How To Be A Champion (Writer)

Saturday, August 13, 2016
There’s something so compelling about the Olympics. I can’t keep from watching the games, even when I’m supposed to be working. And that’s why today, I bring you writing lessons from the Olympics! (And the crowd roars!)

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


Sioux Roslawski said...

Cathy--I hope you practice what you preach. Those international best-sellers (in Korea) make you an international champ.

As always, you've written a post full of writing tips, and you've deftly connected it to another topic.

Thanks for the reminders/nudges, Cathy.

Gail said...

I think this post deserves a score of 25.165. I love how you can take two different topics, find the important themes and smoothly tir them together. You are definitely one of my writing mentors. Thanks for the writer nudge! Pippi sends regards to you and Libs.Gail

Margo Dill said...

All those stories we hear when watching the Olympics are very inspirational. Any greatness inspires us to be great in whatever field we've chosen (in my opinion). :)

Donna Volkenannt said...

You are one of my champions, Cathy. Thanks for an inspiring post!

Charlotte Dixon said...

Put on the game face and toss those negativities! YES! I'm that older than dirt person, but I try to do the game face everyday-LOL Thank you, Cathy, for reminding me that our dreams are fantastic goals and they keep us fresh and alive. Love Queen! They are an uber in my day!

Randi Sonenshine said...

You win the GOLD with this post! Such good reminders for all of us who struggle with the nagging inner critic and self-doubt.

Linda O'Connell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linda O'Connell said...

"Even if the money isn't amazing, you are." What a powerful message and inspiration YOU ARE.

Tracey M. Cox said...

Cathy, You are on top of the podium with this post! Celebrate the small steps & let those big steps soak in!!!

Tracey M. Cox said...

Cathy, You are on top of the podium with this post! Celebrate the small steps & let those big steps soak in!!!

McMarshall said...

Cathy, thanks for the encouragement and reminders. Great post.

McMarshall said...

Cathy, thanks for the encouragement and reminders. Great post.

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

Brilliant post, and I feel like you were talking directly to me today. As I read I kept'd she get in my head? The comparisons you made and the examples you used were spot on, too. I love how you do that. It's really no wonder you're the Writing Yoda. :)

Cathy C. Hall said...

I'm so glad y'all liked it--I really enjoyed watching it.

Um...I mean, writing it. ;-)

Pat Wahler said...

I think we all have an internal editor who like to poke and jab. Your advice is certainly timely for me!

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