read them, I thought, “she’s whispering in his ear!” And sometimes, it seemed to be working. Here’s a sample:
Dear Dow, what a wonderful day we had yesterday. You were really on your game. Have you been working out? You went up 139 points, not that I'm counting or keeping score. I just want you to know - - you're good enough, you're smart enough and doggone it, people like you. How do you feel about 10,000? Love, Lori
Dear Dow, guess what. It's Thursday, or "Little Friday" as we called it in college. My favorite day of the week, and I think you'll like it, too. I know you were feeling kinda flat yesterday, frankly so was I. But now it's time to get your grow on. Carpe diem, Dow. Love, Lori
My dear Dow, Look at you! 9,864.94. That are some amazing digits my friend. Amazing. Rest up, you've had a big week. In fact, I just looked at your graph of the last 5 days and you are smokin' hot. Purrrrrr! Just wondering, do you get Columbus Day off? Love, Lori
Lori, the Dow Whisperer! I love it.
So, when the February issue of Writer’s Digest arrived in my mailbox, I was thrilled to find it filled with articles and ideas promoting creativity and productivity. I especially loved Shelia Bender’s article, “Marry Your Life to Your Writing.” In addition to lots of practical ideas for finding time to write, working within the space you have to write, and turning “menial” writing tasks into creative ones, Bender offered 3 tips to “Nurture Your Relationship With Your Writing”:
1. “OFFER CHOCOLATES.” Like Elizabeth Berg says, you have to be “in love with writing.”
2. “REMEMBER WHAT IT WAS YOU APPRECIATED IN YOUR WRITING IN THE FIRST PLACE.”
3. “WHISPER SWEET NOTHINGS IN YOUR WRITING’S EAR.”
And just as Lori teased the Dow with her sweet words of love and encouragement, quoting the romantic words of other writers can nurture your own work. My favorite one that Bender included was this:
“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”—Anton Chekhov
So if you’re thinking this is a little over the top, let me ask you: have you ever talked to your plants to get them to grow? How bout talking to your car or your computer when it’s not behaving exactly right? Okay, I imagine that your words to your computer might not have been sweet nothings, and maybe he would respond better if you whispered instead of shouting.
So today as I approach my writing—a new essay or a new chapter in my memoir—I’m going to whisper words of love to it first. If you think I’m going to write them down here for all the world to see, think again. These are private words to my lover. Here goes.