My hubby and I have been watching the Olympics all week. They have been exciting and some of them have been nail-biters with the results sometimes decided by only hundredths of a second or point. The womens’ gymnastics competition was like that tonight. Gabrielle Douglas, a 16-year old American, was in first place all through the Womens’ All-Around Gymnastics competition but that placement was not assured until the very end of the competition. Not until the score of the last gymnast, an equally young Russian (Viktoria Komova) was decided did the world know that Douglas had earned the gold medal. When asked how she had gotten through the pressure of the four gymnastic events Gabby told the world that the way her mother raised her was instrumental in her performance. She was taught to work hard, believe in herself, push through obstacles, and to pursue her goals with determination.
It came to me later that the principles Gabrielle was raised with apply to writing too. The ideas for an article or book may come easy but the editing, revising, and polishing are hard work. To be motivated to even begin writing we have to believe we have the ability to write and write well. As writers we must push through the obstacles of distractions, work and family responsibilities, writer’s block and malaise. No matter how many times we have to put our work aside we need determination to pick it up again and continue until we are finished, whether we plan to submit it for publication or not. I think I would also add to that the need to keep learning more about the writing craft in order to improve and do the best work we can. (I’m sure Olympic athletes never quit learning how to be better.)
Have you been watching the Olympics? Have you learned anything from the Games that you can apply to your writing? Let me know.
Here’s an idea for a sign you can make to put above your writing desk:
PUSH THROUGH OBSTACLES
BE DETERMINED TO THE END