Wisdom vs. Wit, by Jeanna Ellsworth

Wisdom vs. Wit, by Jeanna Ellsworth



As I hesitated to write what is on my mind, I find myself focusing on my writing style. I have written four books and each is unique in plot and in the tone of the book. I have ventured from deeply emotional (Mr. Darcy’s Promise) to light and funny (Pride and Persistence) to uplifting and spiritual (To Refine Like Silver), to hopeful and enlightening (Hope For Mr. Darcy: Book 1 The Hope Series due out this June!) –Why are they so different? What is it that binds them similar besides the fact that I wrote them? What are my strengths? What are my weaknesses as an author?

A person is not always aware of their talents, and the feedback on Mr. Darcy’s Promise indicates that I did a good job pulling the reader into the emotions the characters were portraying. This leads me to think that I tend to over narrate the character’s thoughts and “jump heads” in a single scene. I have deep insights and metaphors that most people enjoy figuring out, but I am a terrible editor and have a shocking lack of commas! My books are fast paced with lots of variety of romance, action, suspense, and angst, but sometimes I need to flesh the scene out a bit. I write great epilogues, but my beginning chapters could use some work. This feedback only motivated me to be a better writer.

One thing I always thought I wanted to do better is to insert clever comments. As I tried to incorporate this, I discovered that it is difficult to develop a sense of humor. However, there is a strength that might compensate for the lack of sarcastic make-you-laugh-out-loud humor and one-liners that every author hopes will be quoted to her audience’s friends, thereby spreading the author’s work. I think the strength I have is wisdom, which makes up for the lack of wit. I know that sounds almost egotistical, but I have to tell you where I think wisdom comes from.

People are born with intelligence. That person can develop an educated learning with schooling. But wisdom? Wisdom comes from experience. In this world of give-it-to me-now, one-click buy on demand persona, there is something to be said for learning things the hard way and taking something from it. There is a new seed of wisdom that is planted with each trial we face that makes us grow and push ourselves into better people – people with more wisdom.

I learned young growing up in a family of 13 children that we do not always get what we want unless we work hard for it. Not a one of my siblings could be described as entitled. I learned wisdom through getting married young and starting a family while in nursing school that time management was vital to success. I learned while suffering with a chemical depression that there is an inherent need, whether recognized or not, to depend on something greater than ourselves. I learned that no matter how hard we try, we inevitably fail sometimes. This was a concept I learned when I struggled for over fifteen years in a relationship that was unhealthy for both of us. I also learned that failure can be the greatest teacher for happiness. I learned a lot of things in my still-under-40 years; I had to go through hard things.
Perhaps I do not write great one-liners, but I have wisdom in my books that may be the greatest thing I can offer my readers. So each of my books may be different in tone, but there is always something that makes it all worth it. I hope to pass on some of my wisdom to you, no matter how great or small it is, because in the long run, we all eventually laugh at our experiences. So as Jane Austen put it: “Wisdom is better than wit, and in the long run will certainly have the laugh on her side.”

Jeanna Ellsworth
Hey Lady Publications

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8 Responses to Wisdom vs. Wit, by Jeanna Ellsworth

  1. I loved what you had to say, your humility and your honesty was very refreshing in this day and age. I read something many years ago…written by anonymous [of course] that said something like… we are who we are… because of… or in spite of past experiences. I have never forgotten it and have applied it throughout my life. This is where what we have done, gone through, won or lost, tried and failed, attempted and won, or simply the…should’a, could’a, would’a, didn’t… and yet, in spite of it all… we were made stronger. There are many things in my life; if I am honest…I would not change, could not change, because those successes, mistakes, and blatant failures make up who I am today.
    Through your hard times you learned wisdom and who you are as a person and your self-worth. And that makes the best teacher. Thank you for sharing, your words may help someone who is struggling.

  2. Thanks for the great post, Jeanna, for sharing your thoughts as well as the lovely quote. Hear-hear! We must agree with our dear Jane. She ought to be an expert on wisdom and wit, seeing as she had so very much of both. I love the Downton Abbey quote too, but then everything they put in Maggie Smith’s script was marvelous.
    Congrats on Hope for Mr Darcy! I’m looking forward to reading it, I loved the excerpt you posted here a while ago.

  3. As a caseworker with Children, Youth and Families I often stated that I wished I could put my wisdom learned through experience into the minds of teenagers, especially, but also young parents. But we all must learn through experience and I don’t have any wish to re-live any part of my life. We have choices but what some have and others don’t is good parents, good role model or just plain and simple good common sense. My mother used to always say that smart people don’t usually have common sense. I don’t know that I agree with that but GOD gave each of us different strengths. I could go on and on but I am sure the readers all have so many stories in this area that it would be a never ending discussion.

  4. My first DH always said that youth was wasted on the young. However, since I am a young person at heart, I hope that I am not squandering my later years. We all have to do our best and be grateful for what we have. You know, that Austen thing … Remember the past as it gives up pleasure and all that? There will always be trials but hopefully we will handle them in the best possible way and pray that we are inspired with insights to move forward. Love all your books, Jeanna.

  5. I would have to agree. I have often had the thought “I wish I’d known then (at 15, 25, et al) what I know now.” Some choices would have been different and some experiences would have been a lot better than I allowed at the time.

    • You know what? I always laughed when some old fart said that! But now I see the “wisdom” in the comment! It is too true! I once asked a question in an important job interview ( I was the one being interviewed but they turned the end over to me to ask if I had any questions). I asked the panel if there was something they wish they knew before taking the job, what would it be!? I had some interesting answers! Wisdom is a great educator and when people learn from experience, the memory is seared into their brain!

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