Sunday, February 16, 2014

How the Olympics Renewed My Drive to Be a Writer + WINNER

My husband and I have sat and watched the Olympics faithfully this past week. I can't say I've ever been a huge enthusiast for the Olympics, but for some reason, I found myself sitting down with him every night and watching it.

The events were all pretty exciting, especially the figure skating. I absolutely loved the Russian couple who took gold!

And did anyone watch that hockey game of the U.S. versus Russia? So intense.

However, though the actual sport events were thrilling, I found myself mostly drawn to the stories of the people as individuals. The struggles they all went through to get where they were. The sacrifices they made. The pain, the surgeries, the setbacks, the doubt. All of this coming down to one day where they had to put everything on the line and hope their hard work and effort paid off. If not, it's another FOUR YEARS until they would get another chance.

I connected with that kind of feeling being a writer. Not that querying or selling a book is limited to every four years...but when you put so much effort into writing that novel and it doesn't sell, you've got to go back to the drawing board and start over. You've got to write that new book and that includes a new plot, new characters, new conflicts. That includes a first draft and a second draft and a third draft. That entails tearing scenes out and writing new ones and getting feedback from a dozen people. It is a lot of time and effort for what? Maybe you still don't get the gold?

Yet, the point I've seen proven again and again in the writing community is if you don't stop trying, you will reach your goal. Basically, don't quit. I know it seems so cliche. I know it is something very easy to say and another thing entirely to actually do. But I do believe it with all my heart and soul.

Watching the Olympics shows how far people can push the human body. Records being broken, lives on the line, medals being won. Writers do the same thing with their creativity, stretching it to the max, pushing ourselves to the breaking point.

I think the breaking point can be where the best writing really comes.

I guess the point of this post is just another one of those "don't quit" even if it feels like you will never reach your dreams. But it is more than that. What is the point of a life that doesn't strive for a dream? You can find inspiration and others struggling to pursue their dreams all around you. Watching the Olympics was a total tidal wave of those kinds of stories, but I know they exist everywhere, all around us. We just have to open our eyes and see them.

I will leave you with a video my good friend Sarah Schmitt posted today on Facebook about motivation. It really hit me hard and refreshed my dream and drive to be a published author.

What keeps you motivated to keep going with your writing? Any particular touching stories that inspire you?
ALSO, Winner of my query + first 10 page critique is Beth Pond! CONGRATS!!

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