This time of year I spend a good chunk of my waking hours on the soccer field. Not playing, mind you. Spectating. And we spectators are a hardy bunch. Rain. Wind. Fog. Bees. Snow. We're out there. (Although I must admit, I have watched from the car a time or two!)
My son plays on two teams, one travel and the other his high school varsity team. My daughter plays on a modified travel team. They've both played since they were little so I've been spectating for years.
What does this have to do with writing? Participation in competitive sports (in this case soccer) teaches children valuable life lessons that can benefit us all:
1) You fall down, you get up. Fast.
2) You miss the ball, you chase after it.
3) You get hurt, whenever possible, you shake if off and resume play.
4) You lose the ball, you do your best to get it back.
5) You elbow someone, you're going to get elbowed back. (Same applies for tripping/cleating/jersey pulling.)
6) Your coach tells you to do something, you do it, or you won't get to play.
7) You take a shot and miss, you keep shooting until you score. And then you shoot some more.
8) You win, you celebrate.
9) You lose, you practice harder, play better and put forth your very best effort to win the next time.
10) You never, ever give up...if you want to stay in the game.
Writing is hard work. It can be frustrating and lonely. But if you want to succeed, learn the lessons I mentioned above.
And consider this: A soccer team succeeds when one player is having a bad game so another picks up his/her level of play to compensate. When one player is down and his/her teammates pump them up. When the coach requests the impossible and the team unites in support of one another.
Become part of a team. Be they friends, family, or blog buddies. Find a supportive bunch of peers to accompany you on your journey toward publication. It makes the trip a little easier. (And a lot more enjoyable.)
Over the past year, since I seriously began to pursue publication, I joined my local RWA (Hudson Valley RWA) and GIAM (Goals in a month). Both have wonderful and supportive writers loops (thanks to Taryn Kincaid and Amy Atwell.) I've also connected with some terrific writers and blog friends who commiserate my disappointments, cheer my accomplishments, and encourage me to keep going. (As I try to do for them.)
So what do you think? Are you part of a supportive group or do you prefer to go it alone? If you're part of a group, please tell us about them.
- It is said that good things come to those who wait. I believe that good things come to those who work. - Wilt Chamberlain
- A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit. - Richard Bach
- You don't find time to write. You make time. It's my job. - Nora Roberts
- Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most. - Buddha
- Luck is when an opportunity comes along and you're prepared for it. - Denzel Washington
- I can accept failure, but I can't accept not trying. - Michael Jordan