The Gift of Enthusiasm

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal

“Enthusiasm is contagious – and so is the lack of it.” (Unknown author)

Here I am with Carlton Hughes, the teacher who brought his digital photography class to Shaker Village last Friday to practice their skills. Carlton is a college professor who does this one class for the high school in Harlan County. He also started a book club for some of his students and they were reading my book, The Outsider. I met Carlton last summer at the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference in Elizabethtown.

(By the way, I’ll be teaching two workshops there again in June. “Dialogue – the Fizz in Fiction” and “Facts in  Fiction – Using History in your Story” If you’re interested in attending, you can check it out on their website.  Bestselling author, Cecil Murphey will be the keynote speaker. I’ve heard he’s a fantastic and enthusiastic encourager to writers across the boards.)

Anyway, Carlton was teaching at KCWC last year too and I liked him from our first hellos. Enthusiasm fairly radiates from Carlton so it’s no wonder his students do so well and pay attention when he teaches. Another quote I found was “Knowlege is power and enthusiasm the switch.” (Steve Droke) That’s Carlton. He has the knowledge and even better the enthusiastic switch that can make others ready to hook into that knowledge. As you can see in the photo below a lot of his students wanted to take the field trip with him to Shaker Village.

I had the opportunity to look at some of the digital shots a couple of the students had taken. Very nice. I did find it interesting that more of the pictures were of the donkeys, horses and ducks than of the buildings. But there’s that enthusiasm need again. The young people took photos of what they were enthused about. When I’m there I’m always wanting to take pictures of the buildings and the brooms and things that shout Shaker to me. And of course, that beautiful double staircase in the Trustees House where the kids are all posing on in the picture below. I think they are on the Brothers’ stairs. I think the brothers always used the east doors and stairways and the sisters the west. Unless I’ve got it backwards. I would have had to learn my directions better if I’d been a Shaker. :o) 

So now I’m working to be enthusiastic about my new Shaker novel with the approaching deadline. Not nearly enough words written yet. Unfortunately I’m still feeling my way along the story as if I’m walking in a dimly lit tunnel and having to feel the brick side walls to keep going. But I’m sure I’m going to see the light at the end of the tunnel soon. I’m really hoping when I do see it, it’s not a train!! I’ll just keep in mind this quote from Dale Carnegie. He knew how to find success and how to share that success enthusiastically.

“Flaming enthusiasm, backed up by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success.”

How important do you think enthusiasm is for you? And what are you the most enthusiastic about?