How To Be A Champion (Writer)
You’re Never Too Old To Pursue Your Goal
I was stunned to learn that equestrian Phillip Dutton is 52; he finally won his first medal, after competing in six Olympics.
How many times have you met a writer complaining about age, how she’s too old for the grind of the business? Heck, I’ve been that writer. But goals—or at least when it comes to writing—don’t have age limits. That’s the wonderful thing about writing; you can keep at it. You can stay in the game…well, for as long as writing matters to you, for as long as you still have goals to reach. It might take years—lots of years—but you do not walk away because you’re too old. So thank your lucky stars that you don’t have to throw yourself up into the air and stick a landing. All you have to do is write.
Don’t Let Anyone Psych You Out of the Game
Even if you didn’t see LeClos shadowboxing in front of Michael Phelps—and Michael Phelps refusing to let the other swimmer’s antics get to him—I bet you heard about it. Swimming has an element of mind games to it, where the players sometimes try to out psych each other. Sometimes, it works. And sometimes, it happens in writing, too.
Except it’s usually not other writers who try to out psych us. We do it to ourselves. We beat up on ourselves, berate ourselves, undermine our confidence, and eventually, all those mind games start to affect us.
We don’t try as hard because what’s the point? Then we’re defeated before we ever try. So take a cue from Michael Phelps. Put on your game face and ignore all the negativity. Then write.
Enjoy Your Moment in the Sun
Every time I see those athletes on the medal stand, I wonder if they’ll remember that moment and appreciate what they’ve achieved. It’s amazing, really, to be the best in the world, and it always chokes me up, seeing the winners (and yes, the losers, too).
But I suspect that before those men and women even leave the medal stand, they’re thinking of the next race, the next Olympics. What a shame.
And what a shame if you don’t take the time to enjoy your writing achievements. If you’re so involved in what’s next on the journey without taking a moment to appreciate where you are now, you’re cheating yourself.
So find a way to celebrate when you succeed. Whether you get a book contract, make a sale to a magazine, or acquire a regular writing gig, even if the money’s not amazing, you are.
We are the champions! Now get out there and write, champ. (And the crowd roars!)
~Cathy C. Hall