Go for Writing Gold

Tuesday, July 15, 2008
By Jill Earl

Last month, Marcia Peterson’s blog post “Loving the Sport” suggested that writers might want to start thinking of writing as not just an occupation or a means to an end, but as something we take great joy in participating. We should do it because we love it and the reward it gives. She included advice from author Anne Patchett, actor Bradley Whitford and Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee as motivation.

With the Beijing Olympics approaching, I’ve been glued to the T.V. as the Olympic Trials have aired. Besides watching gymnast Shawn Johnson, runner Alison Felix and swimmers Katie Hoff and Michael Phelps shatter records in their quest to go to the Games, another athlete has inspired me as I place fingers to keyboard.

Dara Torres is twice the age of many of the elite swimmers she competes against and as a forty-one year old mother of a two-year old, many dismissed her attempt to win her way to a fifth Olympic Games as a long shot, at best.

A couple weeks ago, she clocked in phenomenal times in her races, speeding through the water and leaving her competitors literally in her wake. Crowds roared their approval, commentators marveled at her and the world took notice. Including me.

The only way Ms. Torres attempted and succeeded was because she enjoyed her sport so much that she spent hours honing her body into prime condition. There may have been times of struggle, but she pushed through, for the love of it. Watching her, you get the sense that even if she didn’t make the U.S. Olympic Swim Team, her love of swimming would live on.

As a writer, I must continually stretch and hone my craft. There will be times where I’ll have to struggle just to pick up a pen or turn on the computer. But I too must push through.

So next month, I’ll remember how my love for writing will sometimes cause me to turn from the Olympics to write, not just for the money or to be published, but because I enjoy the reward.

That’s how I’ll go for the gold in my writing. How about you?


Anonymous said...

Dara is my new hero! I watched the trials. Such an inspiration

Anonymous said...

Eye on the prize...

Being the mother of a 5 year old and 5 month old can be quite time consuming. How will I find time to write???? I am no longer going to sit in front of the tube at night. I will get myself to bed at a decent time and then get up an hour to an hour and a half before my baby is due to wake. My writing goals were pushed aside for about 6 months while I moved to a new home and started life as the mother of two. But no more....I need to find success as a writer too.

Anonymous said...

What a great post. Yep, I think Dara Torres is a great inspiration. If she, as a mother, can get to that level in her sport, I sure as heck should be able to complete my writing goals.

She's also an inspiration to me because of her age. I didn't start submitting my writing for publication until my daughter became a teenager, so I started late.

So, yes, it makes complete sense to get writing inspiration from a swimmer such as Ms. Torres.

Anonymous said...


You're on your way to writing success. Your comment got me charged up!

Michele, thank you!

I started late in writing myself, and have been actively pursuing writing for almost two years. This after calling myself a writer at six years old.

I could lament about the lost time, but I'm fulfilling my writing dream now. That's the important thing.

Write on, all!

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