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Number eight wire is a gauge or thickness of wire used for fencing. In New Zealand it’s also a term used to indicate a can-do attitude. A number eight wire mentality means that a person can turn their hand to anything or will attempt to do anything even though it seems impossible. This term comes from the fact that #8 wire was used to repair almost everything when a better alternative wasn’t available.

I like to think I apply #8 wire mentality towards my writing. I try to never give up, no matter how many knockbacks I receive. After a rejection, I dust myself off and leap in again with both feet. Insert wry grin – I’ve had a little practice at this recently…still ticking along…

Here’s the link to a Tim Finn song called Couldn’t Be Done which always cheers me when I hear it. It’s a song about doing the impossible. (Note – for those who think Tim looks familiar, he was in bands Split Enz and Crowded House)

Recently this new Toyota ad has started playing on our TV screens. It’s a cute look at the New Zealand can-do attitude.

What is your favorite inspiration for times when things are a bit tough? A saying? A favorite book? A movie? A person?


  1. Marianne

    OMG… I love that commercial! I’m going to be laughing all day… :mrgreen:

  2. Maria

    There’s a plaque in my studio that I’ve had for more than 30 years.

    It reads: We have forty million reasons for failure. But not a single excuse.

    I live by that.

  3. Leah Braemel

    LOL. In Canada that would be a ski ramp. But then they have to pull that tire back up the hill, LOL.

    I love the commercials you have down there, they’re so fresh.

  4. Lucinda

    I have a tape of the 1992 Winter Olympics. I love to watch Paul Wylie’s Silver Medal-winning figure skating performance. In 1991, he had finished 11th in the world after competing in 9 world championships and the 1988 Olympic games. He was a great skater, but his nerves always got the better of him in competition.
    In 1992, some “experts” thought his career was pretty much over. A few commentators at the U.S. Nationals that year felt that the judges shouldn’t have sent him to another Olympic games. He surprised everyone with a perfect performance in the short program (a first for Paul) and a near-perfect performance in the long. A lot of people felt that he should have won the gold but the judging system at that time was still somewhat subjective.
    Watching his performance never ceases to lift my spirits, because it proves that success is 9/10 perseverance.

  5. Fedora

    LOL! Terrific commercial, Shelley–my little guy insisted on watching several times in a row! And Maria, what a great quote–so true!

  6. Amy Gallow

    I’m with you on dealing with rejection, some of my best learning has come from the soul searching after them, but I cant thing of anything specific that motivates me to go on, just the experience of a lifetime.
    I suppose we all collect little snippets and homilies that strike a chord in our minds and the one that comes to mind for a reversal of fortune is a quote from Kipling:
    “If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone
    And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the will that says to you “Hold On.””
    It’s a bit dramatic for a book rejection, but I can remember times when it was wholly applicable and it is those time that give me the strength to deal with rejection as an adult.
    Loved the ad and will share it with my grandchildren. Liked the sentiments of the song, but the execution left me cold.
    Have a great day. “Onwards and Upwards!”

  7. Shelley Munro

    Marianne – it’s a good one, isn’t it. Toyota have some wonderful and very imaginative ads in New Zealand.

    Maria – that’s a great saying!

  8. Shelley Munro

    Leah – nodding. Yes, we do have some great ads. I wasn’t very impressed with the ones I saw while we were in the US last year.

  9. Shelley Munro

    Lucinda – your story reminds me of Eddie the Eagle, the British ski-jumper at the winter Olympics several years ago. He was terrible but his cheerful manner and determination drew everyone, making him into a celebrity.

  10. Shelley Munro

    Fedora – I loved it the first time I saw it on TV last week. I stop whatever I’m doing and watch it when I see it playing during an ad break.

    Amy – great quote. I think anything that pushes us to strive towards our dreams is good. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it stirs us to greater effort.

  11. Debby

    I love the commercial.

    I have books I reread when I am having problems – pure escape.

  12. Christina Phillips

    I hadn’t come across that saying before. I like to hope it applies to me and my writing too. I’ve given up counting my rejections but let’s just say they’d would paper a very large ballroom!!!!!!!