Friday, March 5, 2010

Carrying the Torch

Like many people, my television was tuned to the Olympic Games for the last few weeks. I missed my usual shows, but I can live without them once in a while, and this is definitely worth the interruption to my routine. I love to watch figure skating of any kind, and I guess I like speed skating. The rest of it I can take or leave.

What I enjoy about the Olympics is seeing the dedication on each athlete’s face as he or she gets ready for the event of a lifetime. The single focus is on the goal – the perfect jump, the fastest run, the most twists and turns. Years of training and sacrifice have boiled down to a single chance to prove oneself to the world. Only one person or group wins - the rest are disappointed. That’s the way it works.

I thought about how I could apply some of the athletes’ strategies to my writing. Maybe I won’t make it to a world stage, with television cameras following my every move, but I think if I apply some of their qualities to my writing life, I could get some results. Let’s take a look at them.

Focus: I need to keep my mind on the goal – finish the story. Don’t worry about the fact that it’s not set in a traditional time period, with characters unfamiliar to most readers. I need to write it as well as I can, and then look for someone (a publisher) who thinks it’s worth a shot.

Perseverance: I need to write every day. I need to write, even when I don’t think I have anything to write about. Sometimes it’s only a few hundred words, but that adds up. In a month that’s over six thousand words! I wrote forty thousand in thirty-five days, so I know I can do it. I just have to make time to do it. Besides, I have to keep my hands away from food!

Dedication and drive: I need to believe in myself and in my ability to write something worth reading. I need to push myself out of my comfort zone and put myself out there. Somebody might like my writing, and some (okay, maybe many) will not like it. I have to be willing to face that. Because if I don’t risk it, I don’t gain anything but a bunch of regrets.

So I’ve got to get into training mode and start “working out” at the keyboard. There’s a story or two waiting to be told!

Goals updates:

Diet – going much better! Lost almost twenty pounds so far.

Writing – still plugging along. Lost some of the momentum from NaNoWriMo, but life gets in the way. But I manage to put in at least an hour a day on my laptop, adding a little more each day to my story.

Creativity – this was a good week! I found some time to sew three pairs of jammie pants for myself. I even made my own pattern by tracing around a pair that fit me pretty well. Next week is spring break, so I’m hoping to get a few more projects done!

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