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Am I the Pebble or the Ripple?

Updated on February 23, 2015
The ripple
The ripple | Source

Am I a Ripple?

In my early stages of writing, I was a reactionary writer. I saw something; read about something; heard something then would write about it. Some works were about something that interested me at the moment; others about my family; still others about my view on the world today. I had not found my "voice", my place in the world of writing. I began with a work detailing my thoughts on the EF-5 tornado which struck my hometown in May of 2011. The road from there to here has been long and fraught with high seas, strong winds and muddy waters; rarely has there been smooth sailing. And for the most part I was the ripple; a reaction to something tossed into my environment causing me to react.

So when I say I was a reactionary writer it was because I was reacting to my environment at that moment in time. This does not mean I am unhappy being this type of a writer; merely that now, some years into my "Writing Career" (heh heh) I am noticing that I may not be simply that type of writer any longer.

Thank you Sir William!

I feel I have changed direction somewhat now. I am more comfortable creating from within, from my own thoughts. I still react to exterior impulses but not exclusively. For the first time in my life I feel comfortable offering a suggestion. And this is the result of that suggestion.

So as a ripple, I was reacting to the stone thrown into my waters. I was without original impetus, without original thought. Something had to spur me to create my words. Then I noticed a change, a shift occurring in my words. It was not sudden, nor was it especially noticeable. It simply was different. I began to feel as though I could create something wholly my own, from my thoughts, dreams, mind. It was uniquely my own. I was approaching the threshold of something I feared, yet was drawn to like a moth to a flame. I had no control, I was driven; obsessive my wife might call me. I had to write!

"If one wakes up thinking of writing, one is a writer" Sound familiar? I think we all have heard that at one point or another in our career as a writer, even if we simply are doing this as a hobby or pastime. It means if we are driven to do something, to accomplish our dreams, then we are supposed to at least try to do that which we are dreaming of. We may not do it well, we may not ever make it in our lifetimes: but who can say where our words might come to light once more, might resurface and spur others to create something wonderful?

Another of my hubs here asks a similar question which I called it The Beginning Of An Echo. Who can say who will be standing downstream in the river of time, someone who sees and reads our words and is inspired? It is thrilling to believe that we, standing in the here and now, might just inspire a masterpiece! It is equally thrilling to simply write something down, express ourselves, document our lives in a manner never before seen in the history of the world. This electronic wilderness we are wandering in is allowing us to create something for future generations to read and marvel at, to be inspired by, or simply to find enjoyable, fascinating, amazing.

Am I the pebble?

Recently I had a thought, a simple little thought. I wondered if this old fireplace I had seen for years, standing all alone beside the highway might be good enough to become one of billibuc's famous Writer's Challenge for others to write about. I sent the thought to my mentor and great friend Bill and he found worth in it. He created a story and challenged others to do the same.

And thus the ripples began.

One after another after another stories were created based upon this little old lonely fireplace! It was given a life it had not known, nor would we ever have known or imagined without searching for it. Words both simple and majestic were put down into sentences and paragraphs and put out for others to read, comment on, be inspired by! Stories both personal and fictional shared between writers across the world! Oh how far have the ripples of this simple little pebble traveled!

And now I stand amazed that this sharing of an idea, this tiny question has brought so many wonderful stories to life where there had been none.

billibuc, Sallybea, Sarasairwarriaz, AudreyHowitt, Homeplace Series, MDavisatTIERS, cam8510 and countless others have undertaken to bring to life this simple little question I posed to Bill. I am absolutely in awe of the talents shown by these wonderful writers and the creativity they possess. I am amazed that each of them have taken up the gauntlet thrown down by Bill and accepted the challenge to create a story.Each is a masterpiece in its own right, showcasing their adaptability and the depth of their passion for creating something from nothing. That tiny pebble thrown into the vast ocean of writers has brought forth such ripples that have literally covered the world's oceans.

And each and every one of us here today, standing upon the shores of those vast waters has a pebble or two in our hands. To those who are fearful of tossing one into the water, fear not. Although it may appear to be swallowed up and nothing lasting appears to have come from it, have faith. Somewhere, sometime someone will notice it. They will become curious and read it. They will take an inspiration from it and create something uniquely them. They will cast their pebble into the waters where it will create its own ripple thereby continuing this amazing circle of ripples and pebbles, allowing others to enjoy works of art and then possibly create their own far into the unseen future.

Cast your pebble upon the water
Cast your pebble upon the water | Source

So, to wit: Am I a pebble or am I a ripple? I suppose the true answer is: both. Each of us has the ability within to be intrigued and inspired by others and to then turn around and create something which we then cast into the waters thereby creating those ripples once more which find their way to another and another and another. Each of us is both a pebble and a ripple. Each of us is in turn inspired and inspiring! Can you imagine?! You have inspired someone else, someone you may not even know to create a wondrous work of literature, of art, of life!

They might not write stories but they might sculpt, or write poetry, or simply take that which we felt deeply enough to put into words and make it their mantra, if you will. Perhaps your work makes someone smile, then that smile is passed along in another manner to someone else who needed that smile. Or a hug. Or a helping hand. Your pebble knows no boundaries!

How very true.
How very true. | Source

So where am I going with this? I truly don't know. It is just incredible to think that we are, in fact, inspiring wondrous things in others whether we realize it or not. Our words, our thoughts, our desires, our dreams can be and sometimes are picked up by others and brought to a reality we never dreamed of. It is a heady feeling, this knowledge of inspiration. Who can say the direction our thoughts may take under another's interpretation. They may be familiar, they may not. To one person this story may be about family; to another history. To yet another it may be something we ourselves could not dream of in a thousand years. And yet, they wait, patiently wait for us and others like us to discover them, to share them with the world. To give them a voice to the world.

Share your ideas with others. Share your dreams, your desires. Who knows, your words may just inspire the next great novel; the next amazing film; song; poem. The whole world waits for you. Cast your pebble into the waters and watch what happens!

We are all children standing beside the ocean, throwing pebbles into the water.

Do you consider yourself:

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    • Mr Archer profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr Archer 

      3 years ago from Missouri

      Venkatachari, I am honored that you enjoyed this so much. Our words are creating something from nothing and it is beautiful to behold. Please take the time to enjoy yourself as you create; we all should do the same. Be safe.

    • Mr Archer profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr Archer 

      3 years ago from Missouri

      Thank you M' Lady! I am glad you enjoyed this little venture into my mind. I saw that video and to me it just felt right and I had to add it to the hub, as we are all just a child at times, enjoying ourselves and not really knowing that the pebbles we are tossing are possibly making a difference in other's lives. Please take care and have a wonderful day!

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 

      3 years ago from West By God

      Open Mind for different view. I never thought of those like that. Sometimes I can see that I am the ripple and then others the pebble and still you brought even another aspect into it...the child who throws the pebble. Something to think about this week for sure. Thanks.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      Brad Masters 

      3 years ago from Orange County California BSIT BSL JD

      Mr Archer

      Thanks for the clarification.

      While I understand what was your goal here, I have a different opinion about the effect of something on the people.

      Most of the people in the country are in the C of the bell curve. That is one of the reasons why polls taken of a thousand or less people can seem accurate for millions of people.

      It is more like a large herd of sheep, and using the pebble and ripple analogy, the sheep don't all see the ripple, they follow the sheep in front of them all the way up the line to a few sheep that think they are following the ripple. The stones that were thrown were most likely thrown by the shepherds to control the direction and movement of the sheep.

      As an example, look at the elections in the US for the last one hundred years. The shepherds in this case are the political parties.

      The best to you.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      3 years ago from SW England

      Ah well, never mind! It had an interesting history to go with the photo though. Thanks for letting me know and thanks, too, for instigating that challenge.


    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      3 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Wow!!! It's so great to read this. You are so true. A good comparison of writing with pebbles and ripples. What an amazing scene. We are throwing pebbles and creating ripples. Beautiful!!! I never imagined like this.

      Thank you for giving inspiration to us by comparing our scribbling with such a beautiful scenery.

      Voted up and awesome.

    • Mr Archer profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr Archer 

      3 years ago from Missouri

      Brad, I simply meant that we can be effected by others works and words here. They create something (a pebble) and toss it out into the world, causing a reaction (ripple). And while the pebble may sink out of sight the ripple continues, at least for a while. In my case, the suggestion to Bill was put forth as a challenge and many across the world reacted to it. His pebble, their ripple. Then their pebble went out and others reacted due to their ripples. I do thank you for your honesty and candor and wish you the best.

      Dr. Bill, thank you neighbor. I agree, the pebble changes the pond, even if it is an infinitesimal change, it is changed nonetheless. This was the first time I truly felt I was a part of the change and it was incredible! The ripples are continuing to expand and I am reading each entry into the challenge eagerly. Take care Dr. Perhaps we will meet someday soon; my family loves the Branson/Hollister area and who knows what the future holds?

    • Mr Archer profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr Archer 

      3 years ago from Missouri

      Ann, it is wonderful to feel this way, isn't it? To realize we actually influence others in a positive manner. It took a while for me, and it was this challenge of Bill's that did it. Thank you for your kind words here. I am sorry to say but that is not the fireplace I know of, although yours is perfect for the setting!

      Rachel, I am honored you feel this way and to assist you in whatever manner you needed. Best of luck to you!

      Sally, thank you as well. It amazed me to read so many of the works created by those across the globe! Extremely humbling as well. I am so glad you took part in this and I enjoyed your work enormously. Keep writing for you truly have the talent!

      Larry, thank you Sir. I appreciate your taking the time to read and comment here. Stay safe.

    • DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image

      William Leverne Smith 

      3 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you for sharing these thought, dear neighbor, Mr. Archer! I see the wonder in your considerations, unlike dear bradmasterOCcal, above. The pebble changes the pond, forever, in ways we'll never know, and cannot be analyzed precisely, I believe. Do the ripples truly "dissipate" or do they affect other objects and surfaces in ways we certainly cannot see, and perhaps, cannot measure. I usually take science over faith, but, sometimes, our little minds are not yet able to fully understand (yet?). I feel (since I cannot yet know, at this time) that there is much more here to contemplate. Thank you, again, for the inspiration. ;-)

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      Brad Masters 

      3 years ago from Orange County California BSIT BSL JD

      Mr Archer

      I read your hub, and I read the comments above. I must admit that I am not smart enough to know its point. This is not a reflection on your work, but on my ability to appreciate the full sense of it.

      Was it interesting, yes, I read it in its entirety.

      Did I associate with it, probably not, at least not in the sense of your poll.

      I am an analytic type, and I probably am trying to over analyse something that requires a simple response, an not an analysis.

      My thought on the pebble and the ripple would be that the pebble sinks away to the bottom and is never seen again. The ripple will dissipate after a while and the water will be still.

      Both are only transitory, and therefore neither will be remembered.

      Anyway, when I read a hub, I usually leave a comment because of the amount of work people put into their hub. Views are nice, but they are not feedback.


    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      3 years ago from Oklahoma

      Very well written. A pleasure to read.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 

      3 years ago from Norfolk

      Mr Archer,

      Beautifully expressed. Like Billy I read every word from beginning to end.

      Your little pebble definitely turned into a ripple which unbelievably spread as far as the UK water where I was able to dip my feet into it. It was such a pleasure it was to take part in this challenge.

      Thank you again.


    • profile image

      Rachel Carter 

      3 years ago

      I am at a loss for the extravagant words to express my appreciation for this article. I stumbled onto your ripples and it was exactly the inspiration that I needed at this point in my life! Thank you for writing this up.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      3 years ago from SW England

      It is a great feeling, isn't it, to inspire some ideas and start those imaginations rolling? I loved your idea that Bill told us about (Sir William suits him well I think!). I enjoyed writing about your chimney - I thought I might have found the actual one you were talking about but wasn't sure - I used it for my photo prompt - it would be interesting to know whether or not I'm right.

      I like to think I'm a bit of both too. It's good to be inspired and go with the flow; it's also good to throw that huge pebble and see what happens to the ripples. Also great to feel that we're growing and developing as writers and, yes, we have a lot to thank Bill for.

      Great hub.


    • Mr Archer profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr Archer 

      3 years ago from Missouri

      John, I understand what you mean. It begins with writing for ourselves, then our loved ones, then we take a chance and allow others outside our circle to read our works. From there, we venture out into the world and throw caution to the wind. I applaud you and all of those who take that leap of faith. And I thank you for your kind words here; they are most appreciated.

    • Mr Archer profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr Archer 

      3 years ago from Missouri

      Jim, thank you. I appreciate your vote of confidence in my works. Thank you.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Mike, I an really relate to this as I am often contemplating similar thoughts. When I first began to write I was mainly concentrating on poetry because it just seemed to pop into my head without a lot of thought or outside influence. When I joined Hub Pages I began to extend myself and was inspired to try essays, articles, short stories etc. I needed to write more regularly, not just when I felt a poem coming on. Encouraging comments on my hubs made me strive to improve and write things other people may enjoy reading. Up until then I wrote mainly for myself and my wife.

      These challenges that billybuc, Availiasvision and others issue are wonderful exercises and I try to respond to most of them. I have even issued a couple of challenges myself and have been blown away by the quality and diversity of the responses. That said, like you I find myself being both a pebble and a ripple in the pond. Well written, voted up.

    • FitnezzJim profile image


      3 years ago from Fredericksburg, Virginia

      It takes work to get a pebble to make a ripple.

      It takes work, plus a lot of time contemplating both ripples and casting pebbles to reach the level of skill to skip a stone. I think you are there.

    • Mr Archer profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr Archer 

      3 years ago from Missouri

      Bill, thank you. And I am so very happy to have provided you with an impetus this day as you have provided so many for myself and thousands of other writers. Do you realize that? Literally thousands of other struggling writers read your words and are inspired. No higher compliment can I think of for one such as you. And the honor of friendship is mine, dear friend.

      Mary, thank you as well. You are another such as Bill, inspiring others to greater heights. Take care my friend.

      And Cheyenne, thank you. How wonderful that three of my favorite writers are the first to respond here when THEY are the measuring stick by which I measure myself. To think you enjoy my works is humbling to say the least. And the last I heard the pups were doing very well. Training has gone well for them and their families love them dearly. Thank you for asking.

      Take care my friends. Spring is coming and with it new inspirations!!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      3 years ago from Central Florida

      Mike, this is awesome and very eloquently spoken (er, written). This is a piece every writer should read when we doubt ourselves and need inspiration.

      I happen to read everything you write, even if it's about baseball, which I don't follow. But I do follow you and love the way you color your articles with your words.

      BTW, how are the pups doing? Not pups anymore, for sure.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      3 years ago from New York

      This is certainly a masterpiece. What writer knows what effect his work might have, now or in the future? Who know what your writing might spark in another?

      This is a contemplative piece encouraging every writer to write.

      Voted all but funny.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mike, this just might be your best work yet. I readily admit that often I will skim an article. If it has failed to capture my attention early, I will speed-read through it. This one...I read every word. You had my attention from the beginning and I was sad to see it end. I needed this reminder today as I was contemplating, and questioning, the importance of what I do as a writer. I thank you for bringing clarity to my befuddled mind.

      Thank you for the mention. It was a pleasure taking on your challenge, and the responses were beautiful.

      It's an honor being your friend.



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